Category A04. Data Storytelling
Idea Creation AKESTAM HOLST NOA Stockholm, SWEDEN
Media Placement MEC Stockholm, SWEDEN
Production AKESTAM HOLST NOA Stockholm, SWEDEN
Name Company Position
Magnus Jakobsson Åkestam Holst Creative Director
Caroline Andersson Åkestam Holst NoA Art Director
Felicia Jensen Åkestam Holst NoA Copywriter
Jerker Winther Åkestam Holst Planner
Karl Andersson Åkestam Holst NoA Planner
Ida Persson Åkestam Holst PR Director
Digge Zetterberg Odh Åkestam Holst NoA PR Director
Kjell Månsson Åkestam Holst Account Executive
Mimmi Morén Åkestam Holst NoA Account Manager
Alex Picha Åkestam Holst NoA Digital Producer
Anna Lundeborg Åkestam Holst NoA Digital Strategist
Kalle Peterz Åkestam Holst NoA Web Developer
Eric Karlsson Åkestam Holst NoA Motion Designer
Carin Jacobsson IKEA Client Supervisor
Maria Granath IKEA Client Supervisor
Patrik Nygren-Bonnier IKEA Client Supervisor

The Campaign

Instead of accepting the natural gap between the advertising world and real life, we was determined to place IKEA where life truly happens to prove the products genuine presence in life. The key insight was that Google has become the common entry point to the problems we all struggle with - a friend we all ask for help.  We deep-dived into the most commonly Googled relationship problems in Sweden, and mapped what small and big issues in life at home that really engaged people. Search queries like  ”My husband snores”, ”He can’t say he loves me”, ”My son plays too much computer games” etc. And then, building on IKEA history of quirky product names, we renamed a large number of IKEA products after Google searches, so that every search for a common relationship problem led to a renamed IKEA product that solved that problem, using only simple AdWords.  That’s how IKEA Retail Therapy was born - a hack that connected IKEAs products to real relationships problems when customers asked Google the right question, and turned Google AdWords into a surprisingly emotional and entertaining medium. 

By using paid search creatively we gained an element of surprise, a cost-effective way of getting attention (no competition for AdWords), but most importantly a way of addressing real emotional issues for IKEA’s customers - live and continuously. We could connect IKEAs products to what people felt were their most pressing issues, here and now.  1,7 million Swedes (out of 9,5) observed the initiative. But most importantly, the perception of IKEA's products changed (the campaign specific targets/KPI’s). The liking increased with 11% and so did the KPI ”IKEA has product for all stages of life” with over 30%. The campaign increased the sales of some of the products by over 25%. IKEA Retail Therapy charmed it's way around the world with an earned media reach of 175 million, 100.000 positive shares on social media and was featured on more than 500 news medias. Last but not least, IKEA Retail Therapy solutions had an astonishing click through rate of 16,13%, compared with the Google average of 0,17% . IKEA had created retail therapy for real, and demonstrated how IKEA’s products can improve the lives of its many customers.

IKEA Retail Therapy generated astonishing results by translating search data into emotional issues in people’s home. With charming product solutions we reinventing paid search by making it a more emotional medium. Click-through rates went through the roof, boosting produkt liking, direct sales and earned media. IKEA Retail Therapy showed that interpretation of data still needs a human creative touch to truly be able to touch peoples’ hearts. It all started with endless data on Google keywords/phrases, and ended with genuine and entertaining relationship solutions.

By going through countless lists of keywords we figured out the most common relationships problems Swedes struggle with at home. When we knew exactly what people were seeking answers to, we could highlight relevant and entertaining IKEA solutions by renaming the products. The target audience was all Swedish homeowners, but was in effect self-selecting - when people had a problem they felt was important enough to ask Google about, IKEA had the answer for them. IKEA Retail Therapy invented a new way to use paid search, met consumers with relevant and fun answers on demand when using Google, and showed that IKEA really anticipated and understood the struggles of daily life. IKEA managed to turn relationship problems that people only dared confide to Google into the most shared and praised relationship solutions of the year.