IKEA goes off-book with this year’s catalogue

The pandemic furthers a push to digitization, with a launch campaign aimed at meeting consumers where they are.

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IKEA Canada has launched its 2021 catalogue, furthering its push to digital and adapting more virtual experiences to keep consumers engaged.

This year’s catalogue focuses on how customers can make their homes comfier, smarter, sustainable and aesthetically-pleasing – aware of the fact that people are spending more time than ever in their homes. And this year’s catalogue launch – an annual marketing priority for IKEA – comes with two campaigns that are keenly aware of that fact.

The “Everywhere Launch” campaign – which was done by creative agency Rethink, with Carat handling the media buy – consisted of IKEA Canada posting actual pages of the catalogue on bus stops, buildings and coffee cups across the country, to bring the catalogue to where Canadians were during social distancing. IKEA also made this year’s catalogue available on Instagram and the brand’s official website. Hard copies of the catalogue are available, as always, to pick-up on the way out of IKEA stores, but also via curbside click and collect.

The “IKEA Coffee Table Catalogue” campaign – which was also done by Rethink, as well as Wunderman Thompson – involved the creation of a limited edition hardcover version of this year’s catalogue, to add as a nice home showpiece in addition to providing inspiration for new ideas.

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“Bringing that experience to our consumers instead of our consumers having to go to us is a big shift, from a marketing [perspective],” says Kristin Newbigging, PR manager at IKEA Canada. Although IKEA ended home delivery for printed copies to customers’ homes last year, it introduced expanded experiential offerings, including four in-store launches over the course of the year, as well as the “Home Furnishing Festival,” a series of large events open to loyalty program members.

But due to COVID-19, there will be no in-store home-furnishing events for IKEA this year around the 2021 catalogue. Newbigging says that the experiential and loyalty engagement element comes through with this year’s Coffee Table catalogue – customers can sign up for a chance to win the catalogue through the loyalty program – taking it from in-store to digital.

“If you look at the [IKEA] catalog this year, it’s actually shifting content strategy to really be a bit of a home handbook,” she says. “If you look at home today, and how much time that we’re spending in our homes, the content of the catalogue is more relevant than ever. It’s really going to help you in your daily life, to really just make small steps toward the positive home.”

Affordability, especially in the context of a pandemic, has always been a cornerstone of the IKEA brand, and has never been more of an important issue than it is now. Millions of Canadians have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. To that end, the catalogue contains tips and content like options for creating and furnishing a home on a budget, as well as water-saving taps. It also has tips for sustainability, another brand value IKEA has been leaning on.