Make Time For Living

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Let’s Watch!

IKEA teamed up with Australian ad agency, The Monkeys, to develop a two minute video for a new brand campaign.  The campaign touches on consumers’ busy lives and how they don’t have time to appreciate their family and lovely home.  IKEA chose a 9 year-old Australian boy who voices his concern about his family’s daily activities all while walking through and showing off IKEA items.

Why I’m Curious

I like IKEA’s approach to the busy family and the hectic daily life.  They present such a complex idea in a simple, easy going commercial.  We all know that an average person spends most of their time working, running errands and other activities and might not have time to just sit down and relax.  It is a great feeling for a consumer to be reminded of that every once in a while and using a cute little 9 year-old definitely did the trick for me.  It also helps that the 9 year-old is walking through a beautiful home showcasing IKEA’s products and familiarizing the consumer with their products.


Ikea’s Virtual Furniture App


Shopping for furniture is always a hassle, but what if you could see how the furniture would look in your space without measuring and going to the store? Ikea makes it easier to make a decision with their AR Ikea Catalogue App. 


All users have to do is scan the product from the paper catalogue, put the catalogue on the floor to adjust for scale and hold the phone up. They app places the furniture in the room and users can see if the furniture will fit, if the colors work, and how it would work with their lifestyle. 


Why I’m Curious

AR has usually been an entertainment feature — think Starbucks’ AR holiday app:



But this app not only provides entertainment, it also provides utility. It solves for a major pain point and is sure to drive increased traffic to their online site and drive online orders. At first glance, this AR app is in line with Ikea’s overall business strategy, serving a time-strapped budget consumer in that it allows the user to provide some self-service consultation at home. Traditionally, Ikea’s cost advantage is achieved by requiring the consumer to self-serve by selecting the design of the furniture, picking it up from the warehouse and shipping the furniture home themselves via car. Thus, Ikea’s margins are traditionally driven by in-store purchases, where they save on shipping costs. Because this is driving online purchases, costs associated with shipping may offset total revenue by increasing cost of of goods sold. Therefore I question, whether this will actually be a good move for the home furnishings giant. 

Ikea in Swedish

ikea imageA small group of consumers (read: friends) have created ‘Ikea På Svenska,’ an online guide that provides audio recordings of popular Ikea products. It’s a very simple tool but one that could provide a use for curious/clueless customers.

Why I’m Curious: I’m surprised that Ikea hasn’t done something to address this issue on their own. But I’m even more impressed that Ikea-loving customers would take this task on themselves. While I don’t think this is a critical consumer need for Ikea customers, it does provide some emotional value. And if Ikea had done this on their own, they could have used this as a guide to drive to their products, too.

Ikea’s Interactive Holiday Catalog

IKEA just announced their first interactive seasonal catalog. The 31-page catalog, Celebrate Brilliantly, is being introduced in time for Thanksgiving and can be read and watched on a section of their US site. The catalog focuses on inspiring people through fun and simple transformations you can make to your home during the holidays. You can also watch videos from the catalog pages, recommend to Facebook and Pin items on Pinterest, all with one click.

Why I’m Curious: IKEA has had an online version of their catalog for years – but it was basically a PDF. This is clearly a much more interesting way to shop and immerses people in your products (while also providing you data). And it’s just another example of the future (aka present) of shopping.

IKEA Opens VIP Airport Lounge Complete With Beds For Napping

According to PSFK, Travelers at France’s Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport can relax in style thanks to IKEA’s new VIP lounge that houses over 220-square meters of family-friendly space.

The IKEA Lounge is a free experience where visitors can wait for their flight while reading or watching TV from a comfortable sofa. Tired travelers can even hop into an IKEA bed located in one of the 9 bedrooms of the space for a short nap. Meanwhile, children can enjoy themselves in a secure area where qualified instructors will entertain them for the duration of their stay.

Why I’m curious:

A trip to IKEA usually requires a car and a committed weekend day, this makes it hard for IKEA to compete with brands who have more accessible stores in the cities, especially when it comes to fulfilling consumers’ desire to checkout products offline before making purchase decisions. Now by changing the location of the display rooms from a regular retail store to an airport lounge, the Swedish furniture brand not only shows its commitment of improving everyday life, but also provides utility to consumers in an unexpected yet un-intrusive way. What else do I like about this idea? The potential in social this campaign can create, how about check-in or to “like” certain furniture pieces to get discounted IKEA furnitures?

Ikea Creates and Interactive Page to Battle its Biggest Criticism

– Jordan

From Creativity:

Sure, your counter might be strong. But is it strong enough to withstand a grown man doing splits on it? IKEA and Mother invite you to find out, through an interactive demo site that lets you re-enact a party inside your kitchen, to emphasize the retailer’s 25-year guarantee on its kitchens.

The site, which lives inside the main IKEA U.K. page, features a man who can be dragged left and right so he does performs some pretty snazzily choreographed moves inside the kitchen, showing off features like ‘slam-proof’ drawers and ‘stain-proof’ work surfaces. (Seriously, what kind of party are you going to be throwing?)

Why I’m curious:

One of IKEA’s biggest consumer opinions to overcome is that their product is cheap because it is in fact cheap. In order to overcome this they have seamlessly entertained and engaged the online audience to invite them to educate themselves on IKEA’s rigorous testing methods. I think it is a great example of how advertising meets art and is overall a more effective strategy that helps to change consumer opinions.

IKEA Viral Contest Urges People To Snap Covert Pics Of Public Nappers

– Janice

“IKEA UK launched new Facebook campaign to drive its social media presence with a viral photo contest. While promoting its wide selection of bedding and mattresses, IKEA urges its loyal followers to snap photos of people napping, or as IKEA puts it: “sleeping like a princess.” After uploading the photo on IKEA’s Facebook page, the public will vote on the best picture and one lucky winner (and his/her victim) will receive a bed, a mattress to suit the way they sleep, pillows, a quilt, quilt cover and lots of comfy extras like a mattress topper. The packages are each worth up to £1500 (approximately US$2400). (more on PSFK)”

Why I’m curious:

I’m curious to see the results of this campaign. Snapping pictures of friends and family dozing off is one of the meanest AND funnest tricks in the book, with high chances of sharing. As a brand, Ikea has had a personality of providing something delightful, imaginative, and light-hearted to its customers. For the last decade, at least in the U.K. and Europe, Ikea has pulled off unusual stunts to bring a smile to your face. This viral campaign fits the brand personality and it’s clearly poking fun at our follies. Also, I wonder what was the insight that led to the idea. Could it be that a large number of people were coming in to take naps on the beds at the Ikea in Shanghai? We will stay tuned and find out how well this campaign lives on the internet.

IKEA hosts sleepover for 100 Facebook fans

— Jocelyn


IKEA hosted a sleepover at its Essex store in the U.K., giving a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for customers and fans to spend the night inside its signature furniture warehouse. The whole idea for this PR event was inspired by a Facebook group called  ”I wanna have a sleepover in IKEA.” Nearly 100,000 people have joined the group and Ikea granted 100 lucky winners their wish. The late-November event had a minimum age of 25 and a strict pajamas-only dress code. Guests were given goodie bags containing eye mask, midnight snacks, towel and slippers, and more. The sleepover also featured entertainment ranging from massages and manicures to movies and even a bedtime story reading by a reality-TV celebrity. A sleep expert was on hand with tips for getting a good night’s rest, including how to test a mattress and choose the right bedding for different styles.

One invitee blogged about the invite email:
Hi Louise,
Because you’re family, we wanted to make sure you’re one of the first to know about our amazing IKEA Sleepover competition.

In this once in a lifetime opportunity, 50 lucky ladies will win a sleepover night at the IKEA Homebush store on 25 March, including chick flicks, pampering treatments, and indulgent snacks served by some very handsome men. And IKEA will make a donation to Bear Cottage on behalf of all the competition winners.

To enter, simply go to the IKEA Sleepover Facebook page. Competition closes 14 March.

Good luck,
Mark Tsen

Why I’m Curious:
What DOESN’T IKEA do? Not only is this a brilliant PR stunt, it’s also rooted in very real strategies to develop consideration and advocacy. Social driving people to physical stores: check. People in physical stores testing out products: check. Brand event turning fans into social advocates: check. Even the emailed invite is friendly and personal, inviting users because they’re “family.” This is the perfect storm for positive sentiment, both online and off.

IKEA: Happy to Bed

– Kate

Ikea UK has just launched an interactive app on YouTube that creates a personalized 3D mockup of a bedroom based on personal info. When you get to the page, it starts off with an ordinary YouTube video before the whole experience is taken over by a unique app which the user can then login to Facebook with. Based on the user’s Facebook data and living situation, the tool then generates a 3D bedroom fitted with clickable IKEA items. Each personalized bedroom is tailored to the smallest details, such as photos from the user’s Facebook album hanging on the walls or in frames.

Check out the app experience here:

Why I’m Curious 

I love how this compelling insight about wanting to be comfortable when you go to bed, has been so effectively translated into a highly immersive online experience. Since engaging with the app, I’m not looking at my room with quite the same perspective that I did before. Technology issues aside (the initial Youtube video took a little while to play and, when placed “in the room”, my Facebook photos were quite misaligned), this is a great example of leveraging Facebook Connect to provide a personalized experience, and bake online retail directly into it.