Amy Poehler once joked that IKEA is Swedish for “argument.” Even executives of the company like to refer to their more complicated-assembly products as “relationship killers.” These jabs stem from the difficulty that comes with assembling the company’s furniture–think dozens of small parts, difficult to pronounce names, and no-text instructions–and the arguments that follow between couples struggling to complete the task.
To combat this image with a humorous twist, IKEA came out with a campaign entitled “Retail Therapy.” In it, the compiled the most frequently-Googled relationship and family questions in Sweden and created a new website, ikearetailtherapy.com, where each question is “answered” with the perfect accompanying product. The results are hilarious.
She doesn’t want to cuddle? IKEA suggests a mattress wedge. He doesn’t text you back? Maybe his phone died; IKEA suggests a USB phone charger. The “my partner is selfish” search yields a result for double sinks. There are over 100 equally comical results, all available for purchase on the sight.
This campaign brilliantly utilizes search engine marketing. By using the most frequently Googled inquiries and paying to have their results be promoted at the top of searches, IKEA is guaranteeing that people will see their products in search results and raise awareness. The cheeky humor in the product names is effective at generating buzz and getting people to share the jokes online, adding the power of word-of-mouth spread. The marketing agency behind this successful idea named the goal of the campaign as being no matter what relationship problem you have, “IKEA can come to the rescue. Or at least put a smile on your face, while you keep googling for an answer.” It is this subtle, highly visible humor that puts this campaign at the forefront of consumer views without pushing it on them and effectively boosts brand perception and customer relations.