Ikea’s first iPad catalogue was no different to the paper version. The brand needed a USP.
Ikea’s catalogue is world famous and in Norway it was about to go digital for the first time. The launch of the new iPad version was good news for the brand as many of Ikea’s key customers were becoming less and less responsive to direct mail, the standard distribution method for the catalogue.
Tablet penetration was also growing massively fast in Norway with some 600,000 iPads in circulation (12% of Norway’s total 5 million population). iPads were especially popular among the brand’s key audience of urban females aged 25-45 – among this group 32% had a tablet.
The problem was that the iPad version would only be ready in the New Year, when most consumers had already had a paper version from last August. The content would have been exactly the same and the tablet version wouldn't have been interactive. Mediacom realised that Ikea could face a backlash from consumers if it tried to pretend that the iPad version was something new or innovative. It needed to find a way to connect with iPad users, giving them a new reason to engage, but had little money to promote the launch.
Mediacom’s solution would have to reflect Ikea’s reputation for smart simple design, while at the same time, resonate strongly with its digitally-savvy target audience of urban females.
Norway gets cold in winter, very cold! So Ikea gave consumers a solution they could warm to: touch-screen mittens.
Mediacom’s insight was based around temperature. While tablet users would often use their device at home, they were also highly portable and few among the target group would leave the house without their iPad or iPhone. That was where the opportunity was spotted. Norway is cold in winter. In February, when the iPad catalogue was due to go live, temperatures can fall as low as -20°C. In this kind of weather, you have to wrap up warm and you have to wear gloves. Now, as everyone knows, fumbling with keys and phones with gloves on is difficult. But with an iPad, it’s downright impossible – with gloves on, they simply don’t respond to your commands.
This presented the agency with a unique opportunity to create something simple, functional and effective - and totally in line with Ikea’s design brand values. A brand new Ikea (mock) product was created: Beröra – literally meaning ‘to touch’. It consisted of conductive thread and came complete with Ikea packaging and the familiar cartoon instruction leaflet. By simply sewing the conductive thread through a pair of gloves or mittens, it would allow customers to use them with touchscreens. This would not only solve Norway’s winter touchscreen problem but also enable Ikea’s target of tablet users to sample the new iPad catalogue on the go.
Mediacom distributed thousands of touch-screen mitten kits via a zero-wastage, laser-targeted strategy. The agency created 12,000 mitten kits and distributed them to Ikea’s six stores across the country. Then they set about promoting the unique offer to the target audience. The message? ‘Ikea – katalogen er klar for iPad’ which translates to: ‘the Ikea catalogue is ready for the iPad! Are your mittens?’
Because the message was only relevant to tablet owners, Mediacom set out to reach them as precisely as possible. The agency worked with Norway’s two largest national newspapers to promote the new Ikea product via their tablet editions. This was backed up with web-TV advertising through the same media owners, targeting only the readers of tablet editions once again. Ikea and its PR agency, PR Operatørene, created buzz by sending the kit to selected relevant journalists and bloggers in advance of the product launch.
The campaign was Ikea’s most successful launch anywhere in the world:
Consumers snapped up all 12,000 of the products in just 14 days.
Ikea gained massive buzz – reaching 22% of the target audience of women aged 25-45.
Click-through rates for ads were 8.95%, compared to a 2011 industry norm of 0.09% (CTR across all digital platforms).
The Ikea iPad app went straight to number one on the iTunes chart and stayed there for weeks.
Norway’s iPad catalogue is the most downloaded per capita on the planet.