Mobilising Consumers To Engage With Direct Mail


Printed more times than The Bible, with 212 million copies in 29 languages, the annual Ikea catalogue sets the tone for success in Ikea’s new financial year. It’s the first launch point for new products and sets the scene for upcoming product communications. While direct mail is an old format, it is absolutely vital for driving consumers into Ikea stores. Catalogue reads = footfall.

The Problem? People no longer engaged with the catalogues. Unaided catalogue recall has steadily declined year-on-year, hitting an all-time low of 10% in 2013. Furthermore, Ikea was competing for attention against supermarket catalogues.

Another barrier stood in the way… How to distribute the catalogue themselves!

With 14,000 distribution territories across the eastern seaboard, the catalogue is hand-delivered to homes at random over a two week period. This made communications tricky and a mass market message would be hindered by external factors:
- Poor weather + late letterbox-visits = soggy unappealing catalogues
- “No Junk Mail” letterboxes = no eyeballs
- Late delivery post mass message = no care factor

The challenge was to encourage consumers to engage with an old-school medium that has become irrelevant in a digital world. The agency needed to drive consumers to one destination: their letterboxes. It needed to re-design communications around the catalogue. It needed to tell people that it arrived at the exact moment that it dropped for further impact!


The internet and mobile are the new letter-openers of this modern world. It’s how we access mail, bills, offers, promotions and more. Digital allows consumers the freedom to curate the marketing communications that they actually want to engage with.

With digital technologies – letterboxes have become increasingly irrelevant and off-putting given the volume of “spam” that comes through.

Based on the insight that consumers are frustrated with their letterboxes due to a lack of control and have ultimately “switched off”, Ikea decided to turn this around and give consumers a reason to enjoy it.

The strategy was to leverage digital channels to re-invigorate the letterbox via a two-pronged approach:
1. To excite consumers prior to the catalogue-arrival, Match Media would deliver funny, digital content prior to get people talking.
2. To announce the arrival of the catalogues, the agency would follow up with reminder messaging via mobile - using sophisticated targeting and 3rd party data.

DIGITAL TO EXCITE: Ikea needed a “prank” to draw people to their letterboxes and an influencer was the perfect vehicle. We leveraged KISS 1065’s Rosso given his cheeky tone, mass appeal, and personal interest in interior design. This synergy allowed the branded content to be authentic and believable, thus widening its appeal.

Rosso lured consumers with content pieces which pranked them into believing that he would design and enter a beanbag chair (aptly named The ROSSO) into the 2015 IKEA catalogue. Rosso rallied the public for their support.

MOBILE REMINDERS: Once the stunt had garnered traction, Match Media made sure that people knew when the catalogue had arrived. For the first time, it leveraged 3rd party data which allowed them to track exactly when the catalogue dropped daily. All 14,000 delivery territories were mapped, and mobile media bought in real-time.


THE PRANK: Rosso comes across a catalogue and vows to design his own piece of furniture to be entered into the IKEA catalogue and sold on IKEA floors. The only thing left to do was encourage IKEA to see his grand vision of a ‘beanbag with legs’. Match Media seeded the prank through radio, online video, and social channels.

EXTENDING THE CONTENT: It had to generate some groundswell, so used radio and social to get the public talking. Rosso built on the story, and seeded more content. Rosso made his declarations on air. The following week, a seemingly un-scripted on-air phonecall to the IKEA CEO ensured that Rosso’s dreams of featuring in the catalogue were dashed.

So he rallied… Rosso leveraged social channels to petition for his chair to be included in the catalogue… Even camping out with it at his local Ikea.

USING MOBILE TO REMIND: Amidst the chaos that ROSSO was stirring up, Ikea walkers were busy distributing. And so was the agency. The catalogues’ distribution data (which previously sat in a warehouse available only at the end of the campaign) was used to inform the media buy.

Working with Amobee and the catalogue distributer, Match Media was able to mobile-target advertising to consumers when the Ikea catalogue was in their inbox. And in case the residents missed the message, it used wifi-targeting across desktops to remind them again. The agency used digital tech to buy in real-time and increase relevancy, accuracy, and efficiencies of the reminder messaging!


The plan was to reinvigorate the letterbox experience using digital to drive consumers to engage with their IKEA catalogues.

The Rosso content won hearts over, with consumers spending 2 minutes and 55 seconds on the promotional page – demonstrating an engagement like no other!

Nearly 4,000 people signed the petition to get Rosso’s beanbag chair included in the catalogue. While it was never featured, IKEA did see:
• 30% lift in unaided recall of catalogue
• 15% Increase in prompted recall

More importantly for the business, users who engaged with the mobile ad were 40 x more likely to visit store. This translated into an increase of 29% in footfall through stores.

IKEA seamlessly integrated old channels (radio, direct mail) with new (mobile, online). The catalogue was made relevant again, with 21% of people surveyed intending to keep the catalogue in their homes until next year (Quantum Market Research 2014).

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