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Lego / Selfie Wars

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our customisable research platform featuring the world’s most innovative, creative and effective campaigns and marketing ideas

Toy brand turns Berlin bus shelters into Instagram-powered photo booths

To promote its Star Wars toys, LEGO joined forces with outdoor ad specialists JCDecaux to turn two Berlin bus stops into Instagram-powered photo printers.

The first, at Heckescher Markt, featured posters of LEGO versions of Star Wars characters from the dark side of the force sitting on a bus with empty seats beside them. The second, at Alexanderplatz, was dedicated to characters from the light side. Both shelters asked passers-by: ‘Which side will you choose?’, encouraging them to take a selfie to post on Instagram.

If people uploaded their picture to Instagram with their shelter’s corresponding hashtag: #aufderdunklenseite (#onthedarkside) or #aufderhellenseite (#onthelightside), they received a copy of the photograph printed directly from the souped-up shelter.

All participants were entered into a competition to win a trip to London or a LEGO Star Wars gift bag.


Contagious Insight / 

Tangible takeaway / Rather than creating an attractive location for a selfie and hoping it would lead to social media sharing, LEGO took it a step further and offered a printed version of the photo in exchange for the use of their hashtag. This seems a fair value exchange: fans receive a personalised souvenir while the brand benefits from social media buzz. Add in the competition for a holiday or gift bag, and the enjoyment generally surrounding Star Wars or any sort of selfie and there’s a lot of incentives to drive participation.

Superfan focus / The Star Wars fan base is a passionate one so harnessing that interest and channelling it into LEGO’s toy versions lets the brand take advantage of the excitement surrounding the much-anticipated new film Star Wars: Episode VII – the Force Awakens. And asking the question ‘which side will you choose?’ engages visitors further by making them think about where their allegiances lie – especially as the bus shelters are within walking distance of each other.

Lucrative partnership / This year LEGO’s first-half revenue was up by nearly 20% and its profit jumped by more than 30% compared with a year ago, outperforming both its biggest competitors Mattel and Hasbro. While its Star Wars line was not solely responsible for this profit boost, it was one of the most popular lines and it’s expected that popularity will only grow with the release of the new film and the inevitable Christmas rush.

But the family-owned toy company can’t keep up with the hype. ‘We will not be able to deliver all of the orders coming from customers in the remainder of the year,’ LEGO spokesperson Roar Trangbaek told Reuters last month. ‘It is really extraordinary and it has exceeded both ours and our customers’ forecasts.’ Could there be such a thing as too much publicity?

LEGO Star Wars


This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O. Contagious I/O is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious I/O contact