2019 Brand Experience & Activation


Short List
Category C05. Customer Retail / In-Store Experience
Entrant STV DDB Milan, ITALY
Idea Creation STV DDB Milan, ITALY
Name Company Position
Luca Cortesini DDB Group Italy Executive Creative Director
Gabriele Caeti DDB Group Italy Executive Creative Director
Samantha Scaloni DDB Group Italy Client Creative Director
Matteo Pozzi DDB Group Italy Client Creative Director
Mario Giordano DDB Group Italy Senior Art Director
Mattia Basti DDB Group Italy Senior Copywriter
Davide Bergna DDB Group Italy Account Director
Azzurra Ricevuti DDB Group Italy Account Manager

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

This work aimed to turn the IKEA instore journey into an opportunity to rediscover the passion for reading. To do it, we took advantage of what has always been in the IKEA stores: the IKEA bookcases. In Italy, reading culture is in crisis, so why not to start the change from a place full of books frequented by millions of Italians every year? For the first time, visitors discovered not just new collections, but new stories and new authors.


Situation 60% of Italians don’t even read one book a year and this has led to a decline in the country’s cultural level. Until now IKEA didn’t help much: only fake books are displayed in the bookcases. Brief To celebrate the anniversary of BILLY, IKEA wanted to promote reading culture, reminding people that home is always the place for new stories. Objectives Become the most active brand on the topic, thanks to the partnership with IBS, the biggest Italian book supplier. IKEA just wanted to spread the conversation about books, because this has always been the best way to promote them.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

IKEA stores are full of bookcases and frequented by +43M Italians every year, so we filled them with real books, replacing the fake ones. The whole IKEA was turned into a gigantic library and visitors could discover new books just browsing in the store. The campaign went further with instore book presentations, readings and performances. Journalists talked with writers, illustrators met children, musicians created live soundtracks for emerging author stories. And a bookcrossing program has been launched across the Italian stores.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Target audience The primary audience was IKEA's customers (43 million Italians visit an IKEA store every year). The secondary audience was IKEA social fanbase that viewed the events via online streaming and, of course, all Italian people, including opinion leaders and media. Approach For the anniversary of Billy, the iconic IKEA bookcase, we decided to spread conversations around the decline of Italy’s reading habits and stimulate a cultural change. We created a store experience by transforming the IKEA store into a place where we could reconnect people with reading and discover new and emerging writers. We filmed the experience people had and the several events organized in store to share them on social media and increase PR opportunities.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

We called the biggest Italian book supplier, IBS, to replace fake books displayed in the bookcases with real ones. CTAs invited store visitors to read the books. We recreated a book club turning the IKEA into a stage for new authors: they had the chance to promote their books with the help of TV presenters, musicians, literary critics, performers. The events were also streamed online through IKEA channels. All the bookcases in IKEA stores were turned into a media space to promote and celebrate the passion for reading. Not only: a dedicated area in the store staged all the events. Three days of events launched the campaign (25-27th of January). During these days, the entire IKEA store of San Giuliano was turned into a library. Then, the bookcrossing program continued in the other Italian stores. The campaign was launched in the IKEA store of San Giuliano (Milan) and online.

List the results (30% of vote)

List of the results 3 billion impressions 100% positive social media sentiment 160 media mentions 90K Social interaction