The LEGO Group is celebrating pride month with its "A-Z of Awesome" campaign which runs into 2023. The campaign uses LEGO builds to celebrate inclusivity and embrace self-expression in the LGBTQIA+ community.
The alphabet A-Z will be developed in creative LEGO creations to help LGBTQIA+ families use play to have open conversations about their identities. For the alphabet to be created in the most authentic and meaningful way possible, the designs of each letter will be created by members of the LGBTQIA+ community, including LEGO fans, young and old, members of the community and LEGO employees.
Launching during Pride Month, the alphabet aims to build understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community and the different abbreviations used.
According to the Group, the "A-Z of Awesome" campaign aims to present the community’s vocabulary more widely through a fun and playful medium. The LEGO Group is inviting submissions including an explanation of what the build means to its creator, which will be featured on a dedicated website.
The creative inspiration for this campaign stemmed from the insight from American non-governmental media monitoring organisation, GLAAD, which found that almost half (45%) of non-LGBTQIA+ people find conversations around gender identity confusing.
Aside from the A-Z campaign, the Group is also donating US$1 million to existing and partner organisations in support of the LGBTQIA community. It will also participate in Pride events in London and Munich, for example, hosting fun and educational building activities.
Alero Akuya, VP of brand development at The LEGO Group, said the wonderful thing about LEGO bricks is that they can be a powerful form of self-expression as you can build anything you can imagine.
"We also know people love talking about what they build, so we thought it would be a great medium for sparking important and sometimes difficult conversations about identity," she said. Akuya added that LEGO wants to show people that with more love and understanding people can be their true selves. LEGO also launched an Everyone is Awesome buildable display model last June which was inspired by the iconic rainbow flag.
This campaign builds off Group’s support for the LGBTQIA+ community in recent years. This has included supporting the LGBTQIA+ community by building a miniature pride parade within the family activity zone at Pride in London in 2019.
In 2020, it partnered with UK charity Diversity Role Model, which works to embed inclusion and build empathy through educational workshops in schools and US organisation GLSEN which works to create safer and affirming learning environments for LGBTQ+ students and youth.
In 2021, the LEGO Group became an official sponsor of World Pride in Copenhagen where it had a family activity zone and introduced its Everyone is Awesome inclusivity set, as well as previewed its iconic Queer Eye set, which was released later in the year.
The Group also partners with Workplace Pride and Stonewall on an ongoing basis to use their tools, insights and advice to form its internal processes for LGBTQIA+ representation and inclusion; and Open for Business to advocate for global LGBTQIA+ inclusion. The Group said that its global goal is to increase representation across its portfolio. This covers products, programmes and marketing on all dimensions to reflect the diverse and global marketplace it operates in.
Separately, on the corporate front, LEGO said it plans to expand its digital offices in Shanghai, London, and Billund to accommodate the growing team which it said will nearly triple in size over a three year period to more than 1,800 globally. Just last month, the Group opened a new digital office in Copenhagen to support its long-term digital ambitions. The office, one of four digital workspaces globally, will be a base for up to 400 colleagues.
The company plans to beef up its digital investment across all areas of its business, ranging from play to shopping and technology infrastructure. It is also currently on the hunt for engineers, product managers, UX/UI designers, technical programme managers, digital security specialists, and data scientists to join the challenge, and support its expansion.
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