Country Marketing Manager
OOH is a proven platform for brands to reach out to their target groups. IKEA India has recently opted for a disruptive, impactful OOH campaign for its grand India debut opening of its massive 4,00,000 sq ft retail outlet in Hyderabad.
Ulf Smedberg, Country Marketing Manager, IKEA India, talks about the brand's view of OOH and shares his particular views on the efficacy of the medium in an interview to allaboutoutdoor.com
IKEA recently went big with a disruptive, impactful OOH campaign for its grand India debut opening of its massive 4,00,000 sq ft retail outlet in Hyderabad. Are you satisfied with the results that you obtained from the campaign?
We are very happy with the results of our campaign and the impact it had on the large number of people who turned up at our store in the opening week. The awareness levels about IKEA in Hyderabad were at just two per cent before our opening campaign. After the campaign, it is now above 80 per cent.
Apart from innovations, a unique transit activity was executed on the auto stand where people were given a chance to a ride to the IKEA store. A huge number of auto rickshaws were branded with IKEA identity and equipped with VR headsets and technology allowing passengers to have a virtual experience of the IKEA product range -- while on the move. What kind of response did you get for this activity?
The VR tour received very good response. There was a lot of buzz and excitement in the run-up to our store launch in Hyderabad and people were eager to experience IKEA products before the launch. The VR activity gave that experience to them and brought them closer to us.
More than 6000 people took a ride in the 10-refurbished auto-rickshaws that were available for a three-kilometer ride along the necklace road.
Are we likely to see a regular and larger presence of your brand in the outdoors in the coming times? Is there anything else you are currently doing in the OOH space to connect with consumers?
OOH has worked well for us in Hyderabad, so we will continue to run more campaigns there using this medium besides digital, social, TV and print. We have planned a few campaigns in IKEA tone of voice in a fun and humorous way which we will soon unveil across media – including OOH.
We would also continue to use OOH to reach out to the many people in Mumbai and Bengaluru when we are ready to open our stores in those cities.
How different was your brand and marketing approach in India as compared to other markets? What is unique about the Indian market?
In a first for IKEA, we took a mobile-first approach in India as 85 per cent of the people here consume content through this medium.
The most unique aspect of India is the scale. Another challenge (or opportunity if we choose so) is the pricing. How can we reach the many people including those people with smaller wallets? In Hyderabad, families with kids constitute 80 per cent of the people living in that city. How do we reach them and explain our value proposition in a simple and meaningful way? That too was an important question. We have addressed these questions and tried to bring out the same in our marketing and advertising campaigns.
So, India has changed IKEA in a way that never happened before. We have overcome many challenges in terms of building our understanding of this market, the customers’ needs and aspirations. And how we can draw from the Swedish way of life to solve some of the problems.
How do you see OOH Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2019?
I feel OOH media will become more creative and fun in the coming years. Customer engagement will come in and OOH will move beyond simply driving footfalls and building awareness.
Interview by: Aarti Pahwa
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