IKEA assembles a care-free holiday meal

A tablecloth stealthily shows how to properly set the table and simplify coming together again, a key message of a broader holiday campaign.


IKEA Canada wants to ensure this season is all about celebrating being together for the holiday again, and it’s starting by making sure hosts won’t let something like remembering how to set the table stress them out.

What appear to be a typical, formal tablecloths actually feature a strategically selected pattern meant to resemble each part of a table setting, with everything from cutlery to sides to decoration given its proper place. The “Set-The-Tablecloths” are being made available through a giveaway to IKEA loyaly plan members, who also have the chance to win a $500 gift card.

According to Johanna Andrén, head of marketing at IKEA Canada, to take some stress out of hosting, the brand is putting is design expertise to work by simplifying a common element of the festivities and adding a bit of fun to one the most joyous times of year. It also comes during a holiday season when moments of connection and reconnecting with families feels essential, but Canadians may feel out of practice or even stressed by the prospect of hosting again.

“Assembling around the dining table is a key part of the holiday celebration,” Andrén says, telling strategy it’s a chance to be surprising and innovative as part of broader marketing initiatives. In this case, it is amplifying its latest brand campaign and the company’s core value of togetherness, which was touched on in last year’s holiday promotion where it created gingerbread stencils to let families make some of the retailer’s most popular furniture.

This year’s holiday campaign is anchored by a spot dubbed “Assemble Together,” a purposeful double meaning that references both the process of putting IKEA’s products together as well as gathering as loved ones. The spot – created, like the rest of the campaign, by Rethink – features a family turning up the music after putting together an extra chair for the dinner table. The beat from the smart speaker makes everything from pot lids to food to an IKEA Allen key bouncing along with music, culminating in the whole family dancing around the table.

That spot is supported by a 360-degree media plan, while the tablecloth will be brought to life largely through social.

According to IKEA Canada’s 2021 Summary Report, online sales spiked 161.5% to $969.48 million this year, with a 32% in traffic and a 63% increase in orders through its distribution centres.  The retailer also fulfilled an average of 4,195 Click and Collect orders per day, up from 645 orders per day pre-lockdowns.

While the pandemic accelerated the ecomm business, and IKEA has done a lot of work to improve the convenience of its offerings, Andrén says it’s had a limited impact in terms of how IKEA is approaching its advertising strategy, keeping its overarching media and marketing messages largely the same.

Wunderman is supporting the holiday campaign by activating on the loyalty front, while Carat handled the media buy.