Rebuild the World With Lego's First Global Campaign Since the '80s

BETC constructs a colorfully mad mashup

Lego's "Rebuild the World" is Alice in Wonderland. The colors are unnaturally bright, a mythic hunt's afoot, and things are just different enough to trigger cognitive dissonance. 

It also helps that there's a white rabbit. 

Created by BETC Paris, this marks Lego's first global campaign since the 1980s, and you can feel its giddy glee. 

A hunter's quest for a white rabbit—the ultimate metaphor—from the safari to the city is a nifty pretext to showcase Lego's diversity of playsets. The work is rife with Easter eggs that span generations of toys—from a life-sized replica of the Lego House in Billund, to the wooden duck throwback. 

That sensory playfulness extends to the music: Composed by electro-musicians Flavien Burger and JACQUES, the track is called "LE + GO." Every character, animal and vehicle is an existing or past Lego toy, interacting with chaotic glee—boats that can fly, thanks to a palm tree; a man whose head suddenly swivels 360 degrees. 

We're reminded of the bendy physics inherent to how kids play, and also a truth: However careful you are, your vintage T-Rex will always find its way into a giant bucket of Wild West Saloon and City Hall parts. The blocks almost want to be mashed up, reflecting an existential tension—maintaining control over one's own life in a world forever descending into chaos. 

It's this inevitable randomness of the draw that saves our rabbit in the end, but unlike the Hanna-Barbera toons of yore, it's not at the hunter's expense. The dice-toss of chaos has only evened the score, a lesson in itself: Losing control doesn't automatically mean we get hurt. Sometimes it improves our odds. 

This must be how people get addicted to gambling.

"'Rebuild the World' is our most ambitious global brand campaign to date," says The Lego Agency's head, Rémi Marcelli. "It's the result of a unique collaboration between our talented Lego Agency and BETC Paris, which led to a perfect balance: The campaign is a new, modern expression of the true, deep foundations of the Lego brand. It is a playful interpretation of our mission to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow." 

"Rebuild the World" is also a call to action, as much for adults as children. Kids are creative and curious; they don't fear mashups the way we do, so they can imagine the world in unexpected ways. That we know this means we haven't lost that talent entirely, either: The subtextual appeal of Lego lies in the fact that the blocks you get are reassuringly predictable. Yet what you make of them can be as unique, subtle and surprising as your own genetic code.

The out-of-home stuff carries this over, using dead-simple juxtapositions to toy with our senses. Sometimes they're absurd, like the surfer with a shark's head; other times they're damn near revolutionary, like the car belching a bouquet of flowers from its tailpipe. 

Lego is about exploring what's possible, letting yesterday's absurdities bleed into today's norms.

Click/tap to see a whole gallery of billboards: 

This is how cultures change. We're reminded of how kids are already doing the heavy lifting for the species, and no, we're not talking about blocks anymore.

"'Rebuild the World' is all about seeing where imagination takes us and celebrating the natural creativity of children," says Lego Group CMO Julia Goldin. "We want to encourage and help kids around the world to develop and retain these skills as they grow older. With this campaign, we want to inspire people of all ages to unleash their creativity to create a world of infinite possibilities through Lego play."

Even folklore gets the Lego treatment. In one digital out-of-home video, the Three Little Pigs blow the limbs off the Big Bad Wolf, block by block.

Lego | Three Little Pigs

In another, the word "pink" is built with blue blocks, and vice versa, a cute little mind game commonly repeated in college labs the world over: 

Lego | Pink and Blue

"'Rebuild TheWorld' is a claim that carries a universal value and topicality today," says BETC founder and executive creative director Rémi Babinet. "Playing with Lego bricks combines the possibility to rebuild the currently existing as well as the opportunity to invent something never seen before, offers an infinite tool for children to play and imagine the world. If building is creating, then rebuilding is unlimited creativity and optimism."

The work went live today throughout the world, with the film running on broadcast and in cinemas, digital out-of-home in major metropols, and social media. It marks the first collaboration between BETC and The Lego Group.

Catch some cool behind-the-scenes photos, below.

Muse spoke via email to the BETC creative team of Valerie Chidlovsky and Agnes Cavard, as well as evp Dominique Verot, about the new campaign. 

Muse: This is Lego's first campaign since as long as I've been alive, so it's kind of a big deal. How did you decide to approach it? 

Dominique Verot: A brand campaign is always a big deal. People today want brands to be meaningful. Beyond awareness and beyond the product excellence, they want brands to stand for something that matters to them. 

Hence, our first move for Lego was to define a strong brand platform, universal and connecting with people—and specifically today's parents and families—while staying true to the brand DNA and the Lego System in Play experience. 

It led us to "Rebuild the world," a powerful statement that celebrates the power of creativity and its ability to change the world. It invites all of us to cultivate the creativity of our kids, an essential skill to thrive in an ever-changing world. 

To bring the platform to life, we wanted universal storytelling, for everyone, kids and adults, and an execution that reflects the Lego spirit—fresh, fun, joyful, humorous and not preaching. 

The execution refers playfully to the Lego legacy as well as the most recent Lego launch. 

Tell us how you knew you had the winning idea.

Valerie Chidlovsky and Agnes Cavard: It was our very first idea. 

For us it immediately felt like a campaign that embodied Lego's personality. We love simple concepts that are clear and exciting, not superficial or predictable. "Rebuild the world" is a falsely emphatic claim; it is meaningful but also very playful. Before anything else, it's about creativity and fun. Finally, when a statement can be applied in so many areas, it becomes clear that it is not just a line of words but rather an idea.

What was the nature of your collaboration with the Lego Agency? 

Verot: We are the strategic and creative partner of the Lego Agency, working closely with the Lego Agency team at each step of the strategic, creative and production process. 

What was production like? Tell us about something unexpected that happened.

Chidlovsky and Cavard: We worked with the fantastic Traktor, who are at the same time brimming with humor and creativity, extremely precise, ultra-professional, perfectionists, careful and considerate with even the smallest of details. In fact, we really didn't have any bad surprises. 

What we found really incredible was that children in Valparaiso immediately understood that it was about a Lego film despite the fact that almost nothing indicated that. There were no Lego parts, just three life-size doors inspired by the Lego door design.

Will we have to wait another 30 years for another Lego campaign?

Chidlovsky and Cavard: Lego will have to decide that ☺.

CREDITS

Brand: Lego
Brand Management: Julia Goldin, Michael Moynihan, David Hall, Kristofer Alan Crockett
Lego In-House Agency: Rémi Marcelli, Vivi K. Schlägelberger, Lucas Reynoso Vizcaino, Lotte Baek Stokholm, Ryan Cooper-Brown, Christian Myhre Nygaard, Genevieve Capa Cruz, Leah Juaymah Mababangloob
Agency: BETC
Agency Management: Dominique Verot, Isabelle Picot, Benjamin Merllié, Thomas Gracia, Leslie Adam
Executive Creative Director: Rémi Babinet
Creative Directors: Agnès Cavard, Valérie Chidlovsky
Creative Team: Agnès Cavard, Valérie Chidlovsky
Assistant A.D.: Marie Salce
Music Creative Director: Christophe Caurret
Strategic Planning: Ghita Lemhandez
Engagement Planner: Donya Bouzarjomehri
Traffic: Laetitia Monnoir

Rights Negotiation: Mathilde Brie
Creative Producer: Frédéric Genest
Production Company: Stink
Directors: Traktor
DOP: Hoyte Van Hoytema
Set Designer: Nick Foley-Oates
Wardrobe Artist: Liz Botes
Post Production Company: Mikros Mpc
Sound Production: Gum / Pop Records
Song Name: Le + Go
Composers: Flavien Berger, Jacques Auberger
Publishers (Coed): Rêverie, Pain Surprises Publishing
Master Owners (Copro): Pan European Recording, Pain Suprises
Available Formats: 103, 90, 60, 30Sec

Rebuild the World OOH and DOOH Credits

Brand: Lego
Brand Management: Julia Goldin, Michael Moynihan, David Hall, Kristofer Alan Crockett
Lego In-House Agency: Rémi Marcelli, Vivi K. Schlägelberger, Lucas Reynoso Vizcaino, Lotte Baek Stokholm, Ryan Cooper-Brown, Christian Myhre Nygaard, Genevieve Capa Cruz, Leah Juaymah Mababangloob
Agency: BETC
Agency Management: Dominique Verot, Isabelle Picot, Benjamin Merllié, Thomas Gracia, Leslie Adam
Executive Creative Director: Rémi Babinet
Creative Directors: Agnès Cavard, Valérie Chidlovsky
Assistant A.D.: Marie Salce, Kim Dongheum
Creative Teams: Agnès Cavard, Valérie Chidlovsky, Nicolas Amiard, Arthur Cieutat, Romain Ducos, Chrystel Jung, Landry Stark, Pascal André, Marie Donnedieu, Marie Salce
Strategic Planning: Ghita Lemhandez
Engagement Planner: Donya Bouzarjomehri
Traffic: Laetitia Monnoir
Rights Negotiation: Mathilde Brieart 
Buying: Isabelle Mocq, Lola Burban
Producer: Charlene Douville
Production Company: General Pop
Photographer: Olle Bengtsson
Post Production Company: Les Demons

Profile picture for user Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is a founding contributor to Muse. She is also the co-founder of esports agency Hurrah.gg, and co-author of Generation Creation.