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One-Minute MarketerIKEA Makes a Long Podcast and Drops its Catalog

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IKEA Podcast Audio Catalog - 1,000 Products 130 Hours of Studio Time

IKEA Makes a Long Podcast and Drops its Catalog

The last few years, IKEA has been experimenting with podcasting. Like many of us, this is what progressive, digital-first marketing departments do.

IKEA Podcast Audio Catalog - 1,000 Products 130 Hours of Studio TimeIKEA Australia made a “sleep podcast” with a female narrator in 2019 and a male narrator in 2020. The opening narrator says, “Throughout this podcast you’ll hear many names of IKEA furniture as we work through the IKEA catalog, starting at the bedroom section and ending in the bathroom.” Mix a little bit of spa-like music and the Scandinavian names and you have a recipe for sleep in the COVID-19 world.

“Malm, queen bed frame.”

“Tufjord, upholstered bed frame, king.”

“Songesand, bed frame with storage box.”

The reason for IKEA to make this move, improve its online App and enhance its digital game came with the December 2020 announcement that IKEA will no longer print catalogs. It had printed at least one catalog for nearly 70 years. The reason to stop printing catalogs is “customer behavior and media consumption have changed.” Like everything else, IKEA found that fewer people read the printed catalogs.

The 2021 version of the podcast is something to behold: Nearly four hours long.

According to Della Mathew of Ogilvy New York (the advertising agency that created the podcast), “To create the first-ever audio version of the iconic IKEA catalog it took 286 catalog pages transcribed into 64 pages of written copy, with over 1,000 product descriptions, 69 legal disclaimers, plus more than seven mentions of veggie balls, recorded and mixed for over 135 hours of studio time, all to create an immersive and inspiring three-hour, 41-minute auditory experience for everyone to enjoy.”

We all need to invest in new ways and new channels of communications, but IKEA discovered one more way to increase media exposure, by announcing a nearly four-hour podcast. If you search for that bit of news, you will see just how many news outlets picked up and ran with it. I’m sure that has them sleeping better at night in the corporate offices.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.