IKEA Quick & Easy Room Makeover

Events, Seasonal and Short-Term (BRONZE)

Client Credits: IKEA Canada
Hilary Lloyd, Country Marketing Manager
Kirsten Ryan, Advertising Manager
Jonelle Ricketts, Advertising Specialist

Agency Credits: Leo Burnett
Chief Creative Officer, Judy John
Group Creative Directors, Morgan Kurchak, David Federico
Copywriter, Matt Williamson, Jon Murray
Art Director, Andrew Hart
Designer, Trevor Bell, Sean Perkins
Flash Developer, Chad Elston, Kavin Wong
Web Developer, Margaret Beck
Director, Creative Technology, Felix Wardene
Digital Project Manager, Thomas Degez
Assistant Account Executive, Merwyn Xavier
Account Supervisor, Danielle Iozzo
Group Account Director, Natasha Dagenais
Planner, Director, Dustin Rideout
Strategic Planner, Lisa Hart
Social Media Planner, Heather Morrison, Michael McDonald-Beraskow
VP. Media Connection Planning, Brooke Leland
Media Broadcast Planners, Krystal Seymour
Media Non-Broadcast Planner, Janet Xi
Media Agency: Jungle Media

Total 1474 Words


Business Results Period (Consecutive Months):May - June 2014
Start of Advertising/Communication Effort: May 2014
Base Period as a Benchmark: May - June 2013

a) Overall Assessment

Re-positioning Renovations in the minds of Canadians

In Canada, most people think changing a room’s look and feel requires a major renovation, which is both expensive and time consuming. Over 40 renovation shows on Canadian television alone reinforce this idea every single day.

IKEA wanted to show Canadians that home improvement doesn’t have to be this way – that you can completely change a room’s look by simply adding some textiles: inexpensively, quickly and easily. Just as a wardrobe signals to others our unique style from season to season, the colours, patterns, and textures of textiles become the dressings from which people see us inside our homes. The problem is, unlike a new set of summer t-shirts or an update of new fall sweaters, people are highly reluctant to refresh their home with new textiles throughout the year. Textiles come loaded with a list of do’s and do not’s, rules and regulations, perfect matches and horrible misses—a rule-bound process to which no one seems to know the rules. The result: poly-cotton paralysis that leaves all but the most assured home decorators too afraid to start.

The Challenge: Get people feeling confident and comfortable ‘renovating’ with textiles from IKEA.

This case shows how IKEA encouraged people to experiment with textiles at home, showing that they can be as easy, fun and swappable as the contents of our closets.

b) Resulting Business Objectives

Because this was the first time IKEA was speaking directly about their textile offering, the objectives were crystal clear: increase textiles sales while increasing visitors to the store. There were no previous benchmarks within IKEA that would suggest what a hard and fast objective could and should be, so increase it was.

While people love the idea of textiles, they are easily overwhelmed and immobilized by the wide variety of choice: colours, patterns and textures. We needed to move people from hesitant to ‘renovate’ to compelled to create, which was no easy task. Not only did we need to mitigate people’s fear of fabric, but also create a top of mind association between IKEA and textiles. IKEA and Kitchens…yes. IKEA and couches…yeah sure. IKEA and inspired indigo cotton print…whaaaaat? We needed to establish the association between brand and broadcloth at the very same time as removing the fear if we were to get the increase set out.

c) Annual Media Budget
$1 - $2 million

d) Geographic Area

a) Analysis and Insight

People need encouragement to play around with textiles

Although IKEA wanted to feature its textiles, we needed to better understand the barriers associated with them. We conducted in depth qualitative groups to better understand how people define and use textiles, why they do and don’t decorate with textiles, and what was keeping them from IKEA. To this, we added a deep digital scrape of multiple online décor discussion forums, blogs, and websites to identify common textile themes, noting the questions, concerns, challenges and moments of empowerment most commonly discussed to better address the challenge at hand.

It was clear from both research efforts that although people respond to textiles passionately and excitedly, they lack the confidence, courage and know-how to make a commitment to purchase. In fact, the self-doubt and questioning is so powerful that they resort to second-guessing their own aesthetic instincts, love at first sights and ultimately rationalize talking themselves out of the purchase altogether. Although people feel inspired by the diversity of textile ‘renovation’ ideas found in home décor media (Reno TV, Style at Home magazine, the Houzz app and retailer sites), perceived expert sources exert a constant pressure to “get it right”. In fact, the one commonality across all of the home décor destinations was the constant reminder of the fabric rules to be followed, the mix and match must do’s and cardinal sins of corduroys that understandably made easily updatable items as textiles a terror trap.

Our strategy: free people from the tyranny of textile rules by encouraging endless experimentation.

We would show people that despite their fears, IKEA textiles are the low risk, inexpensive way to ‘renovate’ throughout the entire year and easily change the look, feel and personality of the home.

b) Communication Strategy

Tactile Textiles

The actual tactile experience is incredibly important when it comes to textiles, as it assists the heart to override any of the ‘rules’ and rational concerns the head may have. As one participant put it, “I would never buy textiles without feeling them first.” [Footnote 1] We knew that hands-on participation with textiles had to be an element of our communication mix.

  • OOH Acts: Let people touch and feel actual textiles in order to generate an emotional response from both the participant and viewer
  • TV: Demonstrate how quick and easy it is to freshen up any space, on any budget, with little to no time investment
  • Digital: Extend the participation online and inspire her through the range of IKEA textiles

Footnote 1: Fresh Squeezed Ideas Textile Research

a) Media Used

TV: 2-minute HGTV episodes

OOH Street activation


Online tool


b) Creative Discussion

The idea: With IKEA, Room Makeovers are Quick & Easy


From our clear insight, IKEA’s Quick & Easy Room Makeover was born. An idea that would show people how little changes could make a big difference at home and break down the intimidation barrier preventing people from going with their gut, grabbing a throw and a pillow, and trying it out for themselves.


To help ease their fears, we created a TV show that aired on the very same channels that were showing the full rip out, replace and follow the rules renovations, but instead of being 30 – 60 minutes long, we reinforced how quick and easy it is with IKEA by doing it all in 2-minute episodes. We called it the “Quick & Easy Room Makeover Show”, where real couples worked with a well-known designer to transform their rooms in minutes all through IKEA textiles.

To support the show and our Quick & Easy campaign idea, we created street level boards where people could take life-sized textile samples and try them out in their homes without the fear of having to commit to the whole pillow and curtain set.


Online, our digital tool taught people how to ‘renovate’ a room in seconds using only textiles to refresh it. The tool showcased the range of IKEA textiles and highlighted the impact just a few items could add. Our social platforms drove to the tool while showcasing textile inspiration to get her excited about IKEA’s offering and more confident about textile ‘renovation.’



c) Media Discussion

Internal Inspiration vs. Making it Real

From our research we learned it’s important to recognize that the purchase journey for textiles has discrete steps, it is not a linear process. There are multiple entry and exit points over the course of the journey, but all could be effectively collapsed into one of two critical steps where we needed to be present: 1) Internal Inspiration and 2) Making It Real.

Internal Inspiration:

  • TV: Instructional and confidence building episodes on one of the most credible Home Décor channels, HGTV
  • Social: Sharing beautiful textile inspiration and driving to our online episodes

Making It Real:

  • OOH: A real-life act where people could experience IKEA textiles first hand and experiment hands on

Digital: An online tool and YouTube masthead that encouraged textile confidence as much as experimentation.


a) Sales/Share Results

Playing with Textiles produced positive results

The Quick & Easy Room Makeover showed people that they can in fact let loose with linen and get them creatively confident within a previously rule-bound and paralyzing category:

GOAL - Increase textile sales

RESULT - We increased textile sales by +11%

GOAL - Increase visitors

RESULT - We increased visitors by +10%

An added benefit to the increased awareness and engagement with textiles at IKEA was an improved basket size – people were adding more textiles to their home furnishings purchases, causing an increase in ticket by +5%.

b) Consumption/ Usage Results

c) Other Pertinent Results

d) Return on Investment

a) General Discussion

The IKEA promotional calendar is the same as it was the previous year. There were no new products or new news. This was the first big communication effort that IKEA has put behind the textile category.

b) Excluding Other Factors
Spending Levels:

There was no increase in spend or activity in IKEA 52 week advertising efforts vs. the previous year.


The offers during the months of May and June were similar in product and price vs. the previous year.

Distribution Changes:

Distribution for IKEA products remained the same as the previous year.

Unusual Promotional Activity:

There was no other unusual promotional activity during this time – the offers during the campaign period were comparable in item and price as the previous year.

Other Potential Causes: