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

8 thoughts on “IKEA Brings a New Meaning to Reading on the Beach

  1. I love the campaign that Ikea created in Australia. This is such a positive approach to spread knowledge by suppling books, spread love and wealth by donating to the foundation, and relaxation by giving the public an opportunity to read favorited novels along the beach. This campaign was a great technique to increase public awareness of their products and company by using an out-of-the box idea to attract all sorts of publics. I do think that companies should start utilizing unique campaigns for advertising such as guerrilla marketing. Since it is low-cost and unique, it expands the opportunities for companies to use new approaches that can capture an audience’s attention more. I think the future of this campaign can really take off for certain types of companies. I love the book shelf on the beach idea, it certainly grabs people’s attention. Other companies such as Apple can install a huge iPad (maybe 6 feet by 4 feet) and install it in a popular centralized location and allow people of all publics to test the product whether that be to check the weather, leave a note, or use their maps app for directions. With the guerrilla approach, the possibilities are endless.

    -Alexa Tahan

  2. I think IKEA’s new marketing strategy is such a refreshing take on the advertisement of the company. Not only was the IKEA brand displayed in a way that did not come across as overbearing or pushy, the brand also showed compassion for a foundation promoting a positive movement across the world. I think that more brands need to find ways to mimic these types of strategies to display the brand personality they want to portray to society. Based on the turnout of this marketing campaign, I think that society can see that this is a positive movement that essentially killed two birds with one stone in the marketing world.

  3. I have never seen anything like guerrilla advertising. I think that with the common use of traditional advertising, this new form of advertising is very innovative and captures a lot of consumers attention. I know that most organizations have to spend money to make money, so IKEA’s approach is economic and creative. I think that in order for other organizations to keep up with the competitive market, they will eventually have to adopt this innovative way to advertise. I think there will always be a need for television, radio and print ads. I also believe that companies are going to have to conform to this type of advertising as well in order to keep up with the market.

  4. Wow. It was actually really nice to read about IKEA’s guerrilla marketing after the blogs concerning Snapchat and Instagram. The first thing that captured my attention was the picture- I was hooked. A unique, bright red bookshelf indulged with an array of hard and paper-backed books, something some of us may have forgotten about. How different would my (or others) reaction be if instead there was an army of iPad and Kindles wired to metal stands lined on Australia’s beautiful beach? One of the most important aspects of advertising and marketing is thinking outside of the box to gain more attention over your competitors. IKEA’s tactic of going back in time 100% convinced me that guerrilla campaigning is the way to succeed. Because this was so interesting and attention-grabbing, I think companies might try to utilize the same way of advertising. With that being said, this one-eightied turn to print-marketing over television could definitely get messy; companies have to keep in mind WHO their consumers are and HOW their product will best be promoted. If it goes as beautifully as IKEA’s The Billy, then perhaps paper won’t go down in history so soon after all.

  5. I do think companies should start utilizing unique campaigns like IKEA did for advertising. This is creative because it is not being forced onto the consumer, but it is showing that IKEA is reaching out to the community. Companies can definitely build powerful, enduring brands by using tactics like guerrilla campaigning. The company would need to study their audience, and who purchases their product, so they can narrow down their advertising to that focus group. Using normal advertising on television is so difficult today because there are multiple ways to watch television today, and fast forwarding through commercials is a bigger deal now because viewers are not even watching the commercials or advertisements. I think the future with guerrilla marketing will be occurring a lot more over time. It is a newer and different way of promoting a brand name. I prefer this type of advertising for a brand because it shows the brands creative side. Print ads and commercials will always be around, but it is the brands job to make them creative, so consumers will remember and want to watch it multiple times. Advertising is changing while technology is developing, and it is companies job to keep up and figure out how to reach their biggest audiences.

  6. This whole idea of guerilla marketing is really interesting to me. Further more, I think when done correctly that it could be way more successful than traditional marketing. I mean if you want your product to stand out, the easiest way to do it is to separate it from the normal mediums of advertising. Think about the last time you saw an IKEA commercial; I for one don’t think I have ever seen one and if I had, I don’t remember it from the array of other commercials being hammered through my brain. But I will remember this, mainly because it is such a cool and unique idea. I think other companies should take notes.

  7. I love this idea! As a nerd myself I love that idea of putting a large bookcase on the beach. I think that IKEA makes a statement, with their guerrilla marketing, that they are innovative and unique. If companies do the research necessary to make their campaigns worthwhile then I think this kind of marketing will go far. Conventional Ads have been done. With people not watching TV in the conventional way they used to and not reading magazines or newspapers like they used to, the way companies advertise needs to progress as well. The future for guerrilla marketing is bright if companies can take the initiative to make change.

  8. Pingback: Sunshine Blogger Award | Michelle, Books and Movies Addict

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