How IKEA Norway has driven sales, while helped old furniture to find new homes

In September-October 2013, IKEA helped customers in Norway to sell out their used furniture, while boosted sales of the new items— due to the sustainability-driven ad campaign “The Second Hand” that rolled out in Oslo across TV, outdoor, print and social media.

The 8-week multi-platform advertising campaign was developed by Oslo-based SMFB, the agency behind the hilarious Geox Amphibiox FW13 campaign and other IKEA promotions. For the effort, IKEA asked its customers if they wanted to sell their old Malm, Besta, Alesund, Hemnes pieces or items from other ranges. The agency then selected 50 volunteers from those who had responded to the call, and their used IKEA items “starred” in the photo and video shoots with the same production budget as if it were for a new product launch.

All the banners, prints, etc. were featuring some old IKEA items along with the phone numbers of the owners. The ads informed that some person had bought a new piece of furniture (say, a sofa for 8.990kr) from the latest IKEA catalogue and now wanted to sell the old one out (for 150).

Additionally, the IKEA Norge Facebook page was turned into a temporary flea-market where fans could sell and buy used IKEA items every Sunday, 11 am-5 pm, September 16-October 6. The offers selected by the company were displayed during the six hours (on closing of the market, all the ads of the day were deleted, regardless the result).

“During the campaign, the sales of IKEA furniture increased. And at the same time, we got our sustainable message through,” says IKEA in the case study video of the effort.