Shopper Innovation Awards: Ikea sets the House Rules

Leo Burnett created a campaign for the furniture retailer that celebrated the rules that govern people's homes.

This story appears in the May 2015 issue of strategy.

Bronze: Integration
Bronze: Path to Purchase

While many Canadians love the Ikea brand in their 20s and 30s, as they get older and their lifestyles change, they reach a point where they outgrow the retailer.

Leo Burnett was tasked with demonstrating that Ikea understands the realities of life in every home, for families of every shape and size. From research, the agency found that Canadians aged 35-plus spend most of their time in their homes. And in every home, there are sets of unwritten, but understood “rules.”

“#HouseRules” was created to celebrate the rules in every home. The program launched with a 60-second spot, encouraging Canadians to share their house rules. Leo Burnett then collected the submitted rules, visualized them online and organized them by each room in the home. It took the most popular to the masses, using traditional advertising, and shared the rules that most Canadians could relate to.

Using social media, the brand posted the most debated rules, asking Canadians how they felt about them. It then surprised some participants by sending little Ikea gifts that connected with their own personal rules, showing the role of the brand in their day-to-day lives.

Ikea also live-tweeted the house rules of popular TV shows during their finales. It even used the program to connect the brand to a cultural moment. When rapper Drake pulled out a lint roller during a Toronto Raptors’ playoff game, the brand and agency reacted by saying “There is no lint in our house” and gave out Ikea lint rollers outside a game.

“#HouseRules” led to a 12% same-store sales increase versus a year ago – significantly above the home furnishings category, which only achieved a 1% increase.


Advertiser: Ikea Canada
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
Web developers: Jacqueline Adediji, David Freedman, Matthew Rependa, Margaret Beck
SVP, general manager: 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
VP media connection planning: Brooke Leland
Media broadcast planner: Krystal Seymour
Media non-broadcast planner: Janet Xi