IKEA – IKEA Cat-alogue (Happy Inside)

Cats are the undisputed champions of comfort. Whether it’s your bed, your sofa, or your lap – once they are happy, they settle in. So, to launch IKEA’s 2011 catalogue and its new brand positioning ‘Happy Inside’, we decided to conduct an experiment, and put IKEA products to the test. We released 100 of these felines into IKEA’s Wembley store, for real, to see where they went and what furniture made them happy inside.  The experiment was manifest in multiple ways, from a behind-the-scenes film to an online competition. ‘Wembley Cats’ was a commercial that brought ‘Happy Inside’ to life featuring the music of Mara Carl.

The brief
Our problem was the public’s perception of IKEA as a cheap, low quality retailer. We wanted to make sure that IKEA was seen as providing more than just more “stuff”, and what it provided was seen as not “cheap” but something that went beyond price. Our solution was to draw out the truth of IKEA’s design philosophy, that IKEA’s products are designed to make anyone, no matter how much money they have, feel “Happy Inside”. The website objective was to drive depth of engagement with products, amongst people who had already enjoyed the Cats TV spot and “Herding Cats” film.

The creative solution
Cats was the first campaign to use our new brand idea for IKEA – “Happy Inside”. The objective was to increase brand appeal and announce the launch of the 2010 catalogue. Our target audience was broad – “the many people” in IKEA-speak. The challenge was to find a simple, emotive way of showing how IKEA can make you Happy Inside.

We wanted to do an experiment, not just an ad campaign. We wanted to take the planet’s best experts in comfort – house cats – and find out what they would do in an IKEA store. To produce the campaign we released 100 cats, for real, into an IKEA store and filmed, measured and recorded what they did in order to produce a range of video and interactive assets. We wanted to prove that IKEA’s products can make you Happy Inside, so we performed an experiment. We released 100 house cats, the experts in comfort, into an IKEA showroom, for real… and filmed them. If they were happy – they’d settle down and go to sleep. We captured this and created an online film showcasing a behind- the – scenes look at the experiment. We then used the footage to produce a website that allowed users to guess which piece of furniture the cat would settle down on. If they guessed right, they won it. We also cut the footage into a 60 second commercial which brought ‘Happy Inside’ to life. We even commissioned a documentary into house cats and their relationship with their owners in the home. Finally, we used press and banner advertising to launch the campaign featuring our experts getting comfortable on IKEA furniture.

By encouraging people to consider which items were most likely to make our various cat personalities feel ‘happy inside’, we drove users to actually think about the entire range of IKEA products from the new catalogue.

The website and Facebook
We used the footage to produce a website that allowed users to guess which piece of furniture the cat would settle down on. If they guessed it right they won it. The website integrated with Facebook and with such success that at one point, Facebook blocked it for generating too many. The site experience was appropriate to the brand because people had to think about how IKEA products made cats ‘happy inside. And in order to that, you had to think about how they made you ‘happy inside’. Which is of course the central brand idea. Not only that, but it also encouraged people to explore the entire IKEA catalogue.

The results
The Cats campaign was a huge hit with consumers online – the YouTube films garnered over 4m views between them and the website was visited by 225k individuals, spending an average of 5 minutes each. This figure would have been higher but for Facebook shutting down some of the site’s functionality after the first weekend due to it generating too many posts. IKEA’s brand tracking has shown gains in top-of-mind awareness and the perception that the brand is “warm and human” and despite a declining UK furniture market, IKEA has seen gains in market share. There has been interest from several IKEA countries outside the UK in running the Cats campaign.

The Making Of – a look behind the experiment of IKEA UK’s release of 100 house cats into its Wembley store in the UK. 

Advertising Agency: Mother London
Creative Directors: Mark Waites, Robert Saville, Stephen Butler, Feh Tarty
Copywriters /Art Directors: Tim McNaughton, Freddy Mandy, Joris Philippart, Cat Howarth
Production Company: Stink, London
Director: Mark Pytlik
Year: 2001
Shortlist and Bronze Lion (Cyber)


One Comment on “IKEA – IKEA Cat-alogue (Happy Inside)”

  1. Tout le monde veut devenir un cat ; IKEA 2010 | Koicedon says:

    […]  #1   #2   3#   […]

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