IKEA: finding the human insight in SEO
The devastating power of a simple idea is demonstrated in ‘Retail Therapy' – a marketing experiment by IKEA that redefines how brands can use online search.
On first glance you’ve landed on a regular page from IKEA’s site. But where you expect the familiar Moominesque Scandi names, you find phrases linking the objects to everyday – and frequently googled – relationship issues.
The Hemnes Daybed becomes “My Partner Snores”; The Koppla USB charger – “He Doesn’t Text Back.” Click on a product, and you’re told its real name and sent to the real site with an explanation. Why does it work? Partly because of IKEA’s distinctive tone, partly because it’s lightly self-mocking. Most importantly, though, it’s because they make you work to find the connections – “Kids Every Other Week” (the PS Lövås sofa bed) may be quite a puzzle to non-divorcees.
Research shows audiences like films that invite you to work out connections yourself, rather than spelling it out. By being brave enough to act on that, IKEA have produced an inexpensive and elegant winner. And we've learned that they sell a tudor queen costume in Sweden.