Swedish ad agency Forsman & Bodenfors launched a campaign utilising Facebook and Social media, to help promote a new Ikea store in Malmo, Sweden. A Facebook profile was created of the Malmo store manager and photos were uploaded of the stores new showroom. The first user to tag their name on any of the photos would win that prize. Article link www.digitalbuzzblog.com
At first glance this campaign appears to be nothing more than a ploy to generate some online traffic in order to drive customers to the new IKEA store. But, I wanted to peel back the layers to look at what could be achieved from such a campaign and what may be working in the background.
This is what I believe to be a breakdown of the methods that were in play
• Web 2.0
• Social Networking
• Viral campaigning
• Mass marketing
With the hype that was generated with this campaign, IKEA were able to generate conversations between users and have images of their products attached to millions of facebook profiles, people were begging IKEA to upload more photos so they can tag the images and win some beautiful flat pack furniture. The campaign got traction from Facebook users and then took off like wildfire, from this we are able to see elements of web 2.0 theories come into play with users promoting IKEA on their profiles.
Using Facebook to facilitate the campaign, IKEA were able to build upon relationship marketing. It made it possible to view and measure conversations and comments amongst participants and engaged audiences. Due to nature of the promotion caution would have to be thrown into the wind surrounding these comments, anyone who is receiving free gifts is sure to boast about how great a company is, so the sincerity of the comments would have to be taken into careful consideration. What could be paid close attention to are the comments from those who missed out on prizes and the participants that requested images for certain products, I believe these comments may hold more merit and could be used within respect to sense and respond communications.
I wondered about the risks they could have encountered with this promotion, according to Chaffey and Smith (2007) the two great risks associated with viral marketing are the initial investment of a viral campaign and will it go viral, also the nature of rapid spread with viral campaigns could spread bad publicity just as quick as good publicity. By opening a channel that allows customers to express their opinions is a huge risk for any company. Depending on Ikea’s knowledge about how the public perceives their brand, this may have not been a huge concern or like any good strategy they would’ve had plans in place to combat any negative comments and threats. By running the campaign through Facebook instead of hosting an in-house service, the cost of running would be very minimal. The campaign was a great execution of big ideas on a small budget.
I believe there were aspects of mass marketing that evolved from this campaign, but what could be achieved from trying to reach the masses instead of just speaking to specific segments? Well, a lot. Although it wasn’t an obvious one-to-many monologue occurring, there was one message being sent out to the public and possibly being spread to people who may have never thought about shopping at IKEA. Friends of those who participated were able to see images within their friend’s profiles due to the way image tagging works on facebook, this may arouse interest in other users and prompt them to investigate further or possibly drive the user to the website for more information.
Literally thousands bombarded the Facebook site in search for a quick prize, this campaign was cleverly designed, simple, cheap yet effective. Chaffey and Smith (2008) says that “A viral campaign requires a clever idea, or a highly informative idea which makes compulsive viewing”. Chaffey and Smith (2008).
Viral campaigns lend themselves well to conversations, they spread and reach large audiences quickly and in a cost effective way. In addition to the publicity and hype, the conversations being shared amongst users from this campaign would most likely have a positive effect on SEO.
What I personally love the most about viral campaigns, is the creativity to think outside the square and to see new ideas pushed into the stratosphere beyond the imaginable. To capture the undivided attention and have the audience tuned in for more is an addictive element which entertains both the customer and the company.