Link: Click Here (It is the sixth spot, entitled “Not a Mistake”)
Target: IKEA shoppers
A woman is checking out of an IKEA store. The cashier says, “Here’s your receipt – have a nice day,” as she hands the woman her receipt. As the woman is walking away, she suddenly freezes as she reads her receipt. Looking right and left, she dashes out of the store and starts yelling “Start the car! Start the car!” As she waddles forward with her purchases the spot flashes to a screen saying “It’s not a mistake. We’re having a sale.” The woman screams a victory whoop as her husband drives her away. The spot ends with “The IKEA Winter Sale. Up to 50% off,” followed by the IKEA logo and the tagline “IKEA fits.”
This spot is simple and direct. And it speaks very directly to the loyal IKEA shopper. At IKEA, you expect to get a good, fair price. When your expectations are exceeded, you expect that you’ve gotten away with something. The communication that IKEA is looking for is simple – SALE (with capital letters). And this communication is crystal clear. The casting, timing, and overall execution of this spot is excellent.
The bigger question about this spot is whether the strategy behind it is sound. After all, the reason the premise for this spot works is that it is surprising to hear about an IKEA sale. IKEA is one of those stores that has based its reputation on providing great values everyday (an EDLP or everyday low price strategy). When these stores try to play promotional games with pricing it often spells trouble. For instance, when Wal-Mart decided to play the ‘door buster’ game during the 2005 Christmas shopping season, we were highly critical (read our review here.)
We believed that Wal-Mart was making a serious strategic error by heavily advertising door-buster specials during peak holiday shopping season. We still believe that this was an error (and sales results seem to bear us out) and may damage Wal-Mart’s EDLP credibility in the longterm.
The story is different for IKEA, however. For one thing, this sale comes during a classic fallow period in retailing. Secondly, there is a well-established tradition of non-discounting stores holding annual or semi-annual sales (such as Barney’s in New York). Given this we believe that this is still an effective spot which will not hurt the IKEA brand.
This spot is effective simply because a sale is the exception for IKEA. If this becomes a routine event (more than annually or semi-annually), then IKEA will really have changed its value proposition for the worse.
We also believe that branding earlier in the spot (at the register) would improve the memorability of this execution.