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Human Potential in the Age of Exponential Tech

Well Played: Ikea Facebook Campaign

I recently saw this video of a Facebook campaign created around the launch of a new store Ikea in Malmo, Sweden in late 2009.  What Ikea did was very simple, easy, and smart. They created a Facebook photo album with 12 showroom pictures. Whoever tagged the product first got to keep it. The campaign quickly went viral as the online enthusiasm spread to users’ facebook profiles and newsfeeds.

Watch them explain the campaign in their own words:

Why I love this campaign:

1) Use what you have:

There was no need to develop a fancy application or create a complicated web presence. They used two existing features that most users were already familiar with: tagging pictures and the sharing functionality.

2) Clear strategic objectives:

They knew what they wanted to accomplish: get people talking about the launch of the store and spread the news to their online network. The entry barrier to participate was very low. Anyone could easily and quickly be a part of the campaign.

3) A realistic campaign life cycle:

They set a clear deadline (12 days) and the end point for the campaign was clearly communicated to all  members. As more organizations execute social media strategies our attention spans will continue to shrink. I think many organizations have a misguided notion that they have to build a long lasting community of people who will remain engaged with the brand for months.

I can see where this perspective comes from considering building an online community of active members takes a lot of time and effort and companies want to see some bang for their buck. However, Ikea proves you can have an effective campaign with a shorter life cycle that is just as effective at getting the job done. I do want to point out that I am referring to specifically branded campaigns and not Ikea’s overall web presence.

4) They incented the right actions:

It really makes me laugh. People love getting things for free. Whatever it is, if it’s free someone will happily take it. AND they’ll tell their friends about it. Ikea was able to move the online discussion beyond the boundaries of one photo album and into the digital common space by counting on the fact that people will gloat about their free loot. And it worked like a charm.Whether it was announcing that they won something, or encouraging their friends to take part it made sense for people to talk about the campaign.

Well done Ikea!!

Many thanks to my friend Kimmo Kuortti, Director of International Relations at the University of Oulu in Finland for sharing this wonderful video with me!

Comments: 4

  • Allan

    March 17, 2010
    reply

    Indeed, it was a really clever campaign. Another one of the key “success factors” was that they used the name of the store manager, rather than “IKEA Malmo”, making it feel even more personal.

    However, FB was Not Amused by the promotion and rewrote their TOS to explicitly bar these kinds of activities without their prior agreement. The customer-friendly explanation is that they’re keeping spam off your NewsFeed. The more realistic explanation is that they don’t get any advertising fees for something that is far more effective than any of the sidebar ads.

  • Faheem Ahmed

    April 12, 2010
    reply

    @Allan, tagging lately has become a menace bcos of spam. Am glad facebook banned the ikea page. Even now I see plenty of brand pages using this strategy to get more fans. Facebook is yet to ban them. IMO, Tagging competitions are probably the least innovative marketing strategies and this short cut ploy wont work for brands in the long run.

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