Brilliant Ikea and its 'bookbook'

Jo Francis
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ikea has provided print with the sort of publicity that money can't buy. Let's make the most of it.

We in the printiverse owe Swedish flatpack furniture giant Ikea a debt of gratitude.

If you haven’t seen it yet, go immediately to YouTube to view the retailer’s rather marvelous advert for its new 2015 catalogue. Or, rather, its “bookbook”.

When I first looked at this video last week it had just over 2m views. Thanks to plenty of publicity in the marketing press, and many, many shares on social media it’s gone viral and that has now rocketed to over 8.8m.

This delightful parody of Apple’s advertising style is also an homage to the many qualities inherent in a printed product.

It’s good to be reminded of these strengths. Sometimes we in print can overlook such advantages due to familiarity, and sometimes we’re so focused on complexity and added-value that the seemingly ordinary isn’t given due credit.

Ikea, which prints some 198m catalogues a year, in 27 languages and distributed in 38 countries, is obviously well versed in the power of print.

As it happens the Ikea catalogue is also a cross-media piece – there’s an Ikea app and you scan selected pages for extra content. I found it interesting that this wasn’t mentioned in the ad, which focuses entirely on the catalogue as a standalone item.

Also as it happens, my supposedly super-whizzy high-speed broadband has been down all morning, so I’ve been suitably appreciative that with this 328pp beauty, as chief design guru Jörgen Eghammer says in the ad, “each crystal clear page loads instantaneously – no lag!”

Rah for Ikea, and rah for the power of print. Dear reader, be sure to do your bit to capitalise on this zeitgeist.

And, on the day that Apple’s much-hyped iPhone 6 and iWatch launch, I wonder if Apple will be as innovative as Ikea.

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