Absolut vodka has been around since the late nineteenth century, but the Absolut most of us know was propelled to fame by their iconic campaign with ad agency TBWA, which ran for a mind-boggling 25 years. If you were around in the ’80s and ’90s, chances are you saw the ads somewhere – plastered on a billboard, stamped on the back of a magazine.
Many famous brands got their start in straightforward ways. For example, agricultural machinery giant John Deere was founded in the 1830s by an Illinois blacksmith who invented an innovative plow, and candy behemoth Mars Inc. can trace its beginnings to the early 1920s, when then-struggling candy maker Frank Mars launched the Milky War bar, which proved an immediate hit. However, when it comes to other iconic brands, the stories of how they were established might surprise you.
Lego, taking its name from ‘leg godt’, Danish for ‘play well’, began life in the early 1930s. In the 1950s the company, with founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen’s son Godtfred at the helm, introduced its system of play concept, with the interlocking plastic bricks we know today arriving in 1958. Through the introduction of its core principles of play, the company’s mission was, and still is, to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow, enabling children to learn through play – thus ‘playing well’.