IKEA Nails It with Its 2020 Catalog Promo

Okay, IKEA has blown us away again.

They caught everyone’s attention with their 2014 augmented reality catalog, followed by the 2015 book that went decidedly non-tech, saying it’s a “not an e-book; it’s a book book!”

For 2020, they’re raising the bar again, promoting “the book that could change your life” in a multi-channel media campaign. And it speaks right to the heart of catalogs as lifestyle influencers, with a distinctly cheeky attitude that keeps the brand from taking itself too seriously.

“In Ikea’s newest ad, one man finds the ultimate book that might just hold all the answers,” writes Jeff Beer in Fast Company.

“Created by Ogilvy, the spot introduces us to Ali. At first, he’s overweight, tired, and sofa-bound. But a chance meeting transforms him into a cross between Oprah, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Phil.”

That book is, of course, the 2020 IKEA catalog.

“It’s a book that’s already attracted attention for its new fonts, as well as its international approach to studying the future of the home, but here it’s touted as the ultimate guide to living,” Beer writes.

As Beer notes,  the fact that “Ikea actually commissioned its designers to create six different homes focused on particular demographic trends like multigenerational homes, staying single, and longer life spans, does suggest that the brand sees its products as a form of self-help.”

We talk a lot about the idea of modern catalogs as lifestyle influencers; they’re less about the products themselves than the benefits of having these products in life. It’s exactly why catalogs make perfect sense in the age of Amazon

IKEA apparently gets it, and they are using the modern approach to catalogs to its fullest.

The appeal of the catalog has now transcended the brick-and-mortar store, as online-only retailers realize that their customers live in the real world. The best catalogs help customers actually envision the brand as part of their lives, in a way that’s non-intrusive, inviting and welcome. If you want to know what that looks like, look no further than IKEA. They’ve nailed it.