As I pondered and brainstormed and paced around the room to think of an idea for my last blog it came to me – well, the pain did anyway! The pain of stepping on a tiny piece of Lego. Oh don’t we all know that feeling! That when I looked into how Lego maintains the popularity for our children of the 21st century.
Lego was developed nearly 80 years ago by Danish carpenter, Ole Kirk Christiansen and officially launched as the plastic brick in 1958. Lego is Danish for ‘leg godt’ translating to ‘play well’. Children are active participants and we are not to look at play as a luxury but a tool that supports brain development. Lego is an educational tool that supports children’s creativity, imagination, fine motor skills, builds confidence, enhances co-operation and teamwork, encourages problem solving, demonstrates engineering, opens up a new world and develops perseverance. Senior psychology lecturer, David Whitebread, at ht University of Cambridge supports children’s engagement with Lego as it encourages life skills of problem solving. It’s easy to build, easy to change your ideas and undo and rebuild. Children have always been excited to play with Lego but it is now Lego who might need to adjust to keep up to date with children. I will immerse you into the world of Lego and Social Media.
‘What strikes me as particularly interesting about Lego is that it is non-represational material stat can be made to be representational – although of course that has chagned in recent yeas with more and more pieces being specifically representational, depicting specific characters, tools, features.’ (Fernyhough, as cited in Wrenn, 2012, para. 18).
With the craze of Lego comes a plethora of merchandise – books, clothing, a movie and almost every Lego themed set imaginable. In addition, Lego has licenses to Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and most recently, Minecraft. Lego tried to dabble unsocial media a few years ago, however they didn’t maintain the sites, now with the recent release of box-office hit The Lego Movie and next year the release of Bionicle2015, it was time to revisit social media and regularly upload and update sites. The trademark company, Lego, maintain most social media sites, also fans of Lego also keep a constant flow of uploading onto their own social media sites. We will take a closer look at some of those in this post.
While trawling around YouTube I discovered Lego Channel, each range has it’s own channel, Chima, City, Friends to name a few.
Young people create YouTube channels to review Lego products.
Then there are young people experimenting with their own movie making using Lego and stop motion.
To date Lego has on 9 938 632 likes on Facebook. Platforms, such as Facebook, provide Lego with a prompt customer complaint and suggestion feedback system.
Since starting on Instagram Lego has 326 posts and 309, 028 followers. Fans are using their own digital devices to creat stop motion movies to uload to the Lego Instagram Video. The crisp photographs and videos compliment Lego creations.
Lego has an official Vine video channel. Vine has exposed Lego fans to indulge in their obsession further. At present there are 4 601 follower and 273, 122 loops. The complexity of their high definition videos and intricate sound effects makes for interesting viewing.
If you download the Vine app you can hear the clips as well https://vine.co/tags/lego.
Flickr is an open site for uploading photos. Hosted by Yahoo, it allows users to upload photos. Many Lego fans have uploaded their photos to share their latest Lego creation.
Lego has met the blogosphere! Lego City design team maintains a websitte and linked on the website is a blog. On the blog the designers provide suggestions and anteing to do with Lego City. It is a very attractive website and user-friendly http://www.lego.com/en-us/city/blog/blogs/.
Check out Legos Google Plus community with 184 350 followers. Again, great merchandising approach by Lego.
Pinterest is a community forum where fans can share, or repine, their favourite pictures, pages and more. There are plenty of pinterest pages to look through.
Finally, Lego has its own Twitter account. Regular tweets are made by Lego staff to keep devoted Lego fans in the loop. To date Lego has written 7 396 tweets and has 197 000 followers.
Mike Zeederberg, from digital marketing agency, Zuni says, “it’s a master class of content marketing, customer engagement and monetisation, all build around a really good product” (cited in Ratcliffe, 2014, p. 8).
Corey Heller via YouTube. (2013, March 20). Lego animation: space vs land episode 1. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4crd3krSKY
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. (2014). The 7 skills kids can develop from playing Lego. Retrieved from http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2014/02/the-7-skills-kids-can-develop-from.html
Fins Graphics via YouTube (2014, October 13). 6 new Minecraft Lego sets! (building and review). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XWITYt8g1c
Lego Channel via YouTube (2012, September 30). The Hunt for R2-D2. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34QKT4CDqeE
Outside the Brick. (n.d.). 10 Benefits to playing with Lego. Retrieved from http://outsidethebrick.com/blog/2013/07/10-benefits-to-playing-with-legos-part-1/
Page, E. (2011). How Lego is educational. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from http://www.educationspace360.com/index.php/how-lego-is-educational-3083/
Ratcliffe, C. (2014). Why is Lego’s social media strategy so outstanding? Retrieved from https://econsultancy.com/blog/64955-why-is-lego-s-social-media-strategy-so-outstanding#i.t2boydv9je36ta
Rosenberg, J. (n.d.). Lego toy bricks first introduced. Retrieved from http://history1900s.about.com/od/1950s/qt/lego.htm
Wrenn, E. (2012). Why we love Lego – leading psychologist reveals the “builder instrinct” is the key to popularity of the toy. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2178872/Why-love-Lego–leading-psychologist-reveals-builder-instinct-key-popularity-toy.html