The VacuSort, Minifigures gaining legal population status, LEGO Glasses, set delivery via turtle – over the years we’ve seen a wide array of LEGO April Fools’ Day jokes. Whether you love them or hate them, you might have wondered, who comes up with this stuff?
The short answer is the LEGO Social Media team. I had a chance to discuss it further with Matt Guenigault, who works on Global Content Development and Engagement for the social team.
“We try and plan them at least a couple of months out, so we have time to get some really good ideas,” said Matt. This normally starts with a brainstorm session with the Social Media team, where everyone is invited to throw their ideas in.
“In my view there’s three different things to consider,” Matt explains, referring to the process of creating an April Fools’ Day post. “It could solve a 1st world problem – something people take too seriously; it could be potentially solving a LEGO problem, something we could enhance; or taking an existing LEGO experience and massively expand it – something relatable but blowing it up to be silly and fun.”
The 2018 VacuSort, which Matt worked on last year, was solving a LEGO program and having fun with the building experience. Here was an easy way to sort and clean up your bricks! The 2016 announcement, that legal population status had been given to LEGO Minifigures, could fit under massively expanding an existing LEGO experience – having tens of thousands (mllions even?) of LEGO Minifigures which now could be counted as part of the global population.
“We have to be quite careful in the wording to not over promise – it can’t look too real,” explains Matt. “We try to find a compromise – no release date for example. We keep it vague – not necessarily linking anywhere. It’s a fine balance.”
Though they do update Customer Service and our Cooperate Communications team in the event a customer or a media agency reaches out thinking a promotion is real – who wouldn’t want a pair of glasses from the 2015 campaign, used to find missing pieces?
Usually these campaigns don’t relate to specific themes, so that they can appeal to a wide variety of fans. The exception would be the 2014 prank, which featured Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™. This was also one of the first April Fools’ Day campaigns done by the Social Media team.
“We really want to have fun with our brand and the audience,” said Matt. “it’s quite fun to play with it on social, it’s nice to have that creative, fun flexibility – it’s part of our DNA. We have a brand which is fun and can be cheeky.”
So what’s in store for this year? You’ll have to wait and see.
We know LEGO Fan Media and communities also do their own April Fools’ Day pranks – share your favorites with us in the comments!
Edited by Sara Skahill