LEGO® Batman became a self-appointed, ‘unofficial’ member of Channel 4’s peak time continuity team leading up to the release of The LEGO Batman Movie.
‘We have been delighted with the results of the LEGO Batman Continuity Partnership on 4...an awesome collaboration with Drum & PHD...in perfect keeping with our lead character that exemplified our key metrics of engagement, talkability and the disruptive editorial tone we were seeking.’- Martin Gough – Deputy Marketing Director (Film), Warner Bros. Pictures
The Big Idea
Our thinking was led by the fact that we felt Lego Batman needed to be the star and be able to show the Channel 4 audience what a treat they would have if they went to watch Lego Batman ‘at the flicks’. We also needed to offer a solution that integrated Batman in to the fabric of Channel 4 in a way never done before; disrupting and creating maximum cut through, at a level way above the media investment available.
A slight challenge we had to overcome here was that Section 9 of the Ofcom code meant Lego Batman could not literally join our continuity team. So the solution we put together was for Batman to appear in the commercial breaks immediately BEFORE the shows he introduced, with all Channel 4 promos dropped to ensure he was as close to all the shows as our continuity team are.
Making It Happen
This is where the real collaboration started; involving PHD, Drum, Warner Bros, Lego Animations and Channel 4.
Our task was to analyse the schedules and, working in tandem with PHD, identify the key C4 shows for Batman to introduce and then approach those programme makers for permission to do so. We also looked to drop or move Channel 4 Promotional airtime and actual continuity, working closely with our editorial teams on both; to create special breaks where there were none before, to be able to place the ads exactly where we needed them; work closely with our own continuity team so they were fully aware of where Batman’s continuity would be and what he would be saying so they could tonally pull through the partnership into their own announcements; and bring Warner Bros and Channel 4’s social teams together devise a plan for the Twitter take over.
Meanwhile Drum worked up a series of initial tailored scripts which were sent to LA for approval. Will Arnett (the voice of Lego Batman) started recording the scripts and enjoyed it so much he even created some of his own lines. Warner Bros and the film makers themselves loved the idea so much they agreed to make content for the partnership (where usually only toolkit animation would be available) - a real coup and a dream result for any TV film Partnership. All this collaboration produced 18 specially-made LEGO Batman intros which introduced and commented on 50 primetime Channel 4 shows over 4 days – as unprecedented result.
The LEGO Batman Movie opened at No.1 in the UK Box Office, success which Continuity Bat undoubtedly drove. We independently measured the impact of Continuity Bat through research by BDRC International – it proved that making LEGO Batman feel like part of Channel 4, rather than just a movie character advertising his new film delivered impressive results:
• Continuity Bat was seen by 40% of the UK population in just four days
• Nearly 20% of those who saw Continuity Bat booked a ticket to see the movie as a result – that is an amazing conversion rate.
• Delivering a box office ROMI of £17:34 for every £1 Warner Bros. spent