IKEA has left behind its yester-year reputation of the 'cheap college furniture' provider, and has emerged as a brand known for its customer-first, solution-focused design. In this space, the competition is fierce. Today's consumers have access to droves of design content from DIY sites, design blog to pin boards and more. However, we know that users engage more with design content that they view as attainable versus catalog imagery which may not be possible for every home. Leveraging this insight, we knew we needed to connect with consumers on an emotional level, offering them realistic advice and inspiration, and providing real answers to their burning questions such as 'How can I achieve a modern look?' or 'How do I alter my space to give me more room?' So we conceived and launched a grassroots home makeover YouTube series with a different spin. The show was to be filmed and hosted by 5 actual IKEA employees, dubbed the 'Home Tour Squad.' The multi-platform program named the 'IKEA Home Tour' followed the squad as they traveled the country providing people with ingenious solutions to help solve design issues for all kinds of living spaces. The squad documented the makeovers across social, sharing makeover videos, before and after images, and pin boards; along with personal tips and blog posts. As a result, we experienced a shift in brand perception and a renewed excitement for IKEA, driving mass engagement and 5.6 million video views. People were finally believing in the ease and style of IKEA
Too often, people recollect an aspect of IKEA they'd rather forget; the cheap furniture of their college days, frustrations associated with assembling, or even the time it takes to get to (and around) the store. Coupled with the stress people face when taking on home décor projects the situation was exacerbated. Quite simply, IKEA was suffering from misperceptions associated with the IKEA of yester-year. As such, we sought out to excite people around the IKEA name and develop a solution that would help strengthen the brands position in the US market.
Millions of homeowners suffer from "Design Paralysis" - loosely defined as the inability to change one's home decor due to the endless amounts of options when it comes to redecorating.
Determined to excite and inspire people not only about IKEA but about home décor we set out to help homeowners find inspiration through a new kind of web series, dubbed the 'IKEA Home Tour' which documented 5 actual IKEA employees as they traveled across North America documenting real home makeovers for all kinds of spaces. We knew by showing just how easy it is to give one's home a makeover that's reflective of their unique style and personality perceptions could and thus would change.
This grass roots approach aimed to build trust in the IKEA brand by taking the employees out of the stores and bringing them into the homes of customers to offer realistic design solutions, tips, and inspiration in the form of digital content. The IKEA workers were trained to produce, host and package the content across platforms; seamlessly aligning with IKEA's inherent DIY ethos.
Drive video views (goal=5.4 million views), by leveraging social platforms to help deliver against this objective.
We knew the approach needed to be authentic to resonate, so IKEA asked Americans to tell them what they needed help with and the submissions poured in. In selecting projects, IKEA ensured the tastes and needs for each of our markets were specifically catered to.
All in all 28 Home Tour videos featuring 13 makeovers were hosted on IKEA's custom 'Home Tour' YouTube hub and mobile site in the first season. We implemented paid media that included everything from banner ads to TV vignettes and Pinterest boards to build awareness of the program. Social and PR outreach drove participation such as entries, event attendance, real-time conversations, and social shares.
The program was amplified across social, offering visibility into different elements of the campaign from each touch point:
•Share makeover videos and product focus ingenious short videos on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and G+
•Feature before/after images on Instagram and Twitter
•Provide tips from the Home Tour Squad on creating the perfect space that fits your style, including live Twitter Chat
•Create a Pinterest board featuring every product used in makeovers
•The squad creates blog posts on IKEA's design blog, The Share Space, discussing how they transform the rooms into something functional for each family
•The results in the first phase of Home Tour were 339,000 social engagements and 5.6 Million video views
The Home Tour series exceeded expectations generating 5.6 million total video views (Index of 103 vs. goal of 5.4 million) (FB/YouTube Analytics); 1 million views in the first month of the campaign; thus impacting IKEA's overall business objectives.
Total US Store Sales increase average of 4.1% during the weeks that the Home Tour Series was in market (vs. the same time period the year before) (Health of Brand Reports)
1.6% increase in store visits s during the weeks the Home Tour Series was in market (vs. the same time period the year before) (Health of Brand Reports)
Drove 7% increase in awareness amongst general market consumers and 15% with our Hispanic Audience (Ipsos Ad Tracker)
794 million total media impressions (Index of 304 vs. goal of 261 million) (Site Served Data/Ad Server Data)
339K engagements (including likes, shares, and comments) across all our social platforms (Index of 119 vs. goal of 283K) (Internal Social Listening Tools)
Finally, the IKEA Home Tour series increased morale and pride throughout the organization. Alia Kemet, the US Media Director went as far to say, "Never before has IKEA launched a consumer-facing activity that involved so many diverse areas of the organization, morale and excitement behind this program extends from the hourly-cart coworker to the CEO of IKEA USA."
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