That '90s show: IKEA's reality series 'traps' contestants in time

Ever wondered how life would be like if IKEA's products never existed? The brand gave consumers a taste of that experience via a reality TV show launched in celebration of its 25th anniversary. Titled "Trapped in the 90s", the reality show featured six contestants from a generation that has never known IKEA, trapped in a house straight out of the 90s. 

The show followed the "struggles" of the contestants as they face itchy and heavy bedding, scattered utensils and a bathroom too small that they can't even leave a wash bag in there. However, during the show participants occasionally receive a delivery of IKEA products from the showrunners, which left them beaming with joy. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to IKEA for comment.

ikea 90s house

This isn't IKEA's first foray into unique marketing campaigns. IKEA Singapore turned its blunder into a profitable avenue when it sold its misprinted bags as a limited edition product. On its KLAMBY reusable cloth bag, the furniture retailer misspelt its website, printing "www.ikea.co.sg" instead of "www.ikea.com.sg". Instead of disposing the misprinted bags, IKEA decided to own up to its mistake and proceed with placing the bags on sale at its retail outlets. The furniture retailer came clean about its error through a description tag for the product. The in-store tag read "KLAMBY. LIMITED UNIQUE ALAMAK..." followed by the phrase "At IKEA, it's OK to make a mistake". 

Separately, IKEA also launched its IKEA Art Event collection 2021 earlier this year with the aim to explore the sweet spot between art and function. The ten-piece limited edition collection included collaborations with some of the most current artists of today such as Daniel Arsham, Gelchop, Humans since 1982, Sabine Marcelis and Stefan Marx, and was launched globally at IKEA stores and online from April 2021. 

The brand produced its last print catalogue in 2020 and turned its 2021 catalogue into a podcast, creating 13 chapters of sound bites for its consumers. These soundbites were uploaded on YouTube, Spotify and audiobooks.com. In May, IKEA and Ikano stores appointed PHD to handle media duties for Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

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