Billboards with LEGO figures in place of TV stars
The cast pictures that line Warner Bros. Studios get a makeover
February 9, 2017
Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif., is known for the billboards that line its walls, visible on Olive Avenue right outside.
The signs have pictures of the casts of the studio’s top shows, such as “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “2 Broke Girls” and “The Middle.”
This week, however, the real stars in each cast photo have been replaced by LEGO look-alikes.
Minifigures, or LEGO people, are posed in the exact same place, in the exact same manner as on the original billboards.
The furniture, the floor, everything in the background right down to the pets, are all LEGOs.
Did Warner Bros. Studios get taken over by 6-year-old LEGO fanatics?
Nope. It’s just one of many ways Warner Bros. is building buzz for “The LEGO Batman Movie,” which is being produced by the studios’ movie arm.
What began as an idea for a simple TV promotion eventually led to the creation of the billboards.
What’s being promoted
Warner Bros.’ “The LEGO Batman Movie.”
Why this stunt
In the movie, Warner Bros. took an already familiar character–Batman–and turned him into a LEGO figure. From there it decided to give the same treatment to its TV stars in promotions for their shows.
It started with on-air promotions for comic book characters such as CW’s “The Flash” and “Supergirl.” It then expanded the idea to “The Big Bang Theory.”
“We started to go back and forth between creating on-air pieces,'” recalls Lisa Gregorian, president and chief marketing officer at Warner Bros. Television Group.
That eventually led to the billboard idea.
The campaign launched Monday. It will run for two or three weeks.
How it works
The shows featured are “2 Broke Girls,” “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Big Bang Theory,” “Supergirl,” “Gotham,” “Ellen,” “The Middle” and “Mom.”
The studio’s in-house creative services group used more than 10,000 LEGO bricks to create scenes that exactly mimicked the billboards with the casts.
The creation process took more than 300 hours.
Warner Bros. then took photos of each creation and turned them into billboards.
The billboards took 70 hours to install and used more than 1,000 feet of aircraft cable and more than 4,000 feet of electrical wire to secure them in place.
Why it works
It’s a sly campaign, without stating exactly what the promotion is for.
That’s smart. It forces people who see the billboards to actively figure out what’s going on and make the connection to “Batman.”
The billboards will be exposed to thousands of sets of eyeballs. Olive Avenue is one of the busiest streets in Burbank.
How it was received
The campaign rolled out on Monday and has already been covered by a host of online publications. Also, a “Big Bang Theory” episode featuring the LEGO figures in a promotion airing at the beginning drew more than 10,000 views in its first 24 hours on YouTube.
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