CASSIES Gold: Ikea’s home run

To prove it knows life at home, the retailer engaged consumers with its "House Rules."


This story appears in the February/March 2015 issue of strategy.

Events, Seasonal & Short-Term

Situation Analysis: While young adult Canadians in the 18-to-35 range love Ikea, when they start thinking about, and having, families of their own, tastes and budgets evolve such that they believe they’ve outgrown the brand. This older target, which is key to Ikea’s continued growth, already had plenty of sophisticated and mature home decor choices. Could Canadians who feel they had outgrown Ikea be persuaded it has grown right alongside them in terms of quality and style?

Insight & Strategy: Research identified the root cause behind the gravitation away from Ikea was a lack of understanding between the realities of what Ikea was today versus the Ikea they remember. Ikea needed to reinforce it was the true leader in understanding life at home.

Further research dug deep into the home and identified the existence of “house rules.” By celebrating the unwritten rules of every home, the retailer’s relevance could be reasserted for the 35+ shopper by showing Ikea truly understood their real, everyday life at home.

Execution: Launched in March 2014 via a 60-second television spot, “House Rules” used social media to gather the rules people employed and visualized them artfully online by each room in the home, making it easy for people to read others’ rules and submit their own. Shared on Ikea’s digital OOH, social channels and e-newsletters, readers were continually driven to to generate more content. Live tweeting of the house rules of popular TV shows during their season finales added freshness and relevance, as did the moment Drake pulled out a lint roller during a Toronto Raptors’ playoff game, claiming, “Our house is a lint-free zone.”

Results: The “House Rules” campaign generated a 12% same-store sales increase versus the same period a year earlier. By comparison, the home furnishings and furniture category increased just 1% during the same period. The site generated 26,613 rules, with visitors to the site spending 3.5 minutes on average reading the responses of other Canadians.

Cause & Effect: Key brand intent scores among the 35+ age group indexed at 110 versus the previous year, with notable increases in “Company I can trust” (up 7%), “Would miss if it disappeared” (up 11%), and “Is warm and human” (up 11%). Spontaneous and top-of-mind awareness for the Ikea brand were also up 10% each versus a year ago, with an increase of 12% in those claiming they had bought from Ikea recently. With no changes to spending levels, pricing, distribution and promotional activity, the campaign was a key driver of the sales increase.

Client: Ikea Canada
Country marketing manager: Hilary Lloyd
Advertising manager: Kirsten Ryan
Advertising specialist: Jonelle Ricketts
Agency: Leo Burnett
CCO: Judy John
Group CDs: Morgan Kurchak, David Federico
CW: Morgan Kurchak
AD: David Federico
Digital ADs: David Federico, Trevor Bell
Designers: David Federico, Trevor Bell, Karen Porges
SVP, GM: David Kennedy
Account supervisors: Allison Tang, Danielle Iozzo
Planner, director: Brent Nelsen
Strategic planner: Lisa Hart
Social media planners: Heather Morrison, Michael McDonald-Beraskow
Director, creative technology: Felix Wardene
Digital project manager: Thomas Degez
Agency producer: Franca Piacente
Media agency: Jungle Media