The CMO Show:
Angie Tutt on LEGO marketing...

Angie Tutt, Senior Director, Head of Marketing at LEGO Australia, sits down with host Mark Jones to discuss the key to finding creative inspiration.

It might just be the ultimate dilemma of the marketing and comms world: How do you constantly find sources of inspiration when creative thinking is expected of you day in and day out?

According to Angie Tutt, Senior Director Head of Marketing at LEGO Australia, inspiration can be found through understanding your product and each customer’s personal experience of your product.

With more than a decade of experience marketing LEGO’s famous plastic bricks in the UK and Australia, Angie is passionate about sharing the power of ‘play’ around the world by tapping into our sense of child-like wonder and imagination. 

“You have to make sure that data and business and understanding of your business and sales is front and centre. You cannot avoid that. If you don’t know your business, you can’t move forward. But you also have to understand that your skills and needs are changing. Almost anyone now can replicate a product. What they can’t replicate is your culture and the people you work with. And your creative thinking and your ideation,” says Angie.

As the meaning of ‘play’ changes from physical to digital, LEGO’s solution to this challenge came in the form of their first global campaign in 30 years: ‘Rebuild the World,’ an augmented reality that brings bricks to life. 

As a global brand aiming to nurture the skill of creativity, the opportunity to make an international campaign relevant to the local market often arises. Angie says, in these instances, to find success you must listen to your customers.  

“For me it’s about what that product or what the insight behind what that product usually stands for and then how you relate that to your audience,” she says.

“You have to go back to that audience, those customers that you have. This is where they tell you what they love about your product and what they like about your product. We do a lot of research, globally, regionally, locally. We speak to a lot of children around the world. And we find play patterns that are similar and play patterns that are different. That’s how we can speak to our audience.”

Check out this episode of The CMO Show to find out how LEGO Australia continues to make their ideas stand out through the power of creativity.

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The CMO Show production team

Producer – Charlotte Goodwin & Natalie Cupac

Audio Engineers – Daniel Marr & Tom Henderson

Got an idea for an upcoming episode or want to be a guest on The CMO Show? We’d love to hear from you: cmoshow@filteredmedia.com.au.

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Transcript

Host: Mark Jones

Guest: Angie Tutt

Mark Jones: The 2019 Cannes Lions Global Creativity Report characterised creativity as a combination of community, curiosity and potential. In the marketing and comms world, creativity is a prized skill that we must exercise day in and day out. So, where should we – as marketers – look to find the inspiration we need to dream up these big ideas?

Mark Jones: Welcome back to The CMO Show, Mark Jones here bringing you the last episode of our podcast for 2019. We have had a spectacular season of really fantastic conversations with a host of marketing leaders and brand storytellers from a diverse range of organisations here in Australia and overseas. And I’ve really enjoyed each interview and I hope you have too.

We’re going out with a bang in this special episode of the show, we recorded it live here at Filtered Media for our biannual event, The CMO Show LIVE. I sat down with Angie Tutt, she’s the Head of Marketing at LEGO Australia to talk all things marketing and her favourite LEGO campaigns. And we also talked about how to find creative inspiration to make a positive impact through play. So sit back and enjoy my interview with Angie Tutt.

Mark Jones: I’d like to introduce Angie Tutt, who is the head of Marketing at Lego Australia. Would you please welcome her to the show.

Angie Tutt: Hi. Thank you.

Mark Jones: Now, let’s just go back to the beginning. For you personally, you’ve been working at Lego for quite some time. How did this begin?

Angie Tutt: So, I’ve been working with Lego for ten years. I recently came to Australia with Lego two years ago, but before that I was in the UK. Wow, where did my journey start? I must admit, I had some fantastic people just from networking that actually gave me the opportunity. I do feel like my story started a little bit before that because to be successful at Lego with creativity, communication is key, storytelling is key. In fact, I actually take my beginning all the way back to working in bars and being able to just learn to meet people and communicate with people. I guess you could say my journey started a long time ago.

Mark Jones: You need to be creative in bars? I guess you do wouldn’t you?

Angie Tutt: You have to be open to be creative I guess. It’s just about a matter of talking to people and learning about people. Special people that come every week or almost every day sometimes. You’ve got to get to know them and who they are and what they like and their personalities and then talk to them through that. So it’s more than just the serving. It’s the communication. It’s the relationships. I think that’s where it all starts really. 

Mark Jones: When I was growing up I actually had a newspaper round in Lane Cove West, not far from where we’re here in Chatswood. That was the Lego building down there. It was a bit of a “aahhh”, you know? I found the holy grail type thing. It was a giant mystery to me.

Mark Jones: So what was it like from you kind of, was it a sense of mystery and what am I getting myself into? Or more just like bring it on, I’ve got a job?

Angie Tutt: A little bit of both. I guess, outside looking in. I grew up with Lego. I was one of those lucky kids that actually had Lego. I do remember, everyone has a story. Because I work at Lego every time I meet someone, I hear about a Lego story. And I remember playing with this house. It had an orange roof. It had white bricks. It had a letter box. It had a letter. It had flowers. And I remember building and rebuilding and rebuilding. The thing I remember the most is the elation and this sense of achievement that I had every time I built it. And I remember building without instructions and I remember having to remember it. That was really positive for me when I was a child. I think that’s really the opinion I had of the Lego brand itself before I came in.

Angie Tutt: Now, I went into the company a lot older than that. I won’t say how old. But, I guess that’s the one thing you remember. And then as you get into the company and you start learning about the people that work there and the vision and the values that the brand has, you realise that it’s not just talk, it’s a reality. This company that I work for and the people that I work for, we have a vision. We truly believe that we’re bringing play to children around the world. We want to make that happen every day. And the values are all about creativity, imagination, fun, learning. 

Angie Tutt: And I think that’s the great thing about being in the company now. What you saw outside is technically the same as what you see inside and that’s a beautiful thing.

Mark Jones: For me, I think a real turning point was 2014. 

Angie Tutt: The movie?

Mark Jones: The movie right. If you read any of the case studies, if you look at all that’s been written about the Lego story, I think this was a pivotal moment. Just describe what it was like for you before the Lego Movie and then after the Lego Movie. What was it like inside Lego?

Angie Tutt: For me?

Angie Tutt: Very similar.

Mark Jones: Oh! That wasn’t the answer I wanted.

Angie Tutt: I know, probably not.

Mark Jones: I wanted night and day.

Angie Tutt: Well look, you know the Lego Movie, I guess for at least, how old is Star Wars now? 22 years. For at least 22 years we’ve been involved in different licences. Star Wars was the first. Darth Vader was the first. But I guess the Lego Movie was a chance to tell our own story as opposed to linking into other stories. But we did do that, or we do that with other brands as well. So Lego City has a story, Lego Friends has a story. But I guess the movie allowed us to tell it to a much broader audience. Therefore, brought it back a little bit to everyday. So people who probably hadn’t played with Lego or had Lego in the attic but didn’t remember it for a while, it was just a reminder of the creativity and the imagination that Lego brings. I think that was the excitement.

Angie Tutt: And of course, the humour. There’s a lot of humour in Lego. That’s something that we really wanted to bring out in the play value of Lego. So for me, I always saw that beforehand. That was always in the themes, but I think, as I said, the movie was a storyteller enabler even more so to get a really broad audience. And we had a lot of different people working, obviously, globally. And of course, Warner Brothers helped us tell that story, too.

Mark Jones: Yes.

Angie Tutt: And they’re good storytellers.

Mark Jones: I can’t think of too many brands that have actually produced a movie with that level of success and actually achieved that kind of cut through to the extent that we almost looked past the fact that it was from a toy company right? But the other thing is that it brought together two previously distinct audiences. The adults, who buy the products and the kids who demand the products be bought. The message was this is for everyone. To me that actually is a big shift. How did that change the way you thought about marketing the product in the years to come? Because suddenly now you had this much broader audience?

Angie Tutt: I guess that happens over time as well. There’s a lot of brands and companies right now that are working on the nostalgia point of view. A lot of games that we all played, that I played when I was growing up are now front and centre again. I guess, in that sense it was a beautiful thing for the movie.

Angie Tutt: That nostalgia point for Lego has always been there in a way because we always remember the positive behind, again back to the point that I was saying before is that elation, that feeling of pride when you build something. I guess with adults we are just starting to broadly speak to everyday people, we have a lot fans out there who are adults who have been with us for the long haul. Adult fans of Lego. They know how our brand is talked about. They know how to build it. The Lego Masters TV series that I’m sure you’ve seen, that just explains some of the adults out there. Again, it’s more about us telling everybody as opposed to a certain amount of people out there. The brand itself is talking to more adults. But that’s because we’re growing and we’re broadening our audience. And looking forward actually, that’s something really important to us. We know that Lego is a brick. It’s for everyone and that’s the inclusive story that we want to tell going forward. It doesn’t matter who you are, big or small, young or old. 

Mark Jones: Yeah, exactly right. If you look at the sheer scale of the products available now. You’ve mentioned these different universes. The Lego universe, the Star Wars universe, the City universes, the technics that I grew up with. You have this product. It’s a very, very diverse set of products. How do you tackle that from a marketing perspective? 

Angie Tutt: Look, I mean the first port of call is to say that the reason why there’s so many themes out there is because everybody has a lot of different interests. Nobody is the same. So, for us to be inclusive of young and old, big or small, is to offer something out there that’s different. There’s a broad range of products that you can choose. Now, technically we do only speak about a few of those. We speak about the big ticket items. But really, what we try and concentrate on is offering different types of  stories or play patterns or play builds I guess you could say across the range. For girls, for boys, for adults, etc.

Angie Tutt: Technic is for those people or kids who have grown up with Lego, they know how to build Lego. They want something a little bit tougher. They want a challenge. It is not easy, I’ve been in Lego for ten years and I still cannot play it properly.

Angie Tutt: It’s also about realistic. So you build a car and you watch the pistons roll and you can change gears and all sorts. That does spur the more challenging type of play. Then we’ve got Lego City or Lego Friends, very similar. And they’re more about the everyday. What you see in your house, what you see outside. You can go go-kart racing, you can play football, you can play cooking in the kitchen. And that’s more of a realistic type play pattern. That’s technically maybe for the younger kids who emulate what they see every day. The whole point about all of these themes is trying to make sure we have breadth of play. The idea is really to prioritise a few different key play patterns. Things that we think will relate broadly to an audience. Then prioritise those and hopefully the halo impact will come and get people to shelf and the shelf is where you see the majority.

Mark Jones: From the marketing teams perspective, does that mean you just need lots of people. People who are really focused on those particular areas? How do you structure your resources? We’re getting technical.

Angie Tutt: I mean we have people who are expert in digital. We have people who are expert in trade. We have people who are expert in brand. We have people who are expert in PR. And then there’s me, who just helps them all I think. I guess they all work together. And again, going back to Lego, the thing I love about working for this company, is that it is a very transparent company. The culture within the company is very open. Yes, we have people who work in different fields, but we all work together. 

Angie Tutt: It is a very open team and I think that’s beautiful. And that, I think that’s my role is to make sure that culture and that inclusivity and transparency across the team works. You don’t need too many people. But you need to make sure that priorities are strong, you’re all working towards the same goal and you’re all able to speak to each other and talk to each other openly.

Mark Jones: So, when you’re doing your planning sessions or perhaps you’re coming up with some creative ideas, is it compulsory to have Lego on the table?

Angie Tutt: Absolutely!

Mark Jones: Just had to get that out of the way.

Angie Tutt: 100%.

Mark Jones: On the subject of creativity though it strikes me that one of the most challenging things about creativity, even though I believe every single person is fundamentally creative, when you’re required to be constantly creative, the question of sustainability comes up. So, what’s your thoughts on that?

Angie Tutt: I love that question. And I must admit, I would love people to think about that more in they can in every day. In my world, there’s several different areas that we can get creative from. The first one I would say though is the audience that we speak to. Every day if I see children running around or speaking to their parents or maybe in a Lego section or maybe on the playground. I do watch them and I listen and I just learn about what they love and what they like doing. Particularly when they’re happy and laughing. 

Angie Tutt: You do learn a lot from them. I can’t stress enough in my world how much I want my team and the people that I work with to understand who they’re talking to. And kids are very different today than they were ten years ago so that’s one part.

Mark Jones: It’s the idea that your customers will tell you. So in business marketing speak. The market will help you understand exactly what it wants. Don’t ignore that right?

Angie Tutt: Don’t ignore that.

Mark Jones: As a source of creativity.

Angie Tutt: Use your knowledge and your expertise, but you know, your audience and the market does change. It’s changing even more rapidly every day. Learn from that. I mean, some simple things for example, almost every team meeting that I have right now, just to be a little bit more creative and think differently.  We’ll take an object and for three minutes we’ll just call out, anyone in the team, what else that object could be. The more creative you are the better.

Angie Tutt: For example, that chair there could be a spaceship launcher. Or it could be something to sit on. Or it could be a cat’s house. Or it could be a thunder maker when you shuffle it, right. So it’s something weird and different, but they’ll just take those little opportunities to try and think a little bit differently.

Angie Tutt: But there’s other ways. Networking. Get out and talk to other people. Not everything is relevant to you. But just learning about different things, how people talk. People asking you questions. There’s so many different ways that you can think a little bit differently. Being creative is hard, it can be. But think of it in a way, instead of trying to be creative, try to think a little bit differently. And maybe that’s just a bit of an easy way to do it. 

Mark Jones: It’s interesting, too because there’s a macro trend or narrative if you like that. Creativity has actually become one of the most important things as marketers we really need to get our heads around. The reason being, how else can you be different? How can your message cut through? How can you tell a story that unique and all those sorts of things? We’ve had a backdrop of data, of being kind of rational minded and really having to know the statistics and the insights and so on. Do you have any advice, tips or insights for how your preserve space for creativity? Is there something that we should be thinking about as marketers and communications people that actually helps us preserve what I think is one of the essential elements of our profession?

Angie Tutt: Yeah, I guess the first part there is you need to want to do it. One of my favourite sayings at the moment is by a gentleman called Alvin Toffler. He says “the skills of the 21st century aren’t those of maths and science. It’s those who can learn, unlearn and relearn”. I may have got a couple of words out there, but the technical advice there is, skills are changing. So yes, you have to make sure that data and business and understanding of your business and sales is front and centre. You cannot avoid that. That is, if you don’t know your business, you can’t move forward. But you also have to understand that your skills and needs are changing. Almost anyone now can replicate a product. It doesn’t matter where you are. They can replicate bricks. There’s plenty of bricks out there. What they can’t replicate is your culture and the people you work with. And what they can’t replicate is your creative thinking and your ideation.

Angie Tutt: Yes, probably 90-95% of my day is business, absolutely. But, I make sure whether I’m in Lego or not, I make sure that the people I talk to and the people I work with take 3%-5% of their time, even if it’s ten minutes after work somewhere to try and look a little bit differently outside of their work day and be creative. But again, I love the word creativity and imagination. That is our bread and butter at Lego, but if you think you’re not creative don’t think of it that way. Think about just learning a little bit outside of your square. How other people think. What other people see. What your audience thinks and feels.

Mark Jones: If I can go back to another interesting part of the Lego story? There was a period of time where things were not great. And the business wasn’t doing well. Was this the 80s or 90s? 

Angie Tutt: Early 2000s I think.

Mark Jones: Okay, not that long ago.

Angie Tutt: Not that long ago.

Mark Jones: What’s interesting about this story is, Lego went out to its customers and said you tell us what you want. And you started inviting the community to build and one of the powerful things about this was if your product idea was deemed good enough, it would go into production and you’d get a cut. Which I think was kind of genius. What is community management look like to you? And in the context of creativity, people have really crazy left field ideas. So how do you foster community on the one level but then also work with it? Because you’re also stewards of a brand.

Angie Tutt: There’s two parts to that. The first part is going out and speaking to the community. But this specific question, as I understand it, was more about what do you love about the brick? What do you love about Lego and the play behind it? I guess what that helped us realise, was that there was still power in the brick because at that time, digital was just coming into the fore. We really didn’t understand how far digital would come, but we knew it was growing rapidly. There’s a lot of noise outside to say “the brick is gone”, “different play patters are coming out, brick is obsolete”. And actually what we realised is that’s completely not true, particularly when it comes to the imagination and playing on your own and building whatever you like. 

Angie Tutt: That’s what we grabbed onto because it very much linked into the values that we have at Lego. Going back to the second story, how do we foster the community? I think we just see the benefit to it right? I spoke about these adult fans before. There’s great things about these guys. They love our brand. They teach us about our brands right? As you said, you can only do so much in a day. There’s only a certain amount of people in your team. These guys do it for fun. They build, they have communities of their own. 

Angie Tutt: Now, again, I can’t do what they do. There’s no way. I’ve worked with Lego for ten years and I love the brand and I love playing with the bricks, but they are very creative and they do think differently, of course. I think you still have to find something that they’re doing that fits into your world. What I try and do is, yes, there’s a community of adults out there, but my world is still children. 90-95% of my business is still children. And we always will be. Yes, we’re speaking to adults more, but children are front and centre. Again, because we’re trying to bring play to children. That is our mandate. That is our vision. But these adults help us think differently. If they come up with an idea or a visual or a small piece of content that helps us tell a bit of a different story in the right way, then we can use that as well. I think it’s learning from them more than anything. Which is really nice.

Mark Jones: Let’s talk about work that you’ve done that you’re excited about or something you’re proud of. Can you tell us about a campaign or something that’s been a particular highlight and what you’ve learned?

Angie Tutt: You know I get asked this question a lot. There’s so many different answers to it. There’s some great things that have been launched. There’s a recent one, we’re calling it “Rebuild the World”. You may have seen it over the last few months. The idea behind that is just to take something and make it a little bit different. So for example, you can build a dragon from instructions, but the moment you take the wings and you make them blue or you give it a hat or maybe you get a dog and you call it Rex and he has a house right? You’ve taken the dragon that everybody else has, but you’ve made it your own. And you’ve twisted it slightly. You’ve changed that story a little bit. That’s how children think. They make it their own. You love it even more because, again, you go back to that sense of pride and achievement. 

Angie Tutt: The insight behind this Rebuild the Campaign is beautiful. Now, it’s actually going to become a platform for us. We’re going to see it over the next few years. That insight behind that is great.

Mark Jones: When you say platform, what do you mean by that?

Angie Tutt: That Rebuild the World idea, the theme that you can take something and twist it and make it your own. 

Angie Tutt: But when you say what my proudest achievements are, I guess there are so many themes from my role and my perspective, I’m going to challenge that, step outside the Lego box and say actually it’s the people I work with and the teams that I work with. I’m so proud of what they achieve. Because it’s not just me. We all work together. There’s great themes, there’s great people who work still in Denmark who come up with these ideas. I think the biggest sense of pride in my career have been helping people achieve their sense of purpose or change something a little bit differently. 

Mark Jones: I know there are a number of people here who work in multinationals and one of the curious aspects of working in a multinational is how does that work from a localisation perspective? So Denmark has a crazy idea. Fabulous, creative idea. How do you make that relevant in the local market?

Angie Tutt: Okay so my point of view here is fairly simple in that sense. Yes, you have a play pattern or you have a theme. Again, let’s take Lego Friends, for example. Instead of saying does Lego Friends fit into my audience, go back to what it stands for. Go back to that insight behind Lego Friends. So the insight behind that is that when kids play with toys, they want to shrink down and they want to be in that world. So if you think of a big house, if you shrink down into that toy house, you can see the apples, you can see the artwork. You can see and visualise the detail. Therefore, knowing that behind the product on both Lego City and Lego Friends, I can say well do kids in my world do that? Yes, they do. Yes, they absolutely do.

Angie Tutt: That definitely fits into my audience. Then you need to find a way to take that message and bring it to my local audience. For me it’s more about what that product or what the insight behind why that product usually stands for and then how you relate that to your audience.

Mark Jones: That’s a creative skill I think to be able to understand an insight behind a product. Any tips for how you would do that? Is this kind of an intuitive thing? How do you think about the philosophical insight behind a product?

Angie Tutt: You have to go back to that beautiful audience that you have, those customers that you have. Again, this is where they tell you what they love about your product and what they like about your product. So again, relating to my world, we do a lot of research, globally, regionally, locally. We speak to a lot of children around the world. And we find play patterns that are similar and play patterns that are different. That’s how we can speak to our audience.

Angie Tutt: You’re right, the insight sometimes is not understandable or not known, but then again I would say why are you bringing out a product or a service. There is definitely something there. Find out what you stand for. Not only your values, but what does the product mean to people?

Mark Jones: How do you understand impact? How do you define it? What does it look like for Lego?

Angie Tutt: I actually think I’m quite lucky in that the business really understands the power of the brand and marketing. There’s a lot of businesses out there, if I’m really honest, who don’t. That’s one thing. I think that’s a lot easier in my world to help deliver the impact. Because as you say, the impact that we have, of there’s sales and ROI, but there’s more to it than that. You need to balance short term return with longer term impact. And longer term impact is brand building in my eyes. Where shorter term impact could be promotions, for example. That’s just two examples. You need to balance the two. Again, I think in my world, you look at sales, you look at ROI, you look at how many kids are playing with your brand or playing with your product at one time. 

Angie Tutt: We look at how many kids are in our play pattern every day. What they’re saying about our brand. The social sentiment is very important to us. It’s part of our KPIs. Honestly, the amount of stock that’s out in the retailer, that’s also important to us. Can we get our product out to people that would like it? Is it the right stock? It’s not just about sales. Of course, as I say, every business, you need to make sales to make it important or from one step or another. But it’s only part of that message.

Angie Tutt: The answer is balancing them as much as you can, depending on what’s right for your business. Look at all different KPIs to help you form a longer term impact.

Mark Jones: It’s interesting to reflect on that question to say, impact to some extent is happy kids.

Mark Jones: I’m interested to talk about storytelling for a minute. We’ve actually been talking about insights and creativity and I think about this in three stages. So first you have a narrative.  A narrative actually could be this is how children personalise a product you’re speaking about. The story might be a movie or TV or some form of long form expression of that, that unpacks it. And then we take action as consumers usually in response. I’ll buy the product or I’ll watch again if it’s content and so on. How do you work through that model?  What’s the best way to take an insight and turn it into a fully fledged story?

Angie Tutt: I guess first of all understanding the audience and understanding what the product or the brand stands for is key. The storytelling in my world does come from different areas. I mean, we are part of global team obviously. There’s parts of the story that we have there. We just need to make sure that we take that story and tell it as broadly as we can, to the audience in the right way.

Angie Tutt: I guess taking the insight, how kids play and how we’re telling the story, making sure they match. And then making sure that story is a simplified story as much as possible throughout every single touch point. I guess that’s actually what we’ve learned over the last twenty years as well with Lego is making sure that our story is a little bit more simplified and looks the same across all of the different areas.

Angie Tutt: When it comes to purchasing, you know that that relates to the story I’ve seen or that relates to the type of play that I would like to do in a kid’s world. It’s a great question because it’s not easy right? Again, I’ll take another theme, and if you know the Lego world you can probably think of this one. There’s one called Lego Ninjago.  There’s five ninjas. And they all stand for something different.

Angie Tutt: Now, that’s a very complicated story, they all have different powers and they all go to school and they all have different colours and they all have different dragons. So technically you could go off on a tangent and talk about that. But ultimately, just choose one of those aspects and concentrate on that in the story. In our case, it’s probably more about the powers, that’s what kids love. I’d love to have a bit of fire power or I’d love to have a bit of ice power right? I believe that’s the part that we concentrate on and take that a little bit more red thread. So you’ll see, when you go into in store, you’ll see a red ninja with a fire spinjitzu power right next to him mostly in the POS in store. So you’ve got that red thread. You’ve got to take one of those things and make it simplified.

Angie Tutt: You do need to connect the story. If my play pattern looks different to my content or story which looks different to my in store and my purchasing area, then it gets a bit confusing and mums don’t necessarily know what I’m buying.

Mark Jones: In terms of a great lesson in the power of content, you’ve taken an insight, an idea which is kids love the power, the mystical kind of force that helps me do whatever I’m going to do to save the world. And then there’s actually Ninjago series.

Mark Jones: The thing about stories, that you get lost in it. The connection is how do I captivate my audience with an idea? How do I give it shape and form and texture and emotion? And effectively hook them in which is what all good producers try to do with the binge-watching generation that we live in right? If you try and transpose that into the business to business world where a lot of us also operate, it’s interesting to think about it in different abstractions. I think of user conferences, where we tell stories of customers, how they’ve taken their business from A to B, or challenges they’ve overcome. How would you capture that essence of getting lost in an exciting story?

Angie Tutt: I actually often think of my world sometimes. If I was a startup company, how would I start from scratch? How would I do this?  I always go back to what might seem cliché to some, but that’s the values that my company has, or the brand has. We still relate that back to Lego. Whether that be me speaking to the team or me speaking to the leadership team or me speaking to the retailer. That value has to come through and my belief in my company or my theme or my product or my service.

Angie Tutt: I guess, forget about the toy, forget about that for a second. My brand stands for quality, value, creativity and fun, as some of the things. Therefore, every piece of communication, wherever I am, needs to somehow, if I can, have that. And even now, there’s a lot of green marketing coming out. Marketing about the environment and making sure you’re part of a positive story with the environment.  That’s definitely about what you stand for as a brand or as a company or as a service. And that’s super important. That’s how people out there relate to you in your business, because they can see that your values match theirs. 

Mark Jones: There’s an anti-plastic world out there. Turns out plastic is quite important to the Lego product.

Angie Tutt: I can tell you the entire company of 18 thousand people are looking at this discussion topic. There’s several things we’re doing. There is a big activity going on across the globe, we’re looking at different ways of taking our packaging, making it more environmentally friendly. That’s coming over the next 5-10 years.

Angie Tutt: And actually, I’m not sure if many people know this, but 7 or 8 years ago, the family who still own the company, they son came to his dad i and said “all right, in 7-8 years time I don’t want plastic to be a bad part of our company. I want our company to be good, environmentally friendly. How do we do that?” Now, nothing existed at the time, so the company itself has had to take some time out and rethink how it looks at the oil-based plastic that it used to use. Now, one of the things we’re doing is taking it from a more renewable energy source and we’re bringing that into fore. So it’s all plant-based.

Angie Tutt: We have a promise to ourselves and we call it a planet promise. But it still has to have the same quality and the stickiness per brick so that’s not an easy task. But then the other thing I would say, in my world, is this is again where Lego Masters has come help, maybe the Lego Movie a little bit as well that you mentioned, is I don’t want you to just put those bricks into storage or throw them away. When you buy them, replay them. Play them differently. Hand them generation to generation. 

Angie Tutt: It’s a huge message for us. It’s a huge underlying promise that we have to the planet and to ourselves in the company. And I promise you there’s more to come in that.

Angie Tutt:         You can get five of the same service, but it’s more about what you stand for, how you emulate yourselves, your team, your communication out to the world. That’s what different and that’s what’s unique.

Mark Jones: What you’ve done there is connect story with a brand proposition.

Angie Tutt: Thank you!

Mark Jones: Yeah, we’re done there. Not easy though. Also a creative process. How do you think about that differently to others perhaps? The reason I ask is a lot of brands I’ve worked with recently find themselves being 20, 30, 40 year old brand and still really not sure who they are. Which is quite astonishing when you think about it. Do we actually have to go back to first principles to say, again, in a marketing context, what’s your proposition?

Angie Tutt: I think to a point you do. It also depends how well your business is going you know. If your business is going guns and you’re not sure about your proposition, probably okay. But I guess the day that you get to a bit of an exponential, I don’t know, cutoff, you have to start thinking again, what do you stand for? What do you mean to people? What do you offer to people that is your strength? Not necessarily a difference, but your strength. 

Angie Tutt: I still say, go back to your basics if you’re not quite sure and try and think about what you stand for. Then tweak that as you go. But you’re right, it’s definitely not easy. But that’s something that we work on every day.

Mark Jones: What are you challenged by or if you feel like most aware of looking ahead? Are there any dark clouds on the horizon? 

Angie Tutt: Play is changing. I think that’s the big thing for us. Play with kids, with adults is changing rapidly. This whole digital expansion that we talk about There are more 4 year olds out there who know how to use an iPad better than I do, absolutely. I think that’s a huge watch out for us. That’s not to say, again, we’re going to move away from the brick itself, because we know that with something as simple as a brick, putting two, three, four bricks together, you can create anything you want using your imagination, We’ll always have that, but we still have to find ways to bring that digital sphere where kids are front and centre into our everyday life. 

Angie Tutt: That might be through content or that might be from a global perspective when they’re looking at the different products. Maybe bringing physical and digital together in some way, shape, or form. So right now, we have a new theme out called Lego Hidden Side. The whole idea there is still building with the brick, but then you can use an app and see a world behind the bricks. So there’s ghosts and goblins. Now, what that app does is get you back into the bricks. You turn a brick, there’s a new colour and that colour will then be notified on your phone and bring you a different ghost or goblin.

Angie Tutt: But the idea is not to just take you away from the brick. The idea is for the digital world to make you want to play more in the physical brick. That’s where we believe we’ve got a bit of a difference. So as I said, we’ll never go away from the brick. We truly believe that is our bread and butter. That’s what we stand for and that’s what helps kids play. But, we do have to change. We do have to speak to different audiences. I truly believe there’s a lot more opportunity to speak to a lot more people.

Angie Tutt:         As long as we’ve got one message talking to that customer or that consumer at one time, that’s fine. But there’s several different types of consumers out there. So that’s why you see a few different messages, because we’re trying to speak to different people. 

Mark Jones: It’s no secret that I’m passionate about the power of storytelling, and I found it really encouraging to hear from a local marketing leader like Angie Tutt from one of the most recognisable toy brands in the world and to hear how personal stories can evoke emotion is quite clearly one of the keys to their success and something I’ve been reflecting on since.

Mark Jones: I also like that Angie makes this great point about the power of child-like wonder and imagination in LEGO Australia’s campaigns. She spoke about how the art of storytelling can be used to connect with audiences of all ages and how every individual has a unique experience with LEGO’s famous plastic bricks.

Mark Jones: I liked that because in marketing and comms we are all constantly juggling equally important priorities, but – at the end of the day – a successful creative campaign hinges on crafting a personal and authentic customer experience. 

Mark Jones: So that’s it from us at The CMO Show this year, I hope you’ve enjoyed our 2019 season! We love hearing from you so please follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and subscribe to us on your favourite podcast app. Just before I sign-off a quick thanks to all of the team here at Filtered Media, they’ve done a fantastic job it’s just so good to work with a team of professionals I know I’m blowing my company’s horn here but they’re really good and they’ve really made the show sing this year so a big shout out to my team. And to you I do wish you all the best for the end of year festivities and we look forward to seeing you in 2020.


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