IKEA Promo, Case study HUNDSTOL by One Green Bean Sydney

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HUNDSTOL

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Industry Department Stores & Shopping Malls
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Australia
Agency One Green Bean Sydney
Released April 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Retail and E-commerce, including Restaurants
Advertiser: IKEA AUSTRALIA
Product/Service: IKEA
Agency: ONE GREEN BEAN
Managing Director: Kat Thomas (One Green Bean)
Senior Account Director: Lauren Bailey (One Green Bean)
Senior Account Manager: Lizzie Culverhouse (One Green Bean)
Social Media Manager: Mathieu Abet (One Green Bean)
Community Manager: Nick Ross-Edwards (One Green Bean)
Senior Account Executive: Greg Vekiarellis (One Green Bean)
Media placement: Consumer PR - The Morning Show, Sunrise, The Today Show, Channel 10 News & More. - 1 April 2011
Media placement: Digital PR - Blogger Outreach - 1 April 2011
Media placement: International PR - UK & USA Media Relations - 1 April 2011

Summary of the Campaign
IKEA’s response to the global economic slowdown was to focus their communications on low prices, which eroded their brand health a little. IKEA challenged us to remind Australians of their cheeky, offbeat personality with a memorable April fool’s day prank.

Inspired by the high percentage of Australians who treat dogs as a member of the family, our idea was to ‘launch’ the Hundstol, the world’s first highchair designed especially for dogs.

First, we built a Hundstol ‘prototype’, complete with ‘paw grips’ and space to accommodate happy, wagging tails. We then produced a short film for YouTube, which we positioned as a ‘behind-the-scenes’ video, featuring the Hundstol designer.

National news desks received a press release under embargo for April 1st along with Hundstol imagery and we even placed a press ad in all the national newspapers. We also used IKEA’s social channels to push out news of the Hundstol launch, whilst a product page went live simultaneously on IKEA’s website.

The ‘launch’ took the world by storm, making headlines across Australia. Every major national TV news program plus the 3 highest rating breakfast shows aired branded segments about the Hundstol. Mass radio exposure and close to a thousand articles in print and online delivered over AUS$2million in earned media. The YouTube film, with no paid media support whatsoever, received over 300,000 views in 48 hours.

Coverage also appeared in the UK, America, Canada, Sweden and Taiwan, even Perez Hilton’s dog gave it the thumbs up!

The Situation
Being humorous, surprising and cheeky has long been a part of IKEA’s brand DNA. However, in Australia, faced with the impact of the global financial slowdown, it made great commercial sense for IKEA to focus all their communications around their low prices.

Their ad agency was told to focus on amplifying ‘value’ via mass media channels, and we were tasked with delivering the same message via PR and social media.

This inevitably led to numerous campaigns in market amplifying discount prices and sales promotions. As a result, IKEA realized that brand health measures stagnated.

The Goal
The brand team at IKEA wanted to invest in the ‘emotional connectors’ of the brand. Their goal was simple: execute an April Fools prank that would generate mass exposure, raise awareness and make Australians of all ages smile. If we could achieve world media attention, then even better!

We undertook extensive research to identify the 10 most successful April Fool’s Day pranks from previous years in various international markets. We deconstructed the strategy behind each campaign, to understand the best execution timings to maximize exposure, plus the specific ingredients required in a ‘prank’ to resonate with a mass audience.

The Strategy
Our April Fools idea was to launch the Hundstol Doggie Highchair, the latest addition to the IKEA dining range, designed specifically for dog lovers who believe their pets are entitled to a place at the dining table.

Our motivation was based on legitimate research findings from the Australian Companion Animal Council, indicating the high percentage of Australians who treat their dog as ‘a member of the family’.

We anticipated the Hundstol would attract mass attention from a nation of animal lovers and, based on our insights, we believed it struck the perfect balance between being believable and laughable!

Execution
Success relied entirely on a campaign roll-out timed with military precision.

First, we built a Hundstol ‘prototype’, complete with paw-grip panels and space to accommodate a happy, wagging tail.

We then produced a short content piece for YouTube, which we positioned as a ‘behind-the-scenes’ video. This featured the ‘Swedish’ Hundstol designer and 5 dogs to demonstrate the product in action.

National media news desks received a press release under embargo for April 1st, featuring Hundstol imagery and utilising our research insights, to ‘rationalise’ consumer demand for the product.

We even placed a press ad in major national newspapers (a first for us as a PR agency) and we used IKEA’s social channels to push out news of the Hundstol launch. A product page went live on IKEA’s website and store staff were briefed to hand out gift vouchers for anyone enquiring to purchase a Hundstol.

Documented Results
The IKEA HUNSTOL ‘launch’ took the world by storm, making headlines across Australia. Every major national TV news program plus the 3 highest rating breakfast shows aired branded segments. Mass radio exposure and nearly a thousand articles in print and online delivered over AUS$2m in earned media in 1 day.

The YouTube film, with no paid media support whatsoever, received over 300,000 views in just 48 hours.

Jude Leon, PR Manager, IKEA Australia:
“Whilst difficult to measure in purely quantitative terms, all our indicators demonstrated that the campaign delivered a significant positive impact on brand health, realigning the brand to our heartland territory of doing the unexpected.

In terms of pure exposure, the campaign generated an unprecedented amount of brand coverage, delivering more than 5 times our monthly average. It’s without doubt our most effective campaign to date and people continue to talk about it nearly a year on.”