CP+B Wins Ikea With ‘Furniture as Fashion’ Concept

“Furniture as fashion” sums up the strategy that delivered Ikea’s North American account to Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

“Cars are fashion, clothes are fashion, kitchen appliances are now fashion,” said Tom Birk, CP+B’s director of planning and research. “So why shouldn’t my couch and sofa be fashion?”

Strategic planning, not creative director Alex Bogusky’s high-flying creative, was key to CP+B’s vic tory, sources said. “Our assignment was to redefine how North Americans think about home furnishings,” said Christian Mathieu, Ikea’s external marketing director, USA/ Canada. “Cris pin delivered on that strategy and presented a creative umbrella illustrating how it would come to life.”

Research conducted by the agency revealed that most consu mers change furniture about as often as they change their spouses—about 1.5 times in their life, a fact that seemingly ran counter to Ikea’s brand proposition: “the democratization of furniture.”

Using Birk’s analysis, Bogusky shaped his creative around a small but vibrant consumer subculture, as varied as “thrift-shop” devotees and underground trendsetters, that, counter to social norms, views “furniture as fashion” and is willing “to change up.”

Mathieu said no specific campaign had yet been approved, but sources suggest upcoming advertising will attempt to position that core subculture as “a widespread social movement.” The agency’s first work is expected to break this fall to coincide with Ikea’s plans to expand beyond its 23 stores in U.S. and Canada.

The Miami shop swept the review committee’s votes, defeating finalists Berlin Cameron/Red Cell in New York and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco to win the estimated $40-50 million account.

Incumbent Carmichael Lynch, which held the business for less than a year, did not defend. That agency’s campaign for Ikea was built around various messages that supported the theme “Live better.”