Lego tries TV sponsorship to cut through spot ad ‘clutter’

Toy brand Lego is seeking to target children more effectively by cutting through the "clutter" of spot advertising on television, according to brand manager Kirstin Bates.

It is stepping up its TV programme sponsorship in the run up to Christmas, and has signed a deal with Viacom Brand Solutions that sees its Duplo brand sponsor Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends on Nickelodeon.

It is the first time Duplo has sponsored any programming and the first time that Lego has teamed up with Nickelodeon. The deal was negotiated through its media buying agency, Carat.

The sponsorship launches next week and runs until mid-November. Lego brand manager Kirstin Bates says the clutter of spot advertising means children’s brands must find more innovative ways of reaching consumers.

Children’s TV faces reduced budgets as Ofcom gears up to tighten restrictions on advertising to children.

The Duplo activity on Nickelodeon, which includes spots promoting its "building" element are designed to drive children online to a dedicated microsite.

Lego signed up to sponsor the entire CiTV programming schedule on ITV1 this month, and earlier in the year unveiled a community-based strategy that has seen it develop its online offering and build on its dedicated fanbase.

As part of its Web push, Lego poached Levi European head of digital marketing Helene Venge to develop its online strategy.

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