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Brief Published: 19 Feb 2019

Media Meets Fan-Retail: Lego’s AR-Powered Snapchat Pop-Up


Pushing promotional activities for The Lego Movie 2 into digital hyperdrive, Lego has created a pop-up store in Fitzrovia, London, that’s solely dependent on social media engagement. The entirely empty space is transformed into a boutique stocked with Lego Wear – but only for those armed with the augmented reality lens of Snapchat.

Putting a very modern spin on selling movie merchandise, Lego Wear – the apparel division of the toy giant, which has been produced by Danish clothing company Kabooki since 1993 –has created a concept store to coincide with London Fashion Week, starting on February 15. Anyone entering the store will discover a space embellished only with a Snapcode – a QR-style code which opens a website within the Snapchat app when scanned with the app’s camera.  

On doing so, a virtual pop-up appears revealing a shop featuring a DJ booth, arcade machine and Lego streetwear – sweatshirts, T-shirts and caps – aptly displayed on Lego-brick mannequins. Apparently designed to tap into a sense of nostalgia embraced by millennials (see also Pop Culture Close-Up Millennial Burnout), it also furthers ephemeral forays into licensed merchandising to expand entertainment hype, as detailed in Fan-Tailing: Tour Merchandise Pop-Ups.

Lego isn’t the first to deploy Snapcodes to generate buzz. Last year, Nike collaborated on a geo-smart online flash sale hosted on Snapchat. An exclusive pre-release promotion of its Air Jordan III Tinker sneaker was tied to the NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles, where fans had to buy the sneaker in-app. A geo fence was installed over the stadium and push notifications were sent to game-goers’ phones, which included the exclusive Snapcodes. Prior to that, in 2016, British luxury fashion brand Burberry used Snapchat to lure customers in-store to unlock exclusive content relating to the campaign for its male fragrance, Mr Burberry. 

See also Social Media to Store: Spurring Crossover Commerce.