Cannes Lions

Animal Crossing Catalog

OGILVY TAIWAN, Taipei City / IKEA / 2021

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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

Background:

In 2020, Nintendo Switch released “Animal Crossing,” a game where people create their own “islands” and interior spaces. Within 9 months, gamers snatched up over 2600 units. Animal Crossing fever swept the whole world. A huge community of players arose, engaging in massive discussion across social media.

Brief:

Also in 2020, IKEA announced the end of its print catalogue. After providing endless inspiration for 70 consecutive years, it would never hit the presses again. We had a critical (and tricky) mission: to not only bid the catalogue a fond farewell, but also find a clever way to lure consumers across the threshold from paper to a digital environment and get them accustomed to the online version, while operating with extremely limited media/production resources.

Idea

IKEA discovered that players of the wildly popular Animal Crossing are passionate about arranging furniture, and they have bountiful imaginations. They actively search for other players’ designs, and if they are impressive and creative, they imitate and share them.

So we enlisted the 26 million-strong Animal Crossing player community to collectively create a virtual Animal Crossing version of the IKEA catalogue. Together, we invested an immense amount of time, using only the furniture and home decorations already in the game, and we replicated the entire 284 pages of the new IKEA print catalogue.

The Animal Crossing version of the IKEA catalogue made flipping through the original print version simply irresistible for countless people, as they compared the styles, furniture and objects on every page. Boundless buzz proliferated, generating an upsurge in clickthroughs to the online catalogue. We successfully recruited an army of gamers to serve as a powerful marketing force.

Strategy

TA:

Amidst a baffling digital environment, how could we accurately find IKEA consumers who love home furnishings, and convince them to browse IKEA’s humble online catalogue?

We discovered that Animal Crossing – the hottest video game of the year – attracted imaginative people with passion for interior decoration: exactly the qualities of IKEA’s target group.

Approach:

We issued a challenge: Who can produce an Animal Crossing version of the IKEA catalogue? Using a video game as our platform, we co-created entertaining content that proliferated across social media, driving throngs to the online IKEA catalogue, and shrewdly forging connections between three different platforms.

Throughout the process, players constantly flipped through every page of the original catalogue, analyzing its style, furniture and objects, sharing props and exchanging contents on social media. Through these powerful emotional connections, gamers joyously showed off and shared their accomplishments, generating copious Share of Voice and media impact.

Execution

Step 1: Mobilize the Animal Crossing gamer community

We invested significant time recreating the major interior spaces in the IKEA print catalogue, using only the furniture and objects in the game. Then, in gamer groups and our official website, we invited everyone to help replicate the catalogue.

Step 2: Ramp up the heat on social media

Every time gamers completed a page, we shared it on social media.

In real time, people compared Animal Crossing imitations to the original, sharing them, and voting for the ones they liked most. The winning images got to appear in the official Animal Crossing IKEA catalogue. It drove people to the online catalogue, generating colossal buzz and engagement.

Timeline:

2020/08/20: On Facebook, Twitch, and the gaming site Bahamut, we mobilized gamers to build the virtual catalogue.

2020/08/24-09/09: Catalogue build and online vote.

2020/10/05: Release of the Animal Crossing IKEA Catalogue, both online and print.

Outcome

- With zero media spend, we scored 1.4 million clickthroughs to the online catalogue in the first 24 hours. A single Facebook post achieved a reach of over 3 million and was translated into 16 languages. Media in over 30 countries covered the campaign, which spread from Taiwan around the world.

P.S. Consumers painstakingly researched every object on every page of the catalogue to an unprecedented degree, even down to the color of the flooring and the walls.

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