Ikea Facebook Showroom

Case Study 1 IKEA Facebook Showroom


IKEA has been around for decades, first originating in 1943 in Sweden. It was founded by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad, who in 2013 was listed as one of the world’s richest people. The name IKEA is an acronym for Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd- the founder’s name, the farm where he grew up, his hometown, respectively. It is one of the largest furniture stores in the world with currently 373 stores worldwide in 47 different countries. In August 2009, IKEA opened a new store in Malmo, Sweden. The company enlisted Forsman & Bodenfors to create an ad campaign for the new store opening.

IKEA’s culture is one that revolves around contemporary design, low prices, and unusual promotions. IKEA is unique in that their advantage over the competition is that everything is offered under one roof. Going to IKEA is often considered an outing rather than shopping. The showrooms create a sense of inspiration and ingenuity of modern design, at prices that don’t make one shy away from looking in deep and trying out furniture. There is also a restaurant in the stores so that if hunger strikes there is no need to leave the store. After purchasing some furniture there is also a market on the way out of the store where you can buy food items from Sweden to take home for consumption. The layout of the building and the way it leads one along a circular path enhances the experience and leads one to see the store in its entirety.

Forsman & Bodenfors has done numerous campaigns for IKEA since 1996. Forsman & Bodenfors is, “The world’s most creative agency,” according to Adage and reported as the most awarded agency in the world 2014 by Gunn Report. The agency was founded in Sweden in 1986 as a small agency with a vision to create world class communication. They continue to be an independent company and are ranked as one of the best ad agencies in the world. They have received numerous awards for the agency and this campaign from: 100-Wattaren, Andy Awards, Art Directors Club, Art Directors Club Europe, Brit Insurance Designs of the Year, Cannes, Lions, Clio Awards, Cresta Awards, D&AD, Epica, Eurobest, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, Guldagget, Lia, New York Festivals, One Show, Shark Awards, Svenska Designpriset, The Global Awards, and The Visual Effects Society. http://www.fb.se/about

Mediaedge:cia, or MEC, is the media agency Forsman & Bodenfors used to create and update the Facebook site. MEC is a leading global media agency who has been around for decades and has won numerous awards and titles. In addition to the creation of the site the agency was also responsible for communication within the site, acting as store manager Gordon Gustavsson. http://www.mecglobal.com

Lennart Sjoberg was the photographer Forsman & Bodenfors used to photograph the showrooms. Much of what is written about him, including his website, is in Swedish so translation makes background on him difficult. http://www.lennart.se


The following is a video that the agency created demonstrating how they created the Facebook Showroom ad campaign.

Goals of Campaign

Forsman & Bodenfors described the goal of the campaign to, “Create something engaging that would have the potential of spreading by itself beyond the borders of the Malmo region. But at the same time staying relevant and focusing on IKEA’s offer, their products. Without messing around.” http://www.fb.se/work/ikea/facebook-showroom

The agency had a limited media budget, so they came up with the idea of using an unconventional social media campaign using free social media, specifically Facebook’s tagging feature. While the cost of the social media and distribution was free, media costs included the agency’s labor, a photographer to take the showroom photos, and a media agency to create and update content over the two week campaign period.

The campaign was to be dynamic and engage consumers with an exclusive offer and then rewarded them for participating. By utilizing Facebook’s photo tagging function the goal was to generate curiosity from tagged photos of furniture that would fill news feed updates and share the campaign through word of mouse. The company is known for its modern architectural designs and simplicity, cost control, operational details, and continuous growth. It was important that these goals of the company aligned with the goals of the campaign. IKEA also created a social initiative in September 2005 to manage the company’s social involvements on a global level. The inspiration of this social media campaign helped reflect another goal of IKEA to create a sense of community and involvement, not only in the local area of the store, but on a global level.

How the campaign unfolded

The ad agency used Facebook photo tagging to share the campaign. They created a Facebook profile for the store manager, Gordon Gustavsson, http://www.facebook.com/ikeagordon , which is now deactivated. As the new store created showrooms on the floor they took completed pictures and shared them on Facebook. Over two weeks the agency uploaded twelve pictures of IKEA showrooms to the store manager’s photo album.

After the twelve photos were uploaded, they then told people that the first person to tag themselves on a furniture product would win it. The demand for more IKEA pictures spread to thousands of people through profile pages of people tagging themselves on the pictures, commenting on newsfeeds, and linking to the store manager’s Facebook page

Rather than creating a static ad about furniture that people would simply look at, Forsman & Bodenfors involved the fifth P to marketing- participation. The ad went from a seemingly simple campaign posting photos and following a traditional social media marketing plan to becoming a viral word of mouth campaign by giving back to the consumer. In essence, this approach caused customers to create other customers. The text on the following photos is in Swedish, but you can see that the manager’s persona was responding to people’s comments and interacting with them.


Photo 1. An image of IKEA’s instructions on being the first to tag a name on a furniture product in the photo to win that product. Accordingly, the diagram looks similar to IKEA’s instructions on putting together a furniture product.


Photo 2. A screenshot of the store manager’s wall feed. Notice the interaction between Gordon and consumers in the comments and his 1,176 friends.


Photo 3. A screenshot of one of the showrooms and consumers tagged on furniture products.


Photo 4. A screenshot of photos of the showrooms and instructions. Notice the communication between Gordon and consumers in the comments.

How would you measure its success? What indicators lead us to conclude that the campaign did its job?

The success of the campaign went viral overnight and continues to be a source of reference for using social media in marketing. There is currently a staggering 658,425 views on the Facebook Showroom YouTube video of how this campaign unfolded. The store manager’s, Gordon Gustovsson, Facebook page is deactivated now and there is no report of how many likes and friends there were when the page was terminated; however, there was a significant showing of success with 1,724 likes and 1,176 Facebook friends shown only days after the campaign launched. Additionally, the showroom photos reached a tag limit of 30 tags per photo within minutes of being posted, creating extensive reach to thousands of people through newsfeed, likes, tags, and comments.

External Indicators

The ad agency, Forsman & Bodenfors, won several awards for this campaign including a Titanium Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Festival in 2010. The campaign was also voted “Most Contagious 2009” by the International Contagious Magazine.

The campaign demonstrated the power of social networks and did so in a low cost and low tech way. Illuminia, a web developing and marketing company, contributes the success of IKEA’s showroom campaign to offering an exclusive reward promotion. http://illuminea.com/ikea-facebook-social-media/

IKEA is among the biggest furniture retailers in the world with more than 10,000 products available. The domestic and global market for IKEA does not have many competitors that can match the company’s guidelines, selection, quantity, quality, and price. One key aspect to the success of IKEA is online marketing and selling. The effectiveness of this Facebook campaign can be seen in how much exposure was created online, including tweets about the competition and thousands of blogs who have posted showroom photos while writing about the campaign. Essentially, the Facebook showroom campaign spread to all major social media sites through a simple competition on just one social media site.

In 2009 IKEA opened 15 stores in 11 countries, including the store in Malmo, Sweden. Part of the success in this campaign was its ability to reach over boarders and increase store traffic and consumption worldwide in IKEA stores. The world economy was in a downturn during 2009, but IKEA’s sales rose 1.4% influenced from this Facebook Showroom campaign’s wide spread sales. http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_AU/about_ikea/pdf/2009/FF09.pdf

Internal Indicators

The mission statement of IKEA is large and global stating, “Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people.” The business idea, however, defines the IKEA brand and makes the mission statement attainable by, “Offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.” The campaign for the Facebook showroom followed the core of IKEA’s corporate culture through saving money on advertising, using the masses to spread awareness, and rewarding customers with home furnishing products.

The target market for IKEA is aimed toward people of all ages, genders, geographic locations, but who all have one thing in common: Price preference. In past and future advertising, IKEA has used promotion globally attempting to reach many people in each local market. Other channels of reaching customers that IKEA uses are websites, publications, brochures, advertising, and PR. All of these channels, including the Facebook showroom, illustrate IKEA values both visually and in tone of voice.

The following reflect the IKEA set of values that this campaign achieved. Leadership by example; the campaign became an industry leader example in social media advertising through the simple use of one vehicle. Daring to be different; this campaign was a very simple, but unorthodox way to use social media in business at the time. Togetherness and enthusiasm; social community is essential to IKEA and is reflected by using social media as an online presence, this campaign created a sense of community behind the local store location. Cost-consciousness; this campaign was very cost effective using a free social media platform as a channel to reach thousands of people who would promote the campaign. Constant desire for renewal; IKEA adapted to reach its customers and came up with an innovative solution to cost and location limitations.

Now and Then- what did people say then and what do people say now about the campaign’s impact?

When the campaign first appeared critics gave favorable reviews for the success it received. However, the admiration wasn’t for the complexity of the design, but rather the cleverness of utilizing a simple feature in an existing social media vehicle. CNET called the campaign brilliant and said, “This idea is, as the best always are, simple and inspired. Which, some would say, also perfectly describes the clever, affordable, if sometimes maddening-to-put-together little things made by IKEA.” http://www.cnet.com/news/ikeas-brilliant-facebook-campaign/ Viral Blog also reported that blogs were describing the campaign as “Brilliant, innovative, smart yet simple, genius, outside the box, awesome, excellent, unconventional” http://www.viralblog.com/facebook-marketing/ikeas-facebook-campaign-gets-praise/#sthash.nswUBmT1.dpuf

Today, the IKEA Facebook showroom campaign is listed among one of the best examples of social media campaigns and has become a resource for many case studies throughout the year. The campaign is still receiving rave reviews for its ability to successfully promote a brand through social media on a limited budget. This campaign cannot be repeated, however. Soon after IKEA completed their store opening Facebook changed their terms and conditions to prevent this type of campaign happening again. https://econsultancy.com/blog/63221-six-awesome-examples-of-facebook-campaigns-by-ikea/


IKEA History http://inter.ikea.com/en/about-us/milestones/

IKEA Malmo Facebook http://www.ikea.com/se/sv/store/malmo

Forsman & Bodenfors IKEA Campaigns http://www.fb.se/about Search: IKEA

Youtube video, Facebook Wall & Photos http://www.fb.se/work/ikea/facebook-showroom

Viral Blog http://www.viralblog.com/facebook-marketing/ikeas-facebook-campaign-gets-praise/#sthash.nswUBmT1.dpuf

CNET http://www.cnet.com/news/ikeas-brilliant-facebook-campaign/

Illuminea http://illuminea.com/ikea-facebook-social-media/

Econsultancy https://econsultancy.com/blog/63221-six-awesome-examples-of-facebook-campaigns-by-ikea

IKEA Sales http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_AU/about_ikea/pdf/2009/FF09.pdf


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