Ikea has launched a fun-filled music video as part of a new campaign to promote the brand’s entertaining range in the lead up to the Christmas New Year party season.
The music video, called "Playin' With My Friends", stars a group of kids and their friends, a selection of giant toys including a stuffed bear, toy robot, action figure, dinosaur, monkey and doll. The video sees the kids dancing about an Ikea filled house to a track by Masters in France preparing a dinner party with Ikea products.
The music video – which has also been cut down to ad formats to screen on UK TV and cinemas – is part of a new strategy by Ikea to provide practical solutions and inspiration for Ikea products.
Playin’ With My Friends introduces “a shift from communications focused on rooms in the home to campaigns discussing activities and needs in the home."
Peter Wright, marketing manager for Ikea UK & Ireland, says "[Ikea is] moving from talking about products to talking about activities in the home. It's actually going to be done in the style of music videos. They're all up and coming artists so there will be a series of up and coming re-recording of tracks."
As branded entertainment goes a music video is a great way to engage your audience. Start with a rocking track, throw in some kids and add some oversized toys and surely you are onto a winner? A music video is hip and cool, which are not exactly qualities that people would associate with the Swedish furniture brand.
Ikea is an interesting brand in that it is loved for its accessibility and affordability, but it is equally loathed for its brand experience and unfortunately you tend to hear a lot more of the latter when it comes to shopping at Ikea.
The biggest challenge for Ikea globally is altering the negative perceptions that consumers have about the brand experience. The “ordeal” of shopping at Ikea with the crowds, the long trek through the super-sized stores, and the frustrating assembly process is a major hurdle for the brand. The mere mention of Ikea in any given social setting will elicit groans and horror stories.
The music video is a deliberate play to inject some fun into the brand and win over new friends - and what better way than a video featuring cute kids, giant toys and a great music track?
Ikea has already had success with the music video genre, its Kitchen Party music video in 2010 which featured Man Like Me covering Jona Lewis 'You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties' was a boon for the brand and the cut-down advert went international airing in a number of markets, including Australia.
Ikea followed it up again with a music video for the launch of its 2013 catalogue with Bright Shiny Colours an explosion of dance, animation and bright coloured Ikea products.
But what 'Playin’ With My Friends' also presents in a widening of Ikea’s target audience from its heartland of young singles and couples to a broader family focus. The dominant presence of kids in the video reinforces the shift and according to Ikea’s ad agency Mother, comes from an Ikea philosophy that “adults and children behave better when they’re sitting around the same table.” The music video aims to create a fun environment where parents and children could enjoy the home and everything in it.
It’s also a huge reflection on the UK market at present, which is still feeling the grips of the recession. Ikea is looking to reach an audience that is not only more price conscious but as a result is shifting more towards entertaining at home.
The strategy is to make the brand more accessible to families by focusing on the activities that people do at home and tapping into the positive emotion that comes with that.
The strategy is to show the products in use and provide inspiration to consumers - particularly in the lead up to the festive season – and also show consumers that they can enjoy the life they want on any budget.
It’s a smart strategy and wrapping it up with a fun music video that taps into the nostalgia of being a kid and enjoying the home comes together to pack quite an effective punch.
If that wasn’t enough, Ikea have followed up the music video with a ‘making of’ film narrated by Darren the Bear from the music video. This piece of film is a stroke of genius and adds a layer of cheeky humour to the brand. It also helps reinforce the video as an entertainment vehicle and not an ad which is a nice touch.
A smart and savvy shift in strategy is well positioned with this music video. However it’s one thing to create engaging content, it’s another to change peoples ingrained attitudes towards a brand. Can Ikea move from functional to feel good fun? One to watch.