IKEA Brings a New Meaning to Reading on the Beach

IKEA is a company that has made a huge name for themselves all over the world through strategic marketing and advertising campaigns. Last year, IKEA made the decision to take a creative step in making a positive impact by executing a unique guerilla marketing campaign.

In 2013, IKEA found through research that 1 in 3 Australians loved spending an extra hour each day engaging in a good book. This was also the year that IKEA was celebrating the 30th anniversary of their most popular bookshelf, The Billy. In honor of 30 successful years with the bookshelf, IKEA made the decision to join forces with Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation and set up the world’s largest outdoor library in Australia on Bondi Beach. IKEA was enthusiastic about providing the use of their most treasured bookshelf to a community who is passionate about finding good reads. Over 6,000 books were displayed on the popular shelves, and if people wanted to take one they could either donate a book of their own or donate money to the foundation.   


With consumers constantly bombarded with advertisements each day, IKEA attempted to bypass the clutter and reach consumers by promoting one of their products in this unique marketing campaign. One of the key components to any successful marketing campaign is research, and in this case IKEA used extensive research to target a specific audience: book enthusiasts. Using this innovative and creative approach to marketing enticed book lovers and allowed them to see the promoted product in use. This form of marketing added interest to the company’s brand and helped differentiate themselves from their competitors. Instead of using traditional forms of advertising, they chose to think outside the box and appeal to their target audience in a creative way that would resonate with the consumers.


As we all know, to be a thriving, in demand business you have to advertise. But the costs of advertising have become enormously expensive and can be the most costly part to a company’s success. So businesses are finding new, innovative ways to reach their audiences. Guerrilla marketing is a low-cost, unconventional advertising strategy that IKEA executed ingeniously. IKEA used guerrilla marketing by studying the interests of their consumers and went straight to the source, or the beach, in an attention-grabbing way. Do you think companies should start utilizing unique campaigns for advertising? Can companies today build powerful, enduring brands by using tactics like guerrilla campaigning compared to normal advertising on television or print ads? What do you think the future for guerilla marketing might look like?

-Briana McWhirter, Emily Foulke, Hannah Turner