The UnCampaign

STV DDB, Milan / IKEA / 2019

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Every year, at the beginning of September, IKEA distributes millions of catalogues to households all over Italy to the delight of all Italians, who are literally obsessed with the Swedish bible of interior inspiration and can’t wait to receive their copy at home, flip through its pages and discover all the latest ideas and solutions. But this year, they will have to give up and miss their favourite annual ritual: unfortunately for the brand’s fans and enthusiasts, the 2020 IKEA Catalogue edition will never be mailed and will only be distributed in IKEA stores. And we knew they would react very badly to this shocking announcement.


In order for our campaign to work, we had to make it the most ineffective campaign ever, because our goal was (drumroll!) not reaching absolutely anyone. But we had a challenge: use the same media a big, bold integrated campaign usually covers to properly convey a message.

So, our strategy was very simple and straightforward: we had to do everything in our power not to get the attention of anyone, anywhere. It was hard. But we succeeded, through absurd media placements, both offline and online, unreadable print ads, unhearable radio ads, unreachable OOH and many, many more channels.


Through a large-scale fully integrated campaign, we (kind of) delivered our message everywhere.

On newspapers, we thought of making our copy unreadable.

On SNs, we wrote it in a language no-one understands anymore: Imperial Aramaic.

We went on TV (yeah, but on local, unknown channels) and on radio with 3 absolutely unhearable ads. In store, we announced it at closing hours or not that close, where no one understands Italian (like in IKEA Moscow or IKEA Tokyo). The campaign also consisted of lots of OOH, placed where no-one would ever read them (except grazing cows and donkeys) and involved special IG personalities we named Uninfluencers: people with very few followers, ideal not to spread our message. Just like the unknown websites we placed our banners on were! But at some point, we had to reveal everything we did, along with the terrible news and… voilà. It was a success.


When the reveal moment finally came, we were afraid of how Italian fans would react online (and really scared for our SMMs), but the campaign generated astonishing results, because not only did users and brand lovers accept the news, but they loved the brand even more, transforming what could have been a catastrophic crisis into a resounding success for the brand.

+ 41% visits on

+ 24% in-store traffic

+ 40% brand awareness

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