Whether you’re B2B or B2C, we think all creatives should take inspiration from IKEA’s 2017 marketing achievements.
IKEA has been named Campaign’s Creative Marketer of the Year for the second year running. The judges felt that the Swedish retailer had “achieved an even higher standard of marketing across TV, digital and experiential” than it had done when it won the title in 2016 – proving that great creative ideas and a smidgen of wit can spark the imagination and capture consumer attention.
IKEA has produced no less than 3 TV adverts this year.
Win at sleeping
In January, it brought us ‘Win at sleeping’; a campaign that highlighted a real problem for quite a lot of people – the battle to get a good night’s sleep. As you would expect, this was an issue that resonated profoundly with the overworked, under-rested UK population.
Relax into greatness
In July, IKEA released its ‘Relax into greatness’ ad. This was a campaign that aimed to reassure its audience that there was something noble about the ability to sit at home doing nothing, inspired by the fact that this behaviour is typical of an alpha male lion.
Hooray! To the wonderful everyday
In contrast to the concept of relaxing, October’s campaign – ‘Hooray! To the wonderful everyday’ – was an encouragement to treat even the little things in life as a celebration, and not to just save all the excitement for special occasions.
In September, IKEA opened its 20th UK store in Sheffield. The South Yorkshire city’s tram was kitted out with IKEA furnishings, IKEA deckchairs were set up in the Botanical Gardens, and IKEA cushions were dropped off on local park benches. It even commissioned local artist Jason Heppenstall to create a sculpture of a falcon from more than 17,000 IKEA Allen keys. The piece was displayed outside the train station and has now become a permanent work of public art.
Alongside ‘The Wonderful Everyday Tour’ in Sheffield, IKEA executed an effective poster campaign in the city showing clothes and shoes suspended in thin air, as if awaiting the arrival of IKEA wardrobes and shelving.
2017 was also the year that IKEA celebrated its 30th birthday. To mark the occasion, it took over four floors of a Soho townhouse. Each floor was decorated in the style of a different decade, with the top floor used to explore ideas for the future.
It was a fitting celebration of how the brand, which launched in the UK in 1987, had played a key role in the development of British home fashions – providing its customers with affordable, high quality and (now) sustainable goods. Of course, the experience was also available in VR for those who were unable to attend.
When it was revealed that Jon Snow in Game of Thrones was dressed in the IKEA SKOLD rug, the Swedish retailer gave us an expert lesson in reactionary marketing. It posted a ‘do-it-yourself’ guide on its social channels, showing customers how to make their own Jon Snow outfit in time for winter.
According to Marketing Week, “the reactive campaign has reached 151 million internet users, who have posted 83,500 messages in reaction, while delivering 778 million global impressions. This has also had a halo effect on the product itself, with a 775% rise in searches for the SKOLD rug.”
And when Apple released the iPhone 8, IKEA was quick off the mark once again. The latest iPhone models support wireless charging, so IKEA took the chance to relaunch its own range of wireless charging stations, using the line ‘It charges everything’ (in reference to Apple’s line – ‘This changes everything’).
You can’t argue with the results. In 2017, awareness grew 2%, consideration was up 3% and sales were up 6% on the previous year. As Campaign put it, “if Ikea can maintain this standard of creative output and relevance to the lives of consumers, there seems no reason why that growth shouldn’t continue” – a worthy winner of Creative Marketer of the Year 2017.
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