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Posts Tagged ‘IKEA’

This ‘IKEA as Gravity’ Spoof Is Pretty Funny

Last night we attended a Lippincott-sponsored event focusing on the creation of unique “customer experiences” and thought: “What retail brand provides a more singular experience than IKEA?”

Here, via a guy named Daniel Hubbard who appears to be something of a filmmaker, is a spoof of the IKEA experience playing off the everybody’s-talking-about-it-and-it’s-actually-quite-good Sandra Bullock vehicle Gravity.

This is fairly accurate. We haven’t read the studies, but we know the whole “winding maze that only moves one way so you have to pass through every single department and sample the meatballs before you leave” strategy is based on solid research.

As one commentor who beat us to the punch wrote: “In IKEA no one can hear you scream”—but they can show you where to get a butterfly chair, a cheap full-length mirror and a cool frame for your dorm room poster.

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A Child’s Epic Rant in Ikea Ad Aims to Teach Timely Lesson

Make time for living—Teddy_s Speech - YouTubeIkea‘s latest Australian ad takes the focus off of home furnishings themselves, and places it instead on why we bother furnishing our homes in the first place — so that we can live in them, something the young, modern family seems to have less and less time to do.

The spot aims to send an important, timely message: “It’s time to make time for living”…otherwise, as demonstrated in the ad (below), a pesky neighbor kid may break into your abandoned home and wander around while giving an indignant rant about the state of today’s over-booked, under-connected family.

“No room was ever made just for answering emails,” says Teddy, as he enters an impeccably furnished (but conspicuously empty) home. “Killing two birds with one stone seems to be the family mantra,” he complains, “meanwhile, we haven’t had a sit-down meal or gone to see Gran in over three weeks.”

Every time he turns a corner, he appears to be in another home, presumably demonstrating that every family in his neighborhood is struggling with the same time-crunch issue — it’s a universal modern day problem. Read more

IKEA and Marriott to Launch Horsemeat and Sewage-Free Hotel Chain

Moxy Hotels IKEA, which we will always know as the world’s top paperboard dorm room furniture producer, has received a good bit of bad press recently for combining three things that do not go well together: food, horsemeat and “high levels of bacteria normally found in human and animal waste.”

While the Swedish retail giant works to recall its almond cakes from branches in more than 23 countries, its communications team would love to turn the public’s attention toward a slightly more encouraging development: a partnership with the Marriott hospitality chain which will help the company open a series of “budget” hotels across Western Europe over the next few years.

This move may surprise the public, but it’s hardly unprecedented: Inter Hospitality is a long-running subsidiary of IKEA’s parent company Inter IKEA. The new ventures, described as “low-cost, high-style“, will be known as Moxy Hotels and designed to appeal specifically to the “Millennial” crowd which has that deadly combination of discerning taste and low income. The inaugural branch of the chain is set to open in Milan in 2014 with as many as 50 locations to follow.

Will this move strengthen the larger IKEA brand? Sure–as long as they don’t make the cakes, the meatballs or the hotel furniture.

Horse Meat Scandal Touches IKEA’s Meatballs

Today everyone’s favorite paperboard furniture provider IKEA announced plans to remove its famous Swedish meatballs from the menu at every in-store cafeteria in 21 European countries after confirming that Czech food inspectors had found “traces of horse” in those round, sauce-covered meat globes. Now we have a few questions:

  • Is any company safe at this point?
  • Will this scandal convince Europeans to re-examine their relationship with red meat and enact stricter regulations on those companies that include it in their products? (You really don’t know what you could be eating in most cases.)
  • Did you know that horse meat is supposedly “leaner” and “sweeter” than cow meat and that it contains twice the Iron and three times the essential omega fatty acids? Doesn’t it feel kind of strange to consider that information?
  • Finally, what good is an IKEA with no meatballs anyway?

 

The 18 Best, Worst and Weirdest Valentine’s Day PR Stunts

Happy Valentine’s Day! February 14th happens to be the world’s greatest manufactured consumerist holiday—a time for marketing and PR departments everywhere to either bring their “A” games or admit defeat, stay home and watch Golden Girls reruns while crying into their ice cream.

You’d think that Valentine’s Day promos would only apply to certain classes of products, but quite a few savvy professionals have figured out how to make the day theirs in alternately creative and cringe-worthy ways. In honor of the holiday, we browsed the trusty Internet to find some of the most unusual romantic PR stunts.

What do we think? Has anyone seen any campaigns good (or bad) enough to match these?

Ikea Sorry for Using East German Slave Labor

Ikea We love Ikea for its particleboard dorm-room tables, its interactive catalogs and its maze-like retail monoliths–masterpieces of psychological trickery designed to make it impossible for visitors to leave without walking past every single cupboard and toothbrush holder stocked in the company’s massive basement warehouses.

But this week we learned that Ikea hasn’t always been a group of good guys distributing meatballs and cheap full-length mirrors to Americans on a budget. While the company’s “official code of conduct” currently includes “zero tolerance for child and forced labor”, its European executives apparently didn’t feel any ethical qualms about utilizing prison labor in the 70’s and 80’s.

A recent report on Ikea’s past practices by auditor Ernst and Young–which the company requested after outside parties accused it of using slave labor–revealed that the workers who made some of the company’s signature furniture in its East German factories didn’t work by choice: they were prisoners who’d been sentenced to hard labor due to their political beliefs, which in most cases amounted to opposing the Soviet-backed Communist government after the post-war division of Germany. Seems like Ikea had a “don’t ask, don’t tell”-style arrangement with its Eastern partners.

Ikea can’t claim ignorance either; the Ernst and Young report found that company executives received tip-offs about the practice but did nothing to curb it.

Read more

Ikea Drops ‘Augmented Reality’ Catalog

Remember the halcyon days of 2002, when the holographic touch-screen special effects of Minority Report seemed like a glimpse into a fantastically distant future? Well, this week we took a step closer to that new (virtual) reality thanks to Ikea, those Swedish kings of meatballs and particleboard.

After a big buildup, the company finally dropped its new high-tech holiday catalog, created by Philadelphia’s Brownstein Group and cheerily titled “Celebrate Brilliantly“. We’re generally skeptical of “interactive” products, but any catalog that allows “users” (not readers) to pull down a virtual shade and play with various living room arrangements earns our tentative thumbs up.

For a refresher, here’s the promo video that the company released this summer:

IKEA U.K. Using Facebook Profiles as Decorating Tools

My customized IKEA room

In the U.K., IKEA has launched a 3D personalization tool that plugs your Facebook info into YouTube and creates a customized bedroom with links to purchase the items selected. Snippets from your wall posts and status updates even form kind of a “This is Your Life” image in the shape of the bedroom that the program is creating for you while it digests your info. Creepy and fascinating.

The effort is part of the bedrooms campaign in that country. The company did a study of two million Brits to gather info about what they’re doing in their bedrooms and how they’re using the space. Two trends identified are doing work and using the TV and Internet in the bedroom.

Due to the localized way that IKEA manages its marketing, this is only available for shoppers in the U.K., but you can still check it out for ideas.