As a married man only a month resident in my first owned home, IKEA is a big part of my life.

The brand is frequently cited as a master of branding, marketing and advertising.

So, here are 10 examples of fantastic marketing creative from IKEA.

1. Free cot ad (for babies conceived on Valentine's Day)

IKEA Australia produced this novel newspaper ad (yes, print), conjuring up much PR on Valentine's Day.

Simultaneously cheeky, subtle and utilitarian, it perfectly sums up the IKEA brand and its marketing genius.

free cot ad

2. Instagram ingenuity

IKEA Russia 'hacked' Instagram, posting images that created the appearance of a website homepage (in grid view).

Each photo of an interior had items within it tagged - these tagged items of course corresponded to other accounts, set up especially for each item, which featured more styling inspiration.

I'd love to have been in the room when the person responsible had the idea. A simple, low cost, PR perfect use of social media.

Instagram 'homepage'

ikea instagram

Instagram 'category page'

ikea instagram

Instagram 'product page'

ikea instagram

3. IKEA Home Tour

The IKEA Home Tour performs makeovers on customer homes throughout the USA. The website is smart, showing the brand's commitment to multimedia and design.

There are product features (corresponding to particular makeovers), design tutelage (e.g. how to upholster a chair), links to the design blog and Pinterest profiles, as well as all the YouTube videos of the makeovers.

4. Resizable banner ad

Click through below and you'll be able to resize the banner and watch as the space is miraculously filled with labelled IKEA furniture.

Being able to count 'banner ads I've enjoyed' on one finger, this is a remarkable achievement. 

banner ad ikea

5. The bookbook™

A lot of you will have already seen this wry take on technology produced around the time of the iPhone 6 launch.

The IKEA catalogue is an institution, and has been central to charting the evolution of interior design over the past 40 years (at least).

The video is a robust and humorous defence of paper, and was universally loved, racking up 18m views so far.

6. Apartment in a box

Experiential fun next, with this 'stunt' for the opening of a Brooklyn store.

People could enter the 'box' and view the show apartment inside.

apartment in a box

Image via theikeablog.

7. Easy to Assemble (web series)

While I can't say I can vouch for Easy to Assemble as an option for the weekend boxset-style marathon, it is startling that IKEA greenlit a web series back in 2008.

IKEA is central to the plot of the sitcom, as it follows an actor leaving Hollywood to work in a furniture store.

Guest stars, fairly inconceivably, include Jeff Goldblum and Keanu Reeves.

8. Many and varied Facebook campaigns

My colleague David Moth has already rounded up some of IKEA's most ingenius work on Facebook. The best one, in my opinion, was the 2009 Malmo showroom idea. 

A Facebook account for the store manager, Gordon Gustavsson, featured 12 pictures of the store’s showrooms over a two-week period.

Users could win the products on show by being the first person to tag their name on it. This caused a ripple effect, spreading the photos across many thousands of Timelines.

Nowadays, this would fall foul of Facebook's competition rules, but it has to be heralded as an example of guerilla marketing on social.

9. Home delivery print advert

I haven't reproduced it here, but head over to Ads of the World to see one of the most creative ads I've seen for a while (from DDB in Germany).

10. The design blog

Part of IKEA's Share Space, a community where customers share pictures of their homes (and undoubted precursor to the much vaunted Made Unboxed), the design blog might seem pretty staid by 2016 standards.

However, what's great about the design blog is that there are many contributors from various parts of IKEA and externally. All their content is well-written, practical and generally far from trite.

Of course, products are mentioned and linked to, but most articles feel like anything but a hard sell.

More on marketing creative:

Ben Davis

Published 1 April, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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