Cannes Lions

Oddly IKEA

OGILVY, New York / IKEA / 2018

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Simply put, we used IKEA products to relax college students. And we used “ASMR” to do so. ASMR is a niche YouTube genre that features whispering and tapping. Many young people watch these videos to unwind and decompress. So we used those techniques to create a video catalog on YouTube designed to help students relax.

25 minutes of tapping, touching, and whispering. And over those 25 minutes, we soothed our target audience with information about our Back To College range.


Since ASMR thrives on YouTube, the campaign started there. The full, 25-minute film went live on the IKEA YouTube channel in the beginning of August 2017; right before college students go back to school, and during their peak stress level. There was no paid media behind the launch. However, with carefully selected keywords and organic social posts, as well as press coverage, the film quickly went viral.

We also continued the campaign on another platform immensely popular with our target: Instagram. We cut the video into short, satisfying videos and GIFS, and shared them throughout August.


As a result of the campaign, IKEA’s Back To College sales went up 27% over 2016.

The campaign went viral soon after it was first posted. As of today, the film has been viewed over 1.6 million times on YouTube, with 2.4 million total views across all platforms. The film also has an average of 4 minutes and 40 seconds per view – shattering the industry average of 43 seconds.

Within 24 hours of being posted, the campaign had its first mention in the press. Soon after, many more publications picked up the story, from AdWeek to Architectural Digest to The New York Post. And within the first week, the campaign received over 88 million organic impressions.

But most importantly, it reached our target audience – and beyond. Over 5,000 fans commented on YouTube alone about how this video helped them relax, or even decide which bedspread to buy.

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