A ‘repurposeful’ campaign from IKEA Canada

Who: IKEA Canada with Rethink for creative, and Wunderman Thompson for CRM. FUZE, Fort York and Vapor Music for production/post-production. Media by Carat.

What: “Repurposeful Instructions,” which teaches consumers ways to upcycle its old furniture—diverting it away from landfill by transforming it into new household items such as a hanging garden and a beehive.

When & Where:  An extension of the “One Little Thing” spot currently running across TV, the campaign launched this week and runs through the end of August across traditional and digital out-of-home in major markets including Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, and online video through Aug. 31. All of the media drives to a dedicated online hub at IKEA.ca/Repurposeful.

Why: The campaign is a continuation of the sustainability focus that has characterized IKEA’s marketing efforts for several years now, as it looks to achieve its stated goal of becoming a circular business by 2030.

It has introduced several initiatives aimed at achieving that objective, from reducing food waste at its in-store cafes to introducing a new sell-back program giving customers store credit for gently used items that are then sold through the “As-Is” section or donated. The program has received more than 45,000 donations since its launch in 2019.

How: The 13 “Repurposeful” projects range from beginner to advanced, and use IKEA’s familiar assembly instructions, although the IKEA Man himself is conspicuously absent (“[He] wasn’t included as a creative treatment in this particular campaign” said an IKEA spokesperson). The accompanying video ad shows a handful of the projects that can be completed with the downloadable instructions. “With a little imagination, your old things can be new again,” says the opening super.

Its “Frakta” shopping bags become a hanging garden, for example, while its Ivar cabinet becomes a beehive. Be warned, though, that the list of required items for the latter includes a table saw, chop saw and “medium hive frames,” which are available at “any beekeeping supplier.” (Interesting side note: you can purchase a full body cotton beekeeping suit through Walmart.ca for just $23.69.)

And we quote: “We really believe in the power of small, sustainable acts that people can take in their daily lives. In addition to becoming a fully circular business by 2030, IKEA aims to help our customers and co-workers make lots of little changes to live more sustainably in easy and inspiring ways, like those featured in our Repurposeful Instructions.” — Ami Warrington, marketing communications specialist, IKEA Canada

Chris Powell