The pairing of Ikea and Swedish agency Forsman and Bodenfors might make you think of sophisticated digital productions like the multiawarded Dream Kitchens campaign. But art director Adam UlvegĂ¤rde (pictured left) and copywriter Robert Lund prove that complicated technology isn't necessary to create a knockout online effort for the brand. And you don't even have to live in the same city to do so.
Berghs School of Communication alums UlvegĂ¤rde, who's based out of the agency's Gothenburg office, and Lund, who works in Stockholm, teamed on Ikea's Facebook Showroom, one of Creativity's top campaigns of '09. Armed with zero media budget, the pair turned to Facebook and "kidnapped" one of its most basic functions. They created a profile of the store's manager, Gordon Gustavsson, adding an album of Ikea showroom images. Anyone who befriended Gordon and tagged furniture in the pictures would win those pieces. While the promotion helped to fill some bare living rooms, it also resulted in abundant word of mouth love not just for the store in Malmo, but Ikea the brand.
"We realized that almost all previous work on Facebook had been done by creating apps," says UlvegĂ¤rde. "If you think about it, the success of Facebook can largely be credited to the clever functions that are built in to the interface. Why create new functions that you have to educate people how to use? It's hard enough as it is for brands to get invited into people's personal space. We didn't want to make it even harder."
Recently, the duo created another smart but no-frills, no-budget effort, for Swedish public service radio broadcasting company Sveriges. The company felt its web presence was getting lost in the shuffle, (www.sr.se) and wanted to make its name more apparent with a lengthened address (www.sverigesradio.se). UlvegĂ¤rde and Lund decided to capitalize on the broadcaster's unconventional move by creating a cheeky spoof on today's many URL-shortening sites: The URL Expander. Using the online app, visitors could expand any address to ridiculous lengths, and learn more about Sveriges in the process: contained within the super long URLs was additional info on the company.
For the pair, it all boils down to boiling it down. "We always tell each other during our idea sessions, 'Yeah it's a cool angle, but it's way to complex,'" says Lund. "And if we can't simplify it, it's dead."