Brand Experience and Activation > Excellence in Brand Experience


AKESTAM HOLST, Stockholm / IKEA / 2018

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TrueView ads on Youtube can be annoying. But they are potentially powerful if you can make people chose to watch more than the unavoidable first 5 sec. We set out to try some reverse psychology to get past the click of death.

In these up to 8 minutes long films the actors beg the viewer to skip the ad since the content is so everyday boring and private. We meet a guy doing the dishes, a bored gang of friends killing off time arm wrestling and a young couple trying to make out on the sofa. There’s absolutely no reward in watching the films, except some occasional product info.

We realized that watching other peoples’ lives is interesting when it rings true. And when the people you watch begs you not to because it makes them feel awkward, watching becomes irresistible.


The ads ran on Youtube, from September 2017- January 2018 targeting the Swedish market. We had different versions and optimized them during the campaign based on performance. The total media spend where 21 000 USD and it got over 12 million unpaid impressions.

With the background in mind, we understood that we needed new creative content and a storytelling technique adapted for the specific format. We produced these TrueView ads that are endlessly long and everyday-like where the characters are so perceptive that they actually beg you to skip them. - Hey, here´s nothing to see!, - Hello, let go, why are you still here?

By using reversed psychology we successfully triggered peoples curiosity. We live in a noisy multimessage world where these spots came out as unexpected downtime. The idea also blended nicely with IKEAs overall concept Where Life Happens.


The average view times were stunning: over 3 minutes plus per spot. 39% of the viewers even watch the whole ad – that is 18% higher than the industry average. And the message stuck, according to the Google Brand Lift Study, the results for ad recall and product consideration score ”best in class”, compared to other brands within retail.

The preference increased for those who had been exposed to the ad 65% vs those who not had seen the ad 52%.

The videos had over 12 million unpaid impressions since they where shared and loved by everything from journalists to Ikea frenetics and ordinary people.


In a media landscape where every brand try to seduce people IKEA did the exact opposite. We found a new way for people to experience the IKEA brand.

We portrayed situations we believed the people would recognize and relate to, but at the same time we told them NOT to watch since the content is pointless. There was no reward for watching the whole 8 min TrueView ads, except for getting to know various offerings from Ikea in an everyday and relatable setting.

And it worked! People watch over 3 minutes per spot and 39% watch the whole ad.


The target audience for the campaign was men and women in the ages between 18-35 years. This group is hard to reach because they are used to skip pre-rolls as fast as possible. When analyzing data in the Youtube analytics tool we could see that the majority of viewersdrops out within seconds, but we also saw that the longer time people spend on pre-rolls the more they will engage with the content thereby increasing product liking and preference.

The insight was built around their digital behavior. The target audience can spend a lot of time finding "strange" things on the internet if it will give them social currency or if they fear missing out out on what’s trending.


People like the IKEA brand more than their products. Since there is a strong correlation between store-visits/purchases and product liking, our objective was to increase the love of the products in every brand activity.

Our overall strategy stated that people don’t by furniture only out of functional needs. Self-expression and emotional needs (creating a secure and open home) are as important.

With the concept Where Life Happens 2017 IKEA shows that their products is a part of everyday life, ready to help solve emotional situations people encounter. Rooted in the concept this wanted to demonstrate IKEAs precence in the digital life of our target audience, in this case 18-35 year olds in metro areas.

The brief was to get people to watch our TrueView ads for at least 30 seconds, and engage with the content in order to build product liking and preference for the proudcts and brand.

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