IKEA Kicks Off Tweet Campaign In Canada & An Influential German Book Critic Reviews Its New Catalog

The Swedish furniture company promotes the release of its new catalog through lighthearted social efforts, urging customers to #GrabLifeByTheCatalogue.

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The Swedish furniture maker is continuing its lighthearted approach to marketing as it kicks off efforts to raise awareness of its 2016 catalog, which is being mailed out to customers this month and is mirrored online.

In 2014, we saw IKEA promote its 2015 catalog as an ingenious new device, a “book book” — playing off the hype surrounding the release of the new iPhone around the same time. This year, it’s combining humor, social media and a techie gimmick to introduce the new catalog in Canada and in German-speaking countries.

The German language effort, which comes with English subtitles, features an influential book critic — Hellmuth Karasek — who the audience likely knows as the long-time culture editor of Der Spiegel and as a TV personality on Das Literarische Quartett (which translates as The Literary Quartet).

Among his observations (made against the background of sophisticated classical music):

  • The book by IKEA could be criticized for featuring more pictures than characters.
  • The people have to squeeze in between the furniture, they have very little to say and what they do say is hardly coherent — and yet the book is such a huge success.

The video, posted on both YouTube and Facebook, has been promoted via IKEA’s social media accounts and has gotten mostly positive comments. In its press release, Ikea notes that Kasarek had complete editorial freedom and wasn’t instructed what to say about the catalog.

In Canada, IKEA has taken a more aggressive approach, essentially rewarding people for tweeting with the hashtag #GrabLifeByTheCatalogue. The company is taking a special Twitter-enabled vending machine to its stores around the country over the next two weekends. When people push a button on the machine, they receive a unique number that they can then tweet to @IkeaCanada accompanied by the hashtag. Doing so will reward the store visitor with a prize and a chance to win a bigger reward.

“We know that Canadians like to engage and connect through social media,” Stefan Sjostrand, the president of IKEA Canada, said in a statement.

IKEA promoted the campaign through its social media points of presence and has succeeded in spurring tweets by customers collecting rewards.


About the author

Pamela Parker
Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media's Content Studio, where she produces MarTech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land and MarTech. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She's a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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