IKEA takes window shopping literally to launch its newest store

The retailer turned houses and apartments into OOH ads to show all the different homes that could be served by its urban store concept.

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To launch its new Toronto concept store, IKEA became a home stager of sorts, turning actual dwelling places into de facto retail showrooms.

This campaign – an effort to support IKEA’s new downtown Toronto store – turned the windows of houses, condos and apartments into billboards, showing the “real possibilities” the store offered for any type of home. Passersby can peer into windows for home décor inspiration, with different products heroed for different living situations. 

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IKEA announced it was bringing the small footprint, urban concept store to Canada in 2019 to meet demands for continued growth in core densities. The concepts, which have also been launched in other markets globally, range from 5 to 50,000 square feet, considerably smaller than its two decades-old Etobicoke store that clocks in at 330,000 square feet. The two-floor urban Toronto location features a selection of 2,000 products available for purchase, the majority of which are home furnishing accessories, though it features an additional 1,500 products that customers can see and try out before ordering.

The selection is slimmed down compared to what would be available at the typical, large format IKEA showroom, but is also tailored to what would be most relevant to a downtown Toronto customer base that might otherwise have a hard time making it out to a location in the city’s suburbs, which served as the inspiration for the campaign.

“When it came to launching a wildcard stunt to create buzz around our new store, we started by asking ourselves: if our showrooms are inspired by Toronto homes, why not put them in Toronto homes?” says Jordan Sequiera, country marketing campaign leader for IKEA Canada. “This was an opportunity to show the possibilities of life at home in Toronto, with design layouts tailored to the many lifestyles and neighbourhoods of the city.”

The launch video for “Window Shopping” – created, like the rest of the campaign, by Rethink – highlights different lifestyles that each window vignette aims to capture, from a mother and daughter playing cards in their family room, to a bachelor sipping coffee by the window. 

The campaign marks the Swedish retailer’s continued reimagination of dwelling spaces, including its recent spring campaign exploring the double entendre of “making yourself at home,” in which household objects become inspiration.

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