What is economic development?
It’s a question posed to many organizations tasked with growing the economy of a city or province. There are plenty of explanations floating around but they can be quite complicated.
Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW) set out to create a simple way to explain how economic development can create a stronger city by using a medium that all ages know and understand; LEGO.
What does the impact of Economic Development mean?
Economic development creates a ripple effect that can influence and strengthen the city that you live in. In our video, we used something as simple as the opening of a new ice cream shop to illustrate how even a small business can quickly grow, shape and impact a city on a large scale.
Ice cream. That’s economic development. Here’s why:
The opening of a new business can set off a chain reaction. Our LEGO ice cream shop becomes so successful that it expands. This leads to foreign direct investment, talent attraction, tourism… all resulting in a higher quality of life for our brick-and-mortar city. You can learn more about each of these terms on our www.WhatisEconomicDevelopment.com website.
Why use LEGO stop motion?
Aside from being one of the most famous toys ever made, LEGO has been a common theme for EDW throughout 2020 and we’re calling it The Tyler Walsh Factor.
This spring, EDW’s Digital and Content Marketing Manager, Tyler Walsh teamed up with his two sons to share Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s message to children about how they can slow the spread of COVID-19 in the form of LEGO stop motion.
The video quickly became a viral sensation and racked up over a million views across many social media platforms, as well as a shout out from the Prime Minister himself.
This led the Walsh family back to the boxes to create a thank-you message to front line workers, a tourism attraction spotlight for Tourism Winnipeg, and LEGO Justin Trudeau’s Canada Day message to kids.
EDW continued to build on the momentum of the Walshs’ LEGO hits, using a medium targeted toward school-age children with the familiarity that our older audiences have enjoyed viewing throughout the year.
How we did it
EDW wanted the video explanation to walk the viewer through a simplified example – an ice cream shop – that could also incorporate the vast ecosystem of economic development.
Our Marketing and Branding team put together an outline for the video, and internally wrote a script in collaboration with our Business Development team ensuring we covered all key strategies of economic development.
We then enlisted the help of those who know economic development best and transformed them into their LEGO alter-egos.
Dayna Spiring, Economic Development Winnipeg’s President and CEO takes on the role of tour guide showing our LEGO student how economic development helps people find ways to make the city they live in, even better.
“What makes a truly great city and why do people love to live there? It all starts with a high quality of life and opportunities for well-paying jobs with great local companies. Economic development brings the right people together who can help a city grow and make it better,” says Dayna Spiring, President & CEO, Economic Development Winnipeg.
"From businesses to students, we will all need to come together to build a stronger Winnipeg in 2021 and beyond. We wanted to show how economic development can help our city recover but also how we can all play a part in building the kind of city we want in the future,” adds Spiring.
Promoting tourism and declaring our LEGO city the Ice Cream Capital of the Universe is voiced by our own City of Winnipeg Mayor, Brian Bowman.
When visitors come to a city, they spend money by staying in hotels, eating at restaurants, and shopping at local stores.
As well, our LEGO student was voiced by local actor, Isaac Vint. He expertly explains economic development and showcases a real passion for ice cream.
It took more than 60 hours for EDW’s Tyler Walsh and Director of Marketing, Cody Chomiak to assemble over 10 different LEGO City sets, including a dairy farm, a cone factory and an urban park.
A stop motion video uses 15 different frames (photos) per second. This meant creating 15 different poses for every one second of video that you watch. The final result includes over 2,000 individual photographs.
To help people learn more about economic development, EDW worked with local educators to put together a Teacher’s Toolkit including a lesson plan, a how-to-guide for stop motion video, Winnipeg trivia and factoids.
View it at www.WhatisEconomicDevelopment.com.