For nearly 70 years, IKEA has been committed to offering people access to stylish design at reasonable prices. The brand believes that great design should be attainable for all, and technology allows IKEA to further this ambition. So when Apple and then Google announced plans to release AR developer kits for mobile devices, IKEA saw an opportunity to transform the way people shop for furniture forever.
To match the lifestyles and demands of today’s consumers, IKEA tasked Allison+Partners, 72&Sunny, Assembly, Space10 and others with the launch of the IKEA Place mobile app across the globe. The augmented reality app lets people virtually “place” IKEA furnishings in their space before purchasing, building on its commitment to bringing great design to everyone, everywhere. We were tapped to roll out the app in two phases. First, for its launch on Apple’s ARKit in September 2017, which competed with Apple’s product news itself. Then, for the launch on Google’s ARcore in March 2018, while injecting a fresh perspective into a story that was already covered six months earlier.
35% of consumers worldwide return their furniture because they don’t think it fits in their home, whilst augmented reality was only known to early adopters.
We used insights from consumer data to build a global communications toolkit that guided the launch of IKEA app across all international markets. We hosted intimate media preview
events and gave reporters time to demo the app under embargo. We seeded the app with top global technology reporters before it was generally available, and targeted influencers and media to encourage renewed excitement when IKEA Place came to Android.
As a result of the global launch strategy, IKEA Place was undoubtedly the “darling” among the AR apps released on Apple’s ARKit with some reporters saying: “IKEA’s app is that next-gen home furnishing shift we’ve been imagining for years” and “While IKEA Place seems genuinely useful, others miss the mark.”
The campaign resulted in over 2m downloads of the IKEA Place app and is seen as the most successful launch in IKEA communications history in terms of reach.
Over 4,500 pieces of coverage appeared in over 100 countries, generating 3 billion impressions. Almost 100% of coverage was positive or neutral.
We saw collective engagement on social media of almost 200,000 likes, comments, shares and retweets.