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 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.