IKEA, the Scandinavian retailer, is known for innovative, design-rich products that often target young people with small living spaces. For anyone who hasn’t been in one of their stores, they’re usually massive and draw tremendous crowds, though showcase items in a bright, airy, consumer friendly manner.
So give this “grandiose” setting in which they market their wares, I recently came across two very different marketing programs that IKEA ran in Europe, that got my attention, not only for their innovation, but also for how they creatively demonstrated the chain’s essence.
The first one – The Big Sleepover – ran in the U.K and leveraged social media to help promote their bedding/bed area. Almost 100,000 people signed up for a Facebook group called “I wanna have a sleepover in IKEA”, from which they randomly selected 100 for a sleepover “experience” in an IKEA store. Complete with individually selected bedding, midnight snacks, slippers, massages, and sleep expert consultations, the winners got to try out their choice of beds and spend the night sleeping in the store.
While across the channel in Paris, they actually built a temporary apartment in a metro station for 5 people to live in for a week, to demonstrate how IKEA’s products are appropriate for small space living . Not only could commuters check out the apartment, but Facebook fans could also win a chance to stay there for a night.
Over the top? maybe. But they sure are what I call “sampling” events!