The LEGO Group have confirmed that Ben Saunders, polar explorer fresh from his expedition to the South Pole, has been named as the new ambassador for the new LEGO CITY Arctic campaign in 2014. As a self-confessed LEGO fan and one of the UK’s leading motivational speakers on polar exploration, Ben is the representative of the LEGO CITY Arctic engagement campaign due to his successful expedition retracing Captain Scott’s ill-fated Terra Nova route this February.
Ben will help bring to life LEGO CITY’s latest sub-theme, Arctic, through an integrated 360 degree campaign, involving LEGO ®, National Geographic Kids and other participating partners, such as Cartoon Network. The Arctic sub-theme will take CITY to the polar regions of the globe, where participants will engage with the natural wildlife, research the landscape and even hunt for ice crystals. The new range encourages children to explore natural environments as well as promoting personal growth and development through play.
A key facet of the LEGO CITY Arctic campaign is its call to arms for children to participate in its ‘Young Explorers’ Campaign in partnership with National Geographic Kids. The campaign features an exclusive competition hosted on LEGO.com, where children under the age of 16 can design a new piece of Arctic equipment that would help them to explore in the Polar Regions. The competition has a full 360 through the line marketing campaign, with the competition hub going live on both LEGO.com and NGKids.co.uk and promoted through print, digital, social, in-store as well as an on-air sponsorship deal with Cartoon Network.
On 22nd May 2014 the campaign will kick off with a PR launch at National Geographic’s flagship store in London. Following this LEGO will air a 30 second ad on Cartoon Network, Cartoon Network 2 and Boomerang channels, engaging kids and encouraging them to get on-line to find out more. To be in with a chance of winning, children are instructed to build or draw their entrees and submit on online via LEGO.com or by post to National Geographic Kids. All entrants will then be in with a chance of winning an all-expenses paid trip, provided by travel agent Activities Abroad, to Luosto Report in Lapland, Finland where the winner can experience their very own real-life Arctic adventure!
Using his personal experience as a polar explorer, Ben will be responsible for judging and selecting the winner and runners up of the Young Explorers Competition. He will also provide useful tips for children on how to become an explorer in an inspirational video hosted on the competition hubs and across social media.
In addition to the main campaign Ben will be participating in a LEGO sponsored research drive with 4sharedmedia to discover whether or not career decisions are influenced by playtime toy choices.
This move marks a key milestone for LEGO in the UK and will be supported with an extensive media relations drive, targeting mums with children who want their child to use their imagination for play and who also share a strong affinity with the long-standing LEGO CITY brand.
Ben Saunders commented: “I am honoured and excited to be named as the LEGO CITY Arctic ambassador for 2014. LEGO has played a huge part in my childhood and encouraged my own self exploration into other worlds, both real and imaginative. Being a part of their sponsored research into children’s play habits and how that influences their own careers is a great opportunity for me to speak to the families with children about how positive personal choices will affect their career choices in the future. I am over the moon in being asked to take part in this campaign!”
Harry Harrison, Brand Manager for LEGO CITY commented: “As LEGO CITY is currently the number one toy property in the UK* we are pleased to be able to offer children such a great competition of this scale, to engage them further in the world of play and imagination the product already provides. This is the most exciting collaborative marketing initiative I have been lucky enough to be involved in, bringing the multitude of LEGO media channels together with first class kids’ partners, to offer a fun, immersive experience across all touch points. I am also extremely honoured to have such an admirable ambassador on board to head it all up – I think Ben will be a real inspiration for both children and their parents alike.”
As the biggest property in the UK toy market*, LEGO CITY is the quintessential LEGO building experience, bringing everyday heroes and scenes to life. In 2014, LEGO CITY continues to deliver novelty and excitement to its loyal and growing fan base, extending its play universe into the polar regions, with the brand new Arctic theme.
The biggest item in the range is the Arctic Base Camp, which includes 4 Arctic explorers, pilot, scientist and a research assistant minifigures. The highly detailed research station features full laboratory, husky lead sled team, helicopter, tracked vehicle, snowmobile and even a polar bear to complete the Polar playtime experience! The Arctic range will be in all good toy stores from 1st June 2014.
LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks of the LEGO Group ©2014 The LEGO Group
*NPD market research, total market value (£), YTD Week 15 2014.
The LEGO Group is a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark. The company is still owned by the Kirk Kristiansen family who founded it in 1932.
The LEGO Group is engaged in the development of children’s creativity through playing and learning. Based on the world-famous LEGO® brick, the company today provides toys, experiences and teaching materials for children in more than 130 countries. The LEGO Group has approximately 10,000 employees, and it is the world’s third largest manufacturer of play materials.
LEGO products are sold in more than 130 countries worldwide.
For more information on Young Explorers competition please visit: www.LEGO.com/YoungExplorer from 22nd May
For more information on LEGO CITY please visit www.LEGO.com/CITY
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