Furniture Marketing

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Furniture marketing, by and large hasn’t really developed in any major way for as long as I can remember. However, there is one exception and that is Ikea.

The world of furniture marketing is a pretty conservative. Ad’s will usually appear in print or on TV where the furniture can be shown, usually with price and more than likely people enjoying said furniture in immaculately decorated surroundings. Now don’t get me wrong Ikea produce their own catalogue which fulfils all these furniture marketing stereotypes, but they do like to mix things up with guerrilla and ambient techniques and late last year saw a very clever yet simple social media promotion. Even when Ikea do TV ad’s they still like to throw in a twist that gets people talking about the brand. All of their more edgy marketing has one thing in common, it’s aimed at bringing their brochure to life.

1. Ikea Facebook
First, I’ll get the most obvious one out of the way. This was one of my Top 9 of ’09 due to its simplicity. A showroom picture uploaded to their Facebook profile, first people to tag an item win that item. Simple idea that gets customers interacting with a type of online brochure. Brilliant!

2. Ikea Guerrilla New York
These pictures are from New York in 2006, where Ikea set up 650 ‘everyday fabulous’ experiences for New Yorkers over five days to promote Design Week. These are simple ideas that took the urban edge off bus shelters and parking meters, allowing people experience the catalogue in surprising circumstances.

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As an aside to this, and to refer back to my 3 Step Formula for marketing ideas, This general concept was re-engineered recently in Ireland, and used in a much poorer context for Vodafone. The advert takes the surprise and fun out of the concept. View it here.

3. Ikea Monorail
In 2008 Ikea re-engineered their New York ideas for Kobe Portliner Monorail.

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4. Ikea Brooklyn
In 2008 Ikea promoted the launch of its new store in Brooklyn with mini pop up appartments decked out with all Ikea gear.

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5. Ikea meets Abolsut
Abolsut Vodka, a bread featured many times in the past here, merged their brand with Ikea for this clever New York ad.

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6. Ikea 40th
For their 40th birthday the Ikea store in Stockholm was decorated like a massive birthday cake

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7. Ikea TV Commercials
Ikea was also the first company to feature Gay and Transgender individuals in their TV advertising. When they do TV ad’s, they do them differently. These ones below feature all the elements expected in the genre. Furniture? Check. Happy looking people enjoying furniture? Check. Immaculately decorated surroundings? Check. But there’s a twist

This following commercial was made in Germany and poked fun at Ikea’s Swedish heritage. It was subsequently banned by the firms head office

8. Ikea ‘Not For Sale’
The company did run into trouble in 2007 for a campaign that included the placing of estate agent style ‘for sale’ signs in London with the phrase ‘Not For Sale’. This was part of a campaign called ‘Home is the Most Important Place in the World’. The signs were deemed to be too similar to a campaign by a UK home refurbishment company who also used ‘Not For Sale’ signs in 2006. Ikea agreed to promote Onis Living for 1 year on its campaign site. You can view the Ikea version here and Onis version here.

9. Ikea ‘Sims 2: Home Stuff Pack’
In 2008 the company became the second (after H&M) to release a ‘stuff pack’ for The Sims that featured all furniture and decoration from Ikea.

10. Ikea Southampton
In 2009 to promote the opening of Ikea Southhampton the company painted the MV Red Osprey Ferry in the distinctive colours and logo of the firm. The ferry remained that colour for 12 months to also promote the Isle Of Wight delivery service.

11. Ikea Tampa
To promote their store in Tampa, Ikea produced this impressive take on...
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