Benjamin Li
May 2, 2014

Ikea Taiwan builds trial home space for social gatherings

TAIPEI - Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Taipei has helped Ikea convert a vacant three-storey building in central Taipei into a space the public can use for social gatherings—free for a day.

Ikea Taiwan builds trial home space for social gatherings

The brand transformed the 230-square-metre property near the Presidential Office Building ( 總統府) in Zhongzheng District (中正區), which has been vacant for a year, into an Ikea-equipped home. It includes a living room on the first floor, kitchen on the second floor and a bedroom and kid's play area on the third floor.

The campaign started two weeks ago. People can 'rent' the house free from 10 am to 9 pm for social gatherings, provided they express their interests on Ikea Taiwan’s website and come up with an interesting and meaningful reason for the gathering.

Ella Hsu, account director for Ogilvy, which has been working on Ikea’s creative account in Taiwan for three-and-a-half years, said the brand has mainly done TV campaigns prior to this but was open to something different. “Taiwan is a mature market," Hsu said. "The client’s brief gave us more freedom to do something different to arouse people’s interest in home furnishings.”

As rent is expensive in Taiwan, many people use their home mostly for eating and sleeping, and can be reluctant to entertain due to space issues, Hsu said. However, “entertaining friends in your home indicates your close relationship, plus you don’t have to worry about other people in a restaurant—you could talk or even cry freely.”

Ogilvy created three different videos, available on the Ikea website and YouTube, to show different occasions for home gatherings. The campaign also includes promotional banners on most main portals, especially Yahoo, which is the biggest portal in Taiwan, and Facebook, as well as a press event to invite people to try out the home space.

The brand has received more than 1000 applications within the first two weeks, Hsu said. Interesting requests have included a couple who will get married in a week’s time, a young woman who hopes to break the ice between her parents and a boyfriend and a reunion of classmates who have not met up for 40 years.

Hsu said the client enjoyed the creative concept. "They even asked their boss from Sweden to come to this house for their regional meeting,” she said.

Ogilvy has rented the property for Ikea for one year. After the three-month campaign, it may become an Ikea exhibition space and showroom for other home furnishings.

The agency’s group creative director, Jimi Hsieh, led the campaign development.

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