PRWeek Campaign of the Year 2009

Ketchum and IKEA: Man Lives in IKEA: Citizen Marketer Becomes IKEA Brand Evangelist

Winner
Ketchum and IKEA: Man Lives in IKEA: Citizen Marketer Becomes IKEA Brand Evangelist

Winner of both the Corporate Branding Campaign of the Year and Best Use of On-line Media, Ketchum and IKEA also bring home the coveted Campaign of the Year honor for this brilliant, low-budget initiative to call attention to the Swedish home-furnishing company.

Judges raved about how the effort played directly to the social media movement by giving control of its brand to comedian Mark Malkoff in early 2008, when he lived in the Paramus, NJ, store from January 7 to 12. Malkoff documented his adventures and posted webisodes of his time in IKEA, offering a different perspective to the well-known furniture retailer. After collaborating with Ketchum and weighing the pros and cons of relinquishing the brand's messaging to a comedian, IKEA took the plunge.

The campaign's goals included increasing sales, boosting traffic to IKEA-USA.com, and promoting two key brand messages: “IKEA has everything you need to live and make a home” and “Home is the most important place in the world.” The latter was recently added as a brand message and supported by a multi-year campaign.

Malkoff, a fan and customer of IKEA, was entrusted with spreading this message, but still retained creative control of his work.

Working with a budget of $13,500, the campaign got “lots of bang for the buck,” one judge said. MarkLivesInIKEA.com received more than 15 million hits and home-related IKEA blog coverage rose 356% from January 2007 to January 2008. IKEA calculated that the effort generated more than 382 million positive media impressions. Coverage highlights included the AP, Today, Good Morning America, and CNN. Sales at the Paramus store were up 5.5% compared to January 2007, while traffic to the IKEA Web site was up 6.8%.

The brand was smart to say yes to Malkoff, whose previous project saw him visit all 171 New York City Starbucks locations. He was someone who could handle media relations on his own, including the initial announcement of the plan. Meanwhile, Ketchum and IKEA secured interviews with store executives and planned the week's schedule, which included a goodbye party featuring singer Lisa Loeb. Malkoff's team documented his interactions, including those with security guards and customers relaxing in his “home,” and posted 25 videos during the week.

In a field of great finalists, judges kept returning to Ketchum and IKEA's ingenuity and budget-minded plan as the logical Campaign of the Year.

Honorable Mention
Ketchum and Häagen-Dazs: Häagen-Dazs Loves Honey Bees: Let's Lick This Problem

Häagen-Dazs (HD) was suffering from slow sales, low consumer interest, and a stuffy image. Ketchum helped the ice-cream company focus on its commitment to all-natural ingredients and devised a program that tied HD to an unknown issue threatening the existence of a large percentage of its ingredients – is appearing honey bees. “This was a fabulous entry into cause marketing for a new player,” said one judge. Ketchum suggested that HD donate $250,000 to Penn State University and the University of California-Davis for research. A bee advisory board comprising scientists and beekeepers was formed to ensure authentic, factual communication. A new flavor – Vanilla Honey Bee – and bee logo were created. HD created helpthehoneybees.com to educate the public. Sales in April – the month the campaign launched – rose 5.2%, the largest single-month spike in a year. More than 1.2 million seed packets were planted, which far surpassed community-involvement goals.

Finalists 2009

Edelman and American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Initiative: Go Red For Women 2007-08 Untold Stories Campaign

Fleishman-Hillard and Papa John's International: Papa, What's Next? Text!

Hill & Knowlton and Deloitte: Deloitte Drives Health Care Debate: Transforms Perception as “Just an Accounting Firm” to Health Care's #1 Consultancy

Ketchum and Häagen-Dazs: Häagen-Dazs Loves Honey Bees: Let's Lick This Problem

Ketchum and IKEA: Man Lives in IKEA: Citizen Marketer Becomes IKEA Brand Evangelist

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