Everything is NOT Awesome as Lego hides its head in the sand

Everything is NOT Awesome as Lego hides its head in the sand

25 July 2014 | Pic PR

I am intrigued by the ongoing Shell / Lego saga that rages as Greenpeace puts pressure on the toy company to end it’s partnership with the oil giant which began in 1966 and was rekindled in 2011.

In my opinion Greenpeace is winning this PR war. They have been very clever in how they have approached the issue and are specifically looking to engage parents and their children in the campaign. I, like Greenpeace, can see the benefits for Shell in this partnership but am struggling to understand why Lego are keen to continue to be associated with them.

Large companies have always been targets for campaigners but the internet has made it a lot easier to hit big brands…hard. Utilising this medium Greenpeace has created a parody video entitled ‘Everything is NOT awesome’. It is a dark video which depicts Lego figures getting drowned in a sea of oil with a lamenting version of ‘Everything is Awesome’, from the Lego movie used as the soundtrack, and it is REALLY effective. This has been used alongside a petition and a number of Greenpeace demonstrations happening round the world.

The only response Lego has made during this whole campaign came from their president and CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp who said, “The Greenpeace campaign focuses on how Shell operates in a specific part of the world. We firmly believe that this matter must be handled between Shell and Greenpeace. We are saddened when the Lego brand is used as a tool in any dispute between organisations. We expect that Shell lives up to their responsibilities wherever they operate and take appropriate action to any potential claims should this not be the case. I would like to clarify that we intend to live up to the long term contract with Shell, which we entered into in 2011.”

Apart from this statement they seem to have taken an old fashioned ‘no comment’ approach which is never a good idea. Their Facebook page is being inundated with comments urging them to dump Shell and asking questions about why they are continuing to work with them – all of which are going unacknowledged and without answers.

If Lego were my client I would advise them to think carefully about the story they wanted to tell and how they wanted to respond. They should start being responsive to claims by Greenpeace and also the interactions on their social media pages. If these interactions and responses to the petition are anything to go by it looks like customer sentiment for the beloved Lego brand is shifting and gaining momentum. Stakeholder reassurance is key now, something needs to be done and fast as it doesn’t look like Greenpeace is going to let them off the hook anytime soon.