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LEGO Marketing: Intentional Leaks?

EricEric Queensland, AustraliaMember Posts: 376
edited February 2012 in Collecting
Doesn't Lego like messing with us? Just in recent memory, plenty of things have happened that have hinted at new sets months in advance of actual confirmations, let alone release dates. Just to name a few:

- A couple of the Town Hall's showing up in a toy shop, (in Romania of all places), a good month before even the press release.
- You can't tell me that sticking two yet-to-be-confirmed sets in a video on Youtube was an 'accident'.
- Apparently, 4207 just being 'slipped in' amongst the AFOL sets at the Toy Fair.
- Mistaking naming Series 4 or 5 (can't remember which) naming a couple of fig's from the next series.

I can't think of anymore off the top of my head, but I'm sure there are heaps. How do these pretty major stuff-ups (Town Hall distribution especially), happen? I find it hard to believe that they are all 'mistakes'.

I'm known as a bit of a pessimist, but I can't shake the feeling that the Lego bosses are up in their offices laughing at us collectors, who are frantically running around the internet trying to track down info about new sets.
What's your take?

Comments

  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 890
    It's good PR. They know that AFOLs are more excited than the average bear about new sets, and they know that anything new gets jumped on as soon as it's out - it's just a good bit of marketing, I have little doubt that everything they've done is intentional.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    Yes, I think they like messing with our heads.
    Companies do make mistakes, but not the type of mistakes made with the Town Hall.
  • MrBerreMrBerre Member Posts: 246
    I'm known as a bit of a pessimist, but I can't shake the feeling that the Lego bosses are up in their offices laughing at us collectors, who are frantically running around the internet trying to track down info about new sets.
    What's your take?
    There have also been leaks that were clearly screw-ups by TPTB, like the early reveal of a set that was supposed to be premiered at a toy fair because someone actually bought it at Legoland. Clearly these were blunders:
    - http://www.brickset.com/news/article/?ID=1364 + http://www.brickset.com/news/article/?ID=1389
    - http://www.brickset.com/news/article/?ID=1107
    - http://www.brickset.com/news/article/?ID=1095

    This could be a deliberate leak: the Red Cargo train had been seen in a display months before the release: http://www.brickset.com/news/article/?ID=1321
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,886
    I'm pretty sure the video 'disclosure' was a cock-up by someone, and heads are, at this very moment, rolling.

    Someone high up in the food chain that should have checked the video before release read on a fan site that they'd been spotted and pulled the video sharp-ish.

    I suspect that some people in LEGO are so close to the products, maybe seeing them every day, that they may not even be aware what's been released and what hasn't.

    The video's been deleted now, has a revised version been reinstated somewhere else?
  • NicksBricksNicksBricks United StatesMember Posts: 258

    The video's been deleted now, has a revised version been reinstated somewhere else?
    Here is the official revised version:

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Just because they "revised" the video doesn't mean the leak wasn't intentional...

    The people they want to know, know, and now everyone else can ignore it... :)
  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 711
    ^ agreed. I think a lot of leaks are intentional.
    I wonder if the Town Hall build we witnessed was an intentional leak.
    The poster of that build, @dodys, hasn't been seen since. He joined, posted the build and then vanished. Smells leaky to me...
  • rasmustalirasmustali Member Posts: 85
    Ofcourse it was intentional, and I think its great PR from LEGO.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ agreed. I think a lot of leaks are intentional.
    I wonder if the Town Hall build we witnessed was an intentional leak.
    The poster of that build, @dodys, hasn't been seen since. He joined, posted the build and then vanished. Smells leaky to me...
    If it walks like a duck, smells like a duck, and quacks like a duck...

    Guess what? :)

  • ereiamjhereiamjh Member Posts: 182
    I kind of hope it is intentional. It'd be nice to think that TLG were better at useing the internet as a marketing tool than they were in the days of the official podcast.

    Still, the fun I had trying to sort out my first gen NXT software recently suggests they're not quite there yet in using the internet for tech support. It was sorted in the end (incompatibility with a recent Flash update), but it was quite the kerfuffle.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071

    If it walks like a duck, smells like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
    Guess what? :)
    It's a mimic octopus?
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    Well I stink think it was intentional, as video released media is just so carefully controlled by companies given the obvious risks. It's very effective and very cheap marketing.
  • chakinochakino Member Posts: 159
    I can see the lego spies going "darn they are on to us now"
  • scratchdeskscratchdesk Member Posts: 155
    Or... "yeah... we meant to do that, look, they think we meant to do that! hahaha"

    I don't think the video slip was intentional, not that other things weren't but what would be the point of then recutting it and reposting it? I bet the person cutting their videos doesn't know what is released or not and has all the stock footage to work with. Guess I'm the odd man out in my opinion on this one!
  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,407
    I vote for intentional, just look at the reaction, one brief glimpse and fans react like this and I assume other forums have responded similarly, you literally can't buy marketing like this. Strategically release info and let the fan base do your job for you. It’s 21st Century viral marketing, very smart.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,270
    edited February 2012
    @scratchdesk.... you're not alone... I think that TLG does actually make more mistakes that folks here probably realize. But then, I;m looking at it from a historical perspective... They've always tended to be more forgiving towards employees that make errors, and have even mentioned publicly that they make corrections and move on...

    Perhaps since they're a family owned company, they're more benevolent towards their employee gaffe's than say a publicly traded company. And I do think that sometimes there' politics behind some of their missteps... but we're just not privy to it.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,829
    Agree with LFT. Without question the latest 'slip-up' was intentional. With the number of people the film would have passed through, one of them would have picked up on the 'error'. Companies that size can't possibly make mistakes like that. Release the mistak and remove it after a couple of hours later whilst leaving just enough out in the public domain to wet their appetite. "Oops, sorry about that." Whatever!
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    Companies that size can't possibly make mistakes like that.
    My experience is exactly the opposite; the larger the organisation, the more likely mistakes like this are. Having worked with Lego for many years, I have absolutely no doubt that this is a genuine mistake. But I'm also well aware that most people would rather believe "conspiracy" over "cock up", so believe what you like ...
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,635
    ^ Normally I'd agree with you, Ian, but the placement of those models against a deliberately 'sterile' backdrop and with not another single model visible in the whole 7+ minutes of video apart from the Town Hall itself, had a suspiciously deliberate feel to it this time round....
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Northern VirginiaAdministrator, Moderator Posts: 5,021
    ^ I am with Dr. Strangebrick on this one.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ the placement of the models means nothing - they were getting their film sessions done during the same set of film sessions. the only question is their inclusion in the final opening montage (which was likely to be used for the whole series of videos) was accidental or not, and/or whether no one catching them during some sort of review process left them in there on purpose.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,829
    ^ What did you call me?
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ I believe he was talking about Dr Dave
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,829
    ^ Well, that backfired! I was talking to you!!! :o)
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    well now I'm confused. can't see where I called you anything...

    (walks away, scratching his head...)
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,829
    edited February 2012
    I mentally inserted words that weren't there. Like I said, it was joke that completely backfired. :o/
  • MrBerreMrBerre Member Posts: 246
    Companies that size can't possibly make mistakes like that.
    My experience is exactly the opposite; the larger the organisation, the more likely mistakes like this are.
    Exactly. I work at a major corporation, and I just recalled at least two major blunders WRT one of our recent products. One of those was such a big one it got people fired.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,829
    edited February 2012
    ^I would agree that larger companies make more mistakes than smaller ones and usually they're mistakes with bigger consequences, but those same mistakes in my experience rely on the failure of communication or 'too many cooks' or have some involvement with other departments - usually. I still struggle to believe that the box labelled 'Watch Video from Start to Finish to Check for Unreleased Sets Inadvertently Appearing in Shot or Intro Clips' wouldn't need to be ticked by various departments in line. I can't see how there can possibly be room for error - somebody, whether it be the MD walking past the editing suite, or the LEGO loving cleaner emptying the bins, anybody, anybody should have picked that up. Just think how many people would've seen that video before releasing to the public. It didn't take us particularly long did it!?
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    Got to admit I can see both sides of this now.

    (1) I see terrible cock-ups all the time in both large and small companies, but large companies are more effective at allowing inept people's ineptitude to go unrealised. Along with the comms issues of course.

    (2) On the other hand, Lego are quite advanced in some of their marketing and community involvement methods, so out of the small list of companies I would think are sophisticated enough to try this, Lego is one.

    And actually, I'd rather believe it's the second option because ineptitude just bothers me, and I dont like wasting my money supporting ineffective companies that are rife with it, whereas option 2 allows me to retain some more of my respect for TLG and feel happier about supporting them. So it's option 2 for me until proven otherwise.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Whatever happened...

    Everyone is entitled to make mistakes, both people and companies... If it was intentional, good job... if it was a mistake, good job, it worked! Here we are talking about it... :)
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    With the frequent slip-ups and the fact that mostly good comes from the publicity, it would seem that many instances are intentional.

    However, having witnessed the fallout from past situations through the Ambassador forum discussion and webmaster discussion, I agree with huw and bluemoose that TLG gives every indication that it is not intentional and they typically respond to each instance seriously, and have previously risked damaging the relationship with news outlets to do so.
  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 711
    Everything we think is pure speculation.
    Intentional or not, it happened.
    Either way, it has generated a buzz.
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