Lego Case Study: Building the toy giant’s appeal among adult customers .

Lego Case Study: Building the toy giant’s appeal among adult customers 

We helped Lego build on a leap in adult customers during the Covid-19 pandemic using an innovative, audience-targeted media planThe goal? To grow adult revenue significantly in the peak holiday season. 

The client

Lego is a huge global force across eCommerce platforms and physical channels. Founded in 1932, the model maker now employs over 20,400 people across more than 40 countries. As one of the world’s largest toy manufacturers, Lego sets cover everything from Marvel to Star Wars. 

The challenge

Lego’s US revenues surged as the pandemic peaked and people were forced to stay indoors, with sales climbing across all business units. But growing interest among one consumer group particularly caught the eye: adults.  

Many adults who had never previously shown an interest in Lego products were starting to buy its sets as they would a puzzle or coloring book. 

Lego spotted an opportunity to retain and expand this newfound adult audience beyond the pandemic. It aimed to take things a step further by significantly increasing adult sales during the peak holiday season. 

The model maker gave us 3 business goals: 

  1. Retention. Convert first-time buyers once more during the holiday season.  
  2. Recruitment. Reach lookalike audiences, encouraging them to buy Lego for the first time.  
  3. Awareness. Drive the image of Lego as an adult activity.

What we did

Our vision was to make a relatively small budget work harder by simultaneously planning direct retailer channel buys with high-value audiences (HVAs). We felt this would make onsite and offsite media work stronger together through effective audience-building. 

To bring our vision to life, we focused on: 

  • Creating a full-funnel plan, integrating audience data and strategies in channels that aren’t traditionally planned in a holistic way. 
  • Ensuring cohesion, by offering real-time measurement that went beyond marketing mix modeling. 
  • Custom-building audiences with the help of retailer data. We activated HVAs that were truly full-funnel, with results showing their strength when translated to retailer channels. 

Our tactics included building first-party data segments, extending retailer efforts to offsite channels like Pinterest, and testing paid social and programmatic as conversion channels. 

The results

Our strategy for Lego delivered impressive sales, conversion and brand-lift results across Walmart, Amazon and Target. They included: 

  • Walmart – 94% of customers were new to item sets, with 55% new to Lego. 
  • Amazon – Top 5 all-time return on ad spend (ROAS) for Amazon DSP MS campaign ($80.72), with an awareness-focused campaign ROAS of $41.03. 
  • Target – 75% of stock-keeping units were bought by new Target customers, with nostalgia-focused creative driving an 18% sales lift. 

Our project marked the first time Lego had planned retailer channels in tandem with a brand marketing recommendation. It’s now recognized by the company’s regional and global leadership as a best-in-class campaign effort. 

Key lessons

  • Media dollars worked more efficiently when they were planned across multiple stakeholders, rather than siloes. 
  • Creating measurement frameworks and retailer reporting agreements translated short and long-term success metrics for optimization. 
  • Our approach helped us find truly new audiences within and outside retailer channels
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