I am childish. In fact, I think I can be as childish as any two-year-old in a full flight temper tantrum.
You see, I stamp my foot. I have red hair. I can let loose. BIG time.
But letting loose is not all bad. Especially … when it comes to play.
Playtime is essential. It’s motivated by pleasure and is an instinctive part of learning and maturing. Play is the activity through which children learn — to recognise colours and shapes, tastes and sounds — the very building blocks of reality.
From a very young age, babies learn when playing – like babbling – and mimicking adult behaviour. Children will always do as we do, not as we say (that never ends).
But somehow in our rush to be grown-up (I’m still waiting for that bit), we lose our playfulness and instead gain inhibitions about being childish. Our spontaneity dries up; we frown on the simple joys of unstructured time and our (mental and physical) health suffers.
So if play is that important, why is it disappearing from our lives?
Bring back play
The extinction of playtime is especially true of the purest form of play: the unstructured, self-motivated, imaginative, independent kind, where children initiate their own games and even invent their own rules.
I remember holidays as being an empty stretch of nothing, that was coloured-in as you went along; not a structured program of free time spent in adult-led and –organized activities.
And the memory (read, desire for) that feeling gives you an incentive to bring back play into your adult life.
That’s why I love LEGO. For all the excruciating pain it inflicts when you step on a brick, it epitomises child’s play. Your play options are limitless. You can make anything that your imagination can conjure.
Its brand name even typifies the act of playing.
LEGO was named after the Danish phrase ‘leg godt’ which translates to ‘playing well.’ Unbeknown to the founder it also meant ‘I put together’ in Latin, which by pure chance personifies their ethos of a world limited only by your imagination.
The story here?
Telling a great story is an art.
Stories have power. They can stay with you – often for years – their essence resonating with you, and you remember their details far more clearly than being told the facts.
Often it’s not even about how ‘well’ it’s written – think Fifty Shades of Grey – but it’s how you’re drawn into the characters, how you feel what they do and understand the challenges they face. That’s why a story entices and entrances you … just like your memories of childhood play.
But, if you fuse the two together – story and play – then that is pure dynamite.
To celebrate their 80th anniversary, LEGO has released a video of their brand story.
Be warned, this is an epic brand story video. It’s 17 mins of animated (of course, to convey the play state-of-mind) storytelling that I guarantee you will remember better than if I’d written their brand story here.
The story of a now third-generation business that has endured hardship, loss, heartache and overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles it is as memorable as it is an innovative way to tell your brand story.
And the half million hits on YouTube (as at today) won’t be hurting the spread of their story either.
If you can’t see the video player, try viewing it here.
By telling their brand story this way, LEGO have truly encapsulated their three ‘E’s’ of explore, experience and express.
And it’s very playful.
What makes a story memorable for you? Is it the story itself, the way it’s told, the vehicle used or the combination?
Come on over and leave your thoughts in the comments on the blog.
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Image: www.sxc.hu user mmh