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IKEA’s Creative Agency Shares How It Gets Shoppers To Love ‘Unlikeable’ Products
By Mikelle Leow, 14 Jun 2018
Image via IKEA Asset Bank
IKEA might be a massive assemblage of furniture, but the reality is that shoppers are only bound to recognize the names of a handful. That’s not to say that the Swedish giant has gone overboard with how many items it rolls out—there’s something for every customer, and the goal is to connect them with the ones that best fit their homes.
One of IKEA’s advertising partners, Åkestam Holst, is often faced with this very task. So far, the agency has produced some award-winning creative projects for the brand—including the famous ad that doubles as a pregnancy kit—to help sell less popular products.
How does Åkestam Holst pull it off? At the Mumbrella360 Australia media and marketing event on Wednesday, the agency’s executive creative director, Magnus Jakobsson, has shared how the studio makes people enjoy “unlikeables.”
“IKEA is not a shoe, it is not perfume, it is not those things that makes you feel like a king or a queen for a day—it is more or less forks, a chair for $20, or it could be a lightbulb. IKEA product liking had to go up… so our creative strategy was… to attach emotional value to all these things, attach something for people to like, take these unlikables, and make people like them.”
In ‘The Pee Ad’, Åkestam Holst advertised a baby crib with an unassuming print copy. Upon closer inspection, the reader would learn that they would have to urinate on it to find out more. If they were pregnant, the ad would display a discounted price that matched the price an IKEA Family member was expected to pay, further emphasizing the perks of being a member.
Jakobsson said the key was not to glamorize items or their prices, but to find out “why the hell you should like” these products that people rarely think about, and then draw an emotional connection to them.
It’s definitely not a bed of roses to work with an international big-name like IKEA, however. Jakobsson said to prepare for calls in the dead of night, hundreds of workshops and pitch briefings to attend, and for the possibility that the client will ask you to scrap everything. “Just like any other big brand… it is not an easy path through everything.”
Image via Åkestam Holst
[via Mumbrella Asia, videos via Åkestam Holst, images via Åkestam Holst]
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