Cooking with Ikea

Ikea is targeting your kitchen. And Cass Hall, who has taken over the marketing manager role, is leading the charge. Hall, previously the Burlington, Ont.-based retailer's advertising & creative manager, was promoted to the post after former marketing manager Nandini Venkatesh left in December.

Ikea is targeting your kitchen. And Cass Hall, who has taken over the marketing manager role, is leading the charge. Hall, previously the Burlington, Ont.-based retailer’s advertising & creative manager, was promoted to the post after former marketing manager Nandini Venkatesh left in December.

His new focus on kitchens is part of a three-year global push by the Swedish home décor giant. Since kitchens tend to be popular renovation choices for homeowners, Ikea ‘see[s] it as a leadership [area],’ says Hall.

To market its message in Canada, the brand is trying something different. Inserted into the pages of the March issue of Canadian House & Home will be a DVD, shot like a mini-film, featuring kitchens from all over the world and showcasing four people whose spaces are in need of a revamp.

It will be sent out to the magazine’s 180,000 subscribers. From a massive kitchen renovation to simple style offerings, the DVD is an effort to ‘try a new medium,’ says Hall, and ‘add an emotional aspect’ to the advertising. ‘When selling kitchens, you need to persuade,’ he says, especially given that most people will renovate the space only once every seven years. Double-page ads will also appear in home magazines such as Style at Home and Wish.

The initiative first began last October when the brand began featuring kitchen living more prominently in its catalogue.

In-store displays were also expanded, and ‘kitchen co-workers’ were trained to be experts in the new merchandise offering, which includes up to 27 different door styles, he says.

Hall, who hails from Australia, has been with the brand for seven years – two in Canada. Prior to that, he was a brand manager of the Sunday Telegraph newspaper. He says the search is currently on to find a replacement for his previous position.