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Posted on Fri 14th Feb, 2014 in: Industry Comment, Influence, Public Relations, Social Media by Phil Reed

When I was six or seven, I'd sit on the floor trying my hardest to turn the pile of little plastic bricks in front of me into something more adventurous (and life-like) than a wonky-shaped house. And I always failed miserably. From that point, it was obvious I wasn't destined for a career in the construction industry. So I switched my attention to Subbuteo (that was more like it), although that didn't lead to a life in professional football, either. For many years after I'd dumped my knobbly brick collection, Lego was stuck in the toy brand wilderness. Kids no longer wanted to stick bricks together or play with little plastic men with bob-shaped hair. They wanted monster trucks, monster toys, action heroes, computer games!anything but Lego. Then, from nowhere, Lego became trendy again. The brand reinvented itself, introducing new ranges and new ways to play. It even went digital. And it became very PR savvy. As the influence of YouTube grew, Lego began using it to showcase some incredible designs from around the world (the official Lego YouTube channel has almost 280,000 subscribers). Users created their own vids, and then cottoned onto the idea of re-creating famous movie scenes using Lego. There are thousands of the damned things all over the internet. Last weekend, the brand took over a full ITV peak-time ad break to use Lego animations to recreate a number of well-known ads for Confused.com, BT and others. Inevitably, more good PR and social media comments followed. That, of course, was the pre-cursor to the UK launch of The Lego Movie. A full 100 minutes of animated adventures, featuring the voices of Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson. It opens in cinemas this weekend and, if US takings in its first week are anything to go by, it's going to be a box office smash (as they say in Hollywood). It even has its own blooper reel. Whether you regard it as a bona fide film or a glorified ad, there's no escaping the influence of Lego across the media landscape this week. Every marketing commentator and blogger is having a say, and you'll find very few film review pages that aren't raving about the movie - even the FT has given it five stars! On Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, it's plastic-bricked, wall-to-wall Lego. We've been admirers of Lego's PR effort for a while, so it's now time to make our admiration official and award the brand our PR Influencer of the Week title. Still prefer Subbuteo, mind.

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