IKEA’s play fort ads illustrate what’s good about times like these
IKEA is earning wide praise for offering illustrated instruction manuals on Instagram for building a series of at-home forts. The campaign’s goal: keep the kids occupied in coronavirus lockdown.
Developed by IKEA Russia, the designs include a classic House silhouette that uses sheets draped over a table, secured by leaning books. The Fortress instructions employ sofa cushions as walls surrounding a coach. Other designs include the Wigwam, Castle, Cave and Camping Tent.
The campaign promotes IKEA’s products, although ad copy says other household items can be used. The campaign struck the right chord given IKEA’s reputation for furniture assembly while also addressing the challenges keeping home-stuck kids entertained.
Said Sara Spary for Adweek, “The retailer’s newest campaign for the quarantine era perfectly captures that yearning sense of nostalgia by bringing old-fashioned childhood adventure into (the) modern home.”
The campaign arrives amid calls for advertising messaging to shift away from empathy toward embracing life’s new routines, possibly with a bit of humor.
Budweiser resurrected its “Whassup?” campaign that first broke in 1999 to remind people to check in on friends and family during the lockdown period. Bud Light updated its “Real Men of Genius” campaign from the 1990s with a “Stay At Home Humans of Genius” effort. Executions include saluting the “Indoor Sports Maker-Upper,” “Virtual Happy Hour” and “Balcony Sing-a-long.”
Other campaigns addressing COVID-19 quarantine:
- Shake Shack’s weekly social media series, “Shake Shack at Your Shack,” sees the restaurant chain’s culinary director and executive chef hosting cook-along videos incorporating Shake Shack core ingredients.
- Nike’s “Living Room Cup” digital campaign offers those at home a chance to compete in weekly fitness challenges against Nike ambassadors, such as soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo and golfer Rory McIlroy.
- Chewy rolled out a 60-second digital spot showcasing people bonding with their pets in isolation.
- Lucky Brand Jeans launched a #WinFromHome game that encouraged Instagram users to post pictures of themselves doing a daily challenge — such as “Paint Your Dog’s Fingernails” or “Turn Breakfast Into Art Class” — to gain rewards like gift cards, promo codes and charitable donations on the player’s behalf.
- IKEA designs forts for children in lockdown – Dezeen
- IKEA Russia is also asking people to share their creations on social media with the hashtag #StayHome – Adweek
- IKEA’s instructions for building the best pillow forts are what every parent needs right now – CNN
- IKEA Shares Plans for Building At-Home Forts — and Yes, They Include Illustrated Instructions! – People
- Bud Light Reimagines Iconic Campaign in ‘Stay at Home Humans of Genius’ Ads – Adweek
- In The Nike Living Room Cup, it’s You Versus the World’s Best Athletes – Nike
- Shake Shack Comes to Your Shack During the Coronavirus Pandemic – Adweek
- Lucky Brand Re-Opens First Location; Has Donated Over 20k Masks From Their ‘Get 5, Give 5 For $25’ Campaign – Lucky Brand/PRNewswire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What type of messaging should brands be sharing with consumers as they stay at home? Have any of the campaigns mentioned in the article or others you’ve seen impressed you for speaking directly to the needs of consumers at this moment in time?