52 responded to this post

 Le Chiffre said on January 15th, 2007

What is this unrecognizable LEGO pattern trying to express?

 Rasmus said on January 15th, 2007

Would somebody be nice and explain this one for me?

 Peter Marquardt said on January 15th, 2007

It’s obviously the table of chemical elements but I find the look much too constructed and the idea much too obscure. I just happen to remember my chemistry lessons.

Just what does chemistry have to do with a child’s imagination or even level of knowledge?

 Peter Marquardt said on January 15th, 2007

…. oh right, you can build anything with the elements, you can also build anything with the bricks. This is definitely WAY too cryptic. Lego has had better ads.

 Nigel said on January 15th, 2007

A periodic table, eh? Wow, glad you told us, I wouldn’t have gotten it. So how many Lego-loving kids are familiar with the periodic table? Seems like something aimed at winning awards rather than upping business…

 jebus said on January 15th, 2007

Yes, it’s supposed to be the periodical table of elements. The tagline “make anything” alludes to the fact that everything in our known universe is made up of those elemental building blocks.

Not as strong as the “Imagine” stuff, but how the hell do you follow up winning the Grand Prix?

 Erik said on January 15th, 2007

Cryptic? Definitely. Though a lot depends on where it’s being used. If it’s used in a scientific magazine or something, then it’s spot on because that audience will recognize that much more easily than say, someone who sees that on the side of a bus or something.

 Peter Marquardt said on January 15th, 2007

I wonder why advertising seems to be all about winning awards nowadays instead of affecting people, just like I get the feeling that award winning design tends to be aimed at designers, not the general people.

 Lola said on January 15th, 2007

Right on, Peter! Not only advertisers but your average joe should go: Wow!

 rich said on January 15th, 2007

Run this in Time, and people will scratch their heads, but run it in Seed, Discover, etc. and you’ll get your “Wow!”, or at least a good “Ha!”.

 Markus said on January 15th, 2007

The table of chemical elements? Oh jeez, that was hard …

 The Ad Mad! said on January 15th, 2007

Yeah, you’ll get a ‘wow’, but how many people reading science magazines will feel like buying legos? Maybe for their kids….dunno

 Justin said on January 15th, 2007

i must have blacked out through that part of science class.. because that took way too long

 withoutstars said on January 15th, 2007

A headscratcher. And that’s not a good thing.

 bm said on January 15th, 2007

I am in advertising/marketing and unfortunately have to agree with Peter on this. So many companies use an ad to attempt to win the next big award and forget the most important element of advertising – Reach the consumer and sell product. How are you going to do that when the target audience is 5-16 children and 30-40 year old males?

Awards are nice and they do bring in more clients but eventually the clients will smarten up and turn to marketers that base advertising on the tracking metrics behind the scenes and not the shiny plaque on the wall.


 Robert said on January 15th, 2007

Heh, I see all these negative comments, but I’m just about to get my BS in chemistry so I thought it was utterly brilliant. Everything is relative I guess.

 Jasmine said on January 16th, 2007

I had no problem recognizing the Periodic Table of Elements, but the metaphor interpretation did come more slowly.

I absolutely agree with the comment above about “award-winning design aimed at designers.” It’s definitely something that’s been coming up a lot during crits during class.

 Blaze said on January 16th, 2007

This is so abstract and ridiculous.

 Art of Graffiti said on January 16th, 2007

who is the target for this kind of ad ?

 Luciano Bitencourt said on January 16th, 2007


 Iris said on January 16th, 2007

No offence, but I think kids probably can recognize the perodic table of elements much more easily than most adults here. I mean, you started studying that table around middle school and even if you don’t, most science classroom has that on the wall (next to the poster of Einstein sticking out his tongue). So that “building block” link isn’t as tenuious that one might think.

We assume this is an inaccessible design because most of us are out of school for so long that we’ve forgotten about the periodic table or had slept through science class. But I’m going against the grain here and saying that this is not a bad design.

 Deanna said on January 16th, 2007

Thank god there are people smarter than me to be able to tell mw what the hell this Lego thing is suppose to be.

And aren’t Lego’s really marketed for children? Name a 5-12 year old that’s going to be able to tell you what that’s suppose to be without making this into a Rorschach test.

Bring back the Dinosaur Lego ad!

 mac said on January 16th, 2007

i’ll admit i teach chemistry at columbia university, but i loved it.

 Cameron said on January 16th, 2007

im pretty sure this ad is targeted towards the parents rather than the kids.

 esther! said on January 17th, 2007

I immediately thought this ad was fantastic the moment I saw it. I’m not that old and I know that I learnt about the periodic table when I was 13. This would be especially great for speaking to older children of the science-geek breed who might be interested in building those elaborate Lego models you see in stores.

Whether or not you’re right about the real-world effectiveness of the ad, you shouldn’t assume it’s ineffective just because you aren’t a member of the target audience.

 MarLyn said on January 17th, 2007

My 16-year-old son just walked in and said, “Cool. Periodic Table of Elements.” I told him about the controversy on the site about whether this communicates anything. As a future designer and art major, he said, “we’ve all been ‘owned’” Must be another MySpace term that I’m not supposed to understand!

 ssset said on January 17th, 2007

a clear no, see comments above

 Spotanatomy said on January 18th, 2007
 VonK said on January 18th, 2007

MarLyn makes me rethink my original position on this one—maybe it works. I just hope they did good research first.

As far as the awards stuff, why only blame advertisers for trying to win? It’s “award winning” ads that lure new clients. Also, if awards were given based more on a mix of effectiveness/design/concept and not just “too sexy,” advertisers’ striving to win them would be much more relevant.

 David Ng said on January 19th, 2007

This is very cool. And I say that as a scientist, which I think is the point. Lego has an especially iconic status in the scientific and engineering circles, so I bet for folks like me (parents of two, who also happen to teach science, etc), this really really hits the mark.

 Jason said on January 20th, 2007

LEGO and science are two great tastes that go great together. If this advert ran in something like Make Magazine you would hear the sound of hundreds of geeks squee with joy. Brilliant. And when I saw it, I immediately began to wonder if LEGO could effectively be used to construct some of the other less traditional Periodic Table arrangements.


 Khalil A. said on January 21st, 2007

This is brilliant and I do believe that every other science geek/nerd will agree with me on this point.

 Kevin W. Parker said on January 22nd, 2007

I thought it was cool even before I saw the tagline, but then I’m a science geek.

I go along with Rich: run it in Time, head-scratching, run it in Discover, cool. Unfortunately, most of your average joes aren’t going to pick up on this, which I find depressing.

 pt said on January 23rd, 2007

i would love to run this in MAKE magazine! (i’m senior editor).

 Bryan said on January 23rd, 2007

I was given Lego as a kid; I wasn’t old enough to purchase it myself.

I think most people are missing the point as I would assume this ad is to inspire adults and in turn buy Lego for there kids.

Also, if you saw that on a billboard you’d probably go “That’s cool, I wonder what it’s advertising?” and you would make a point of finding out and therefore reinforcing the brand.

Just a thought:)

 .T.T. said on January 23rd, 2007

I think this ad campaign is great because it’s smart and it has an idea which works for me!

The tagline and the concept works very well together.

With the atoms, as defined on a table of elements, we can build everything and with Lego we can model everything, just for the “average” people out there.

But I can see how people can find it hard to understand and even “cryptic” but that’s the fault of the fast-consuming-ad-imagery which I found pretty depressing, as Kevin W. Parker said previously, and stupid, because fortunetely the consumers are smarter than the average of what the advertisers might think I believe.

I think bm is wrong: no wonder MarLyn’s son did recognize it instantly.

Being worked for an ad agency myself, I believe agencies shouldn’t create and support “smart” ads not exclusively to get some stupid prizes at Cannes but because it’s simply exciting, captivating, fascinating, etc…

Hope I wasn’t too offensive, and if I were I’m sorry, that wasn’t my point.

 David said on January 23rd, 2007

I am a musician and student, not a chemistry major or science geek by a long shot. I understood the image immediately, and thought it was VERY clever. Just recently out of high school, I recognized this design from off the school room wall.

 Dr. Drang said on January 23rd, 2007

Has it occurred to you folks who are disparaging this ad that maybe you’re the oddballs? There’s a periodic table hanging in almost every school in the country. It takes a special combination of ignorance and arrogance to both miss the reference and then argue that almost everyone else will miss it, too.

 Trevor said on January 23rd, 2007

What a great ad! The periodic table should be instantly recognizable by all, I think. “make anything.” nice.

 Rap rip said on January 23rd, 2007

Sheeh, come on people! This ad is brilliant. Any educated person should know the periodic table of elements. And any educated person shouldn’t be afraid of having to think to “get” something.

 Nymo said on January 23rd, 2007

Who Says This Ad Is For Kids?

LEGO Is Not Just A Kids Toy Company, There’s Many Groups Out There That Are Older Than You Think To Have LEGO Bricks As A Hobby..

I Find This Ad Brilliant And True: You Can Create Anything With Lego…

 Noah Ramon said on January 24th, 2007

Asking “would people who get this ad actually BUY Lego?” is kind of silly – there’s a little product from Lego called “Mindstorms” that would go to this same mindset.

Oh, yes – said product is about $200 a pop.

The ad *has* a target audience, willing to spend more money than usual on Lego. (And if you get the “quirky, smart kid” audience as well, so much the better.)

 Yangster said on February 23rd, 2007

This is brilliant! Much better than the usual in-your-face ads. Personally, i feel that when ads dont require you to THINK, they tend to lose their impact real fast.

 R said on October 28th, 2008

I was looking for a oeriodic table and clicked on this for info but its lego. now that sucks

 peter said on May 7th, 2009

is there any reason why every advertisement that every company creates needs to appeal to everyone? this is an ad for us geeks. lego makes other ads for other people.

niches are a good thing.

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