IKEA Canada expands its ‘Green Friday’ project

The retailer is spending the month showing how a circular economy is not only affordable, but convenient.

IKEA BGF - OOH board - BestaIKEA is once again co-opting the celebration of consumerism that is Black Friday, but expanding it into a month-long campaign extolling the benefits of sustainable living.

Last year, the Swedish retailer reminded people that during times of conspicuous consumption, there’s value in saving things other than money, as it offered double the assessed value back to customers who offered up their gently used IKEA furniture through its loyalty program-linked Sell-Back program. 

For 2021, IKEA’s “Green Friday” campaign, running until November 29, is once again incentivizing consumers to give their IKEA products a second life. It is also inviting them to shop for deals on gently used items in IKEA’s Circular Hub (As-Is) section, its online marketplace for discontinued, gently used and ex-showroom displays.

“No one wants to be wasteful and most people want to do more to tackle climate change in their daily lives,” says Melissa Barbosa, head of sustainability for IKEA Canada. Through Green Friday, it’s building on what it started last year, testing and learning more about how it can support customers in prolonging a product’s lifespan and passing on used items.

Barbosa tells strategy that the campaign is informed by research from GlobeScan, which shows that nine in ten consumers want to do more to tackle climate change in our daily lives, but don’t know where to start. With Green Friday, it wants to show that taking positive steps toward sustainability is not only affordable, but convenient.

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The messaging is simple, and is centred on giving old things a new life.

IKEA is leveraging out-of-home strategically placed near stores, digital banners, social media and online video, as well as its owned channels, email and SMS to draw attention to Green Friday. The retailer is primarily focusing on digital channels, as that’s where consumers do the bulk of their product research and shopping, says Johanna Andrén, IKEA Canada’s head of marketing.

“Last year, when we shifted away from traditional Black Friday discounts to focus on saving more than money with our sustainable products, we saw a great response from customers,” Andrén says. “So, this year we’re truly closing the loop on circularity to enable ourselves and consumers to make an even greater positive impact on the planet.”

Since launching its Sell-Back program in Canada in late 2018, IKEA says it has received more than 58,000 submissions from Canadians nationwide, and the program is one of the ways it’s transforming to be a circular and climate positive company, which also includes using only renewable, recycled, or recyclable materials, and eliminating waste.

This November, IKEA stores are introducing a new Sustainable Living Shop, positioned around small actions having outsized impacts. On November 25th, it will host Virtual Workshops to support customers in extending the life of their IKEA products. 

This summer, the retailer’s “Repurposeful Instructions” campaign centred on making old things new again, with 12 creative ideas to upcycle popular IKEA products.

Andrén tells strategy that for this campaign it’s working with Pigeon, a shop that’s been working on its flyers for several years and whose scope has expanded to include certain campaigns where IKEA collaborates with global partners on creative (AOR Rethink continues to focus on IKEA Canada’s strategic work and larger campaigns). Carat handled media duties, while Wunderman Thompson did customer experience and loyalty elements.