Brick Bowl – Riffing on the Super Bowl Advertising Phenomenon


The Super Bowl is a larger-than-life event in every conceivable way. With huge audiences across the world – and events within the event such as the half-time show – it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the advertising revenue the Super Bowl generates is huge.

Much like Christmas, the adverts have become one of the most anticipated parts of the Super Bowl – a self-contained marketing event that has its own hype and that spawns extensive social media engagement.

It’s off the back of this kind of buzz that A+C Studios have created Brick Bowl, a unique and exciting play on the Super Bowl marketing extravaganza.

Get Brick Bowl-ed

What’s Going On?

Starting from February the 1st, when the team saw the Super Bowl ads, A+C Studios started working on a Lego stop motion animation – aiming to recreate and form a story out of the best Super Bowl ads.

After a two day Lego stop motion boot camp on Saturday and Sunday, the team went into a 36 hour brick animating frenzy. Before the event, the team knew very little about the Super Bowl ads – many of them are kept tightly under wraps. Once the game finished at 3am UK time however, the team had just 36 hours to produce their video.

Bricking it

The Brick Bowl animation challenge taps into the Super Bowl advertising phenomenon, as well as the rising popularity of ‘brick films’ – using stop motion animation and Lego to create videos that have become social media gold dust.

Videos like Lego Shopping, which has clocked over 35 million views, and The Fastest and Funniest LEGO Star Wars story ever told, which has over 10 million views, (both have made the rounds on social media) show the potential for brick films to hit huge audiences.

Once you combine that appeal with the fever-pitch excitement that surrounds the Super Bowl ads you have a recipe for a potential social media hit.

Building Blocks

The Lego Movie ‘Oscar Snub’ - Summing up Lego’s potential social media reach with 34k+ Retweets to go with a whole bucket-load of outrage. ‘Not awesome’ was the consensus.
The Lego Movie ‘Oscar Snub’ – Summing up Lego’s potential social media reach with 34k+ Retweets to go with a whole bucket-load of outrage.

‘Not awesome’ was the consensus.

So what is it about Lego stop motion that makes for social media success?

Firstly, there’s the impressiveness of the feat itself. You don’t have to know much about animation to know that bringing Lego figures to life – particularly with convincing or charming flare – is no easy task.

Secondly, Lego taps into fond memories of childhood. For me, Lego was one of the cornerstones of my younger life and will always be something I associate with my formative years. Across the ‘millennial’ generation and their parents, I think it’s safe to say everyone will have interacted with Lego in some way.

Even if that isn’t physically playing with Lego, as it was in my case, then there are also the Lego video games (Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman, Lego Marvel… the list goes on) and of course the colossal success of the Lego Movie.

Nostalgia is Awesome

Why does this matter for marketers – and why does it influence the potential social media reach of Brick Bowl and other brick films?

It’s been long observed that nostalgia, and harking back to the viewer’s childhood, is one way to drive engagement and tempt people to share content. In fact, it’s one of the cornerstones of virality – the science of viral marketing.

By reminding the viewer of their childhood, or perhaps of their children’s upbringing, a piece of content can tap into those good memories and evoke a feeling of contentment or comfort. It’s this emotional connection that encourages users to share the content.

By combining this sense of artistry with the warmth of nostalgia, brick films give themselves every opportunity to go viral.

Guaranteed Success?

Social media is a fickle beast – a video going viral is often an unpredictable event, and one that no-one has succeeded in manufacturing on a regular basis. However, by combining the huge ad-hype of the Super Bowl with the artistic and nostalgic appeal of brick films, A+C Studios have given their latest video the best possible chance of being a massive hit.

Everyone at Coast is having a blast with the video – and it’s certainly hitting my Lego nostalgia button. It’s already been covered by Wired and CNET so the future is looking bright for Brick Bowl.

I for one am expecting to see it all over Facebook and Twitter over the next few weeks. A+C Studios can be confident in the knowledge that I’ll be hitting share, and I’m sure I won’t be the only one.

More on this subject