Corus and Lego build AR gameplay

Kids are invited to battle it out on with an innovative new online video game technology.

Anyone can sit there and watch American Gladiators on TV, but fans of Lego’s Bionicle toys can now battle it out online in a new interactive video game experience.

Canadian kids-entertainment powerhouse Corus has partnered with Lego on a new campaign called ‘Bionicle Glatorian Legends’ to promote the Bionicles, a line of robot-like toys produced by Lego. The centerpiece of the campaign is new augmented reality video game technology on Essentially, it brings the user into the game via a webcam with flash animation and the online and ‘real’ worlds are blended together. Users signal their participation by logging on with their webcam and signalling the game visually with a marker that they can download on

The campaign starts on Aug. 31 and the two augmented reality games will be available for six weeks. It is targeted at kids aged 6 to 12, a viewership that coincides with the target demographic of YTV’s Crunch programming on Saturday mornings. The campaign’s broadcast tie-in comes on Aug. 29 at 9 a.m. when YTV host Andy will show kids how to play the game during the morning programming.

‘It’s a brand new way to engage kids online,’ Tim Cormick, VP client marketing at Corus Television, tells MiC. ‘As far as we know, it’s never been done on any other network’s website.’

The campaign was born when Corus approached Lego with the new technology, and Lego, through their agency Starcom, replied with a brief outlining their Bionicle strategy. It was a good fit, says Cormick.

There is a detailed, ongoing storyline behind the Bionicles toys, and the release of this campaign ties in with the introduction of a new chapter in the Bionicles’ story. It also ties in with a new Bionicle DVD release on Sept. 15 that will promote the new storyline.

‘The idea from a business perspective is by engaging the fans, they want to come back for more,’ says Cormick. ‘The way you want to continue the story is with the products themselves.’

The campaign will be promoted through YTV with ad spots, on-air billboards, and on via leaderboards and box ads.