Lego Finds New Niche with Console Gaming

Marketing 101: How does one get more people to buy more of one’s product? Lego’s knows.

Lego Star Wars: The Video Game hit the scene in April 2005. It rode hot off the heels of the popularity of LucasArt’s movie release of Star Wars Episode III. LucasArts and company followed the game up with Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, based on – you guessed it – the original Star Wars movies (Episodes IV, V, and VI). Both games were a hit through their creative use of animated Lego characters and some really humorously quirky expressions.
Three months ago, LucasArts and TT Games teamed up again for Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. With only subtle changes, the publisher managed to capture the Wii and Playstation 3 audiences, which missed out on the original two games.

Almost as a hint of foreshadowing, they included a hidden playable character – Indiana Jones. Setting fans wondering. Well, now it’s official. Lego Indiana Jones: The Video Game has been announced. It’s scheduled for release “Summer 2008,” which will conveniently coincide with the new Indiana Jones movie, scheduled release on May 22.

Right on it’s heels, scheduled for “Fall 2008,” is Lego Batman: The Video Game. To which I have to commend Lego. As a marketer, you’re always asking – how can I get more people to buy more of my product? For tobacco companies, the answer is target younger audiences with demo-approved messages. Lego seems to be answering this call by targeting not only younger crowds with Lego toys based on popular movies, but also by realizing that the average gamer is 33 years old, who incessantly quoted these movies and now have kids of their own. Twice the angle, yet just as topical.  They get the same people (as adults now) to buy more, while at the same time acquiring new demand from the younger audience, all without the risk of trying to enter a new market.

What a strategic partnership they have made with LucasArts, who never ceases to amaze the movie industry, no matter how many times they reuse a plot or drag out a saga.  Granted, there’s a risk in making the investment into new products based on old movies, but they really were able to leverage several timeless branded franchises in Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Batman.  Lego’s risk was minimal – since they were able re-purpose many “tried and true” molds for certain size bricks that already existed.

So … anyone expect Lego Jaws anytime soon?

Addendum – added 28-Jan-2008 :

Google Doodle - 50th Anniversary of the Lego brickSo, I open my browser to my Google portal page today and what do I see but a nifty Google Doogle praising Lego’s 50th Anniversary.  Congratulations Lego, 50 years and counting while continuing to improve

2 thoughts on “Lego Finds New Niche with Console Gaming”

  1. Definitely a creative approach that Lego has taken here. It would be interesting to know the history of the partnership. Who drove it? Regardless it is clearly a win/win and a great example of how marketers have having to think outside the “block” these days to get noticed!

  2. Well done, my man! A very interesting application of the product/market expansion grid, eh?! One would think you earned an A in marketing. As a matter of fact, you did, didn’t you?!

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