Home Marketing Why Ikea Is Running Its First Global Campaign After 80 Years

Why Ikea Is Running Its First Global Campaign After 80 Years

Why Ikea Is Running Its First Global Campaign After 80 Years


Ikea is fresh off launching its first global ad campaign at the ripe old age of 80, and its most senior marketer is hopeful a unified approach will help the retailer appeal to customers across borders battling the same cost-of-living crisis.

“When Ikea first started in 1943, we were only based in Sweden. Since then, we’ve grown tremendously around the world,” Licca Li, global marketing manager at Ikea’s parent Ingka Group, told ADWEEK. “One of [our brand] values is to renew and improve, so it’s only fitting that this year, when Ikea celebrates its 80th anniversary, that we test and try something new.”

Created by McCann out of Spain, the furniture seller’s first worldwide ad, “Do Try This at Home,” equips it with a more consistent voice across the 31 markets it operates in. It also communicates Ikea’s recent price cuts to cash-strapped customers, showing how they can pursue their hobbies and passions within their own four walls.

Li said the work leaned into Ikea’s longstanding brand promise to create “a better life for everyday people.”

“It stems from our belief that homes all over the world are more than just a place,” she explained. “They are a source of joy, inspiration and comfort. Home is where you can express yourself, explore your passions and relax with loved ones.”

An 80-year evolution

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad registered the business in 1943 at 17 years old, originally selling pens and nylon stockings. By 1948, he’d added furniture to the range.

Synonymous with flat-pack creations and simple designs, the Swedish retailer’s products—from the Billy bookcase to the Lampan table lamp—have now become a staple in homes across the globe.

Its advertising has been effective, and award-winning too. From Mother London’s whimsical “The Wonderful Everyday” work, which draws attention to the things we often overlook, through to the more recent tongue-in-cheek “Proudly Second Best” series by David Madrid and Ingo Hamburg, Ikea has driven brand trust and sales with local agency partners throughout its history.

As it approached 80 years in business, however, it decided to go where it had never gone before and invite agencies to pitch for a new, global marketing brief to complement its existing agency roster. 

Unpacking the brief

In October 2023, McCann was picked to lead Ikea retail for the Ingka Group, which consists of 379 Ikea stores. The agency got to work quickly, taking inspiration from Ikea’s annual “Life at Home” report, which gleans responses from more than 250,000 people across 40 countries to identify the essential needs for a better life at home.