The Lego Foundation, the Danish toymaker’s learning-through-play initiative, has dropped six children into a bare room containing just a table, a chair and a single roll of paper, to see what happens. It turns out “the most boring room ever” becomes anything but.
Created by Ketchum London as part of the Lego Foundation’s “Build a world of play” campaign, the results of the “social experiment” were filmed, designed to highlight the simplicity of the game.
The 80-second film opens with a shot of an ordinary room. The children come in, sit at the desk, look bored, before being given a roll of paper by an adult. Still disengaged, children slowly begin to play with the roller, until their creativity is unleashed.
They start tearing up the paper, using it to make masks, a superhero cape, a telescope, a ghost outfit, a bow tie, a robot costume, and a den under the table.
Quoting Lego’s Play Well study, the on-screen copy tells viewers that “84% of kids wish they had more playtime.”
He continues, “Play can come from anywhere and anything. It develops problem solving, creativity and teamwork. So return the #PlayPledge and earn money every week more playful. It will be fun. We promise. Build a world of play.”
The film, which was directed by Justin Hackney at Mad Cow Films, was created out of the realization that children’s free time is on the decline. The Lego Foundation seeks to “remind the world that playtime plays a crucial role in helping children develop skills such as confidence, collaboration and concentration”.
The global campaign will run across all social platforms, while Ketchum and its clients work with partners such as museums, galleries and cultural institutions in seven countries.
Once the video launched, the agency said it was collaborating with a “group of small, diverse parenting and family influencers in the UK and US to share content that inspires parents with ways to create playful moments in their daily routines”. The content will roll out over the next two months, leading up to Lego’s 90th birthday celebrations on August 10.
Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, Chief Executive of The Lego Foundation, said: “While we want to highlight the urgency of a lack of playtime for children, our aim is also to highlight how easily this can be solved. Learning and play can happen anywhere.
“We want to remind the world not only of the real value of the game, but also how easy it can be to create an environment that allows the game to flourish and key skills to develop, because sometimes we all lack inspiration.”
The artwork was created by Ketchum Executive Creative Director Indy Selvarajah, Creative Director Lipe Faria and Senior Designer Emily Gosen.
Selvarajah said, “It’s so easy to over-complicate the game and over-think about what it takes to get kids to be playful. So we thought, let’s put them in a really uninteresting space, with just one roll of paper and see what happens. And as you can see, they let their imaginations and creativity run wild.”