Ikea is celebrating its 75th anniversary with limited-run Ikea Inspiration Experience events in New York and Chicago, according to a company news release.
The pop-up events allow visitors to step inside room setups from Ikea’s 2019 catalog, as well as test their trivia knowledge, learn more about Ikea and win prizes.
Ikea also announced that it will send out fewer paper catalogs to consumers and redirect the savings to new marketing efforts, according to Ad Age. The home goods retailer mailed out 50% fewer catalogs this year. Later this year, the company will unveil 10-foot-by-10-foot catalogs in some high-profile locations, like New York City’s Times Square, which will house a digital catalog rendering that turns catalog pages into animations.
As Ikea strives to promote sustainability by printing and distributing fewer catalogs, the retailer is investing in digital and experiential marketing tactics to pick up the slack and keep consumers engaged with the brand. The pop-up events that let consumers actually step into room designs from the catalog will help the brand create memorable experiences that could possibly translate into sales and digital engagement. Millennial and Gen Z consumers are especially responsive to real-life experiences where they can engage with the brands and share their experiences on social media.
Ikea’s new campaign also plays into Gen Z’s complex shopping habits that blend e-commerce and in-store, and it’s timely as college students are thinking about outfitting their dorm rooms as they get ready to head back to school. Most Gen Zers, or 80%, enjoy shopping in-store when they have time, where they can touch and feel merchandise, but 75% prefer to do most shopping online because it’s more convenient, according to a recent Criteo study. Gen Z is particularly responsive to in-store displays and ways to try out products.
Cutting back on catalogs may not sit as well with millennials, who have a penchant for nostalgia. The generation likes catalogs more than other age groups, and research shows that catalog distribution can be more effective at driving sales than some forms of digital marketing, because marketers are often better at targeting key consumers.
Last year, Ikea spent $96.5 million on measured media in the U.S., including $10.2 million on catalogs, according to Kantar Media data cited by Ad Age. The retailer is also releasing a new 90-second commercial in Sweden, showing people singing to Mozart.