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Marketer: Ikea
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Beijing
Ikea's ads reflect consumer behavior in lounging-and even eating and sleeping-in China stores

[beijing] Sweden's Ikea is capitalizing on the home-improvement trend sweeping through China with an ad campaign promoting the mega-store-Ikea's largest outside Stockholm-opened last week in Beijing. The "More to Love" campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi plays on the popularity of Ikea's earlier Beijing store, the company's most successful outlet in China.

Beijingers appreciate the brand's "relaxed and down-to-earth personality, which fits nicely with the Beijing character," said Charles Sampson, the agency's Beijing-based CEO, China. "In the store, you often see people having an afternoon nap on the beds or eating their lunchbox sitting in the sofa department. Unlike in other stores, Ikea encourages this, or at least does not discourage it."

Such behavior is referenced in ads that introduce the store, showing a family asleep on a sofa while it is being carried by Ikea staff from the old store to the new one. In another ad, a mother and daughter are eating on an Ikea table on a rolling cart pushed by two movers, while a third carries an overweight Swedish chef.

The new Beijing store is the latest example of Ikea's aggressive expansion plans in China, a fast-growing do-it-yourself market. The home-furnishing retailer is courting young consumers who are eagerly updating drab public housing, and increasingly newly-purchased apartments, with modern, colorful but inexpensive furniture.

Ikea entered China in 1998. Besides Beijing, the company has opened stores in Shanghai and, just last year, in Guangzhou, and will open in Chengdu later this year. Ikea hopes to have at least ten stores open in China by 2010, in addition to its three factories in Beijing, Dalian and Shenzhen.
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