The Crispin Collection

Miami agency’s staffers set up shop inside Ikea stores

In-store research or performance art? That’s the question now that Crispin Porter + Bogusky is arming staffers with laptops, digital cameras and camcorders, and sending them to work among the Kimstas, Grundtals and Stenskärs at Ikea stores in Toronto and Conshohocken, Pa.

A sign that reads, “Advertising under construction,” alerts Conshohocken shoppers to copywriter Evan Frye, art director John Bunning and account planner Melissa Cherin. The idea, which has been percolating for a year (and was part of the agency’s pitch), is simply to bond with the Swedish client and its customers, says associate creative director Paul Keister. But it could become something more. “The information can be used for anything,” Keister says, “but the best result would be to incorporate ideas into print, guerrilla or TV ads.”

The teams will work seven days a week for three weeks on assignments e-mailed to them by Keister in Miami. They will create a short movie each day and keep online journals. Cherin will interact with customers and may lure some non-Ikea shoppers inside and do before-and-after interviews. Whatever happens, all three will presumably have their fill of Swedish meatballs.

The shop will also look at cultural differences between the U.S. and Canadian locations. “My hunch is there will be small nuggets [of insights] to come up,” Keister says. “Our aim is not to find the differences but the similarities.”