UPDATE: June 12, 2023: In the latest update to the tour schedule for Ikea’s bag sculpture, it will appear in Chicago’s Millennium Park only on June 17, and in Houston only on June 24.
UPDATE: June 8, 2023: Due to the ongoing air pollution situation, Ikea will not debut the sculpture in New York on June 10 as originally planned, per details shared with Marketing Dive. Instead, it will be unveiled near Chicago's Millennium Park on June 17-18 and in Houston on June 24-25 before returning to New York once outdoor conditions are safe.
- Ikea on June 10 will erect a 19-foot statue of its iconic Frakta blue bag in New York City’s Madison Square Park to dole out exclusive offers to consumers, according to details shared with Marketing Dive.
- Adorned on the statue will be QR codes that, when scanned, will unlock an augmented reality experience where the offers can be found. The bag will also make appearances at Chicago’s Millennium Park and in Texas as part of a national tour.
- The large sculpture is an extension of the brand’s platform, “The Giving Bag,” launched earlier this year and arrives as the retailer doubles down on its U.S. presence.
With warmer months in reach, Ikea joins a growing list of marketers angling to reach consumers outdoors with immersive QR code experiences. In recent weeks, brands including Shake Shack, Tripadvisor and Remy Martin have launched outdoor activations that have used QR codes to send consumers on urban truffle hunts, explore sunny vacation destinations and learn about the history of hip-hop.
Ikea’s behemoth bag sculpture is a hyperbolic nod to just how much the real Frakta bag can hold. After scanning the QR code embedded on the display, consumers will enable an AR animation that shows Ikea products flying out of the bag before guiding consumers to their offer. The AR experience marks one of the first times that a large retailer has used Adobe’s new Aero Geospatial software, which uses geolocation technology to enable the 3D AR experiences tied to real-world locations, per release details.
The effort falls in line with other marketing under its “The Giving Bag” platform, launched in March. The platform is tied to a 60-second spot, which features a child pulling what seems to be an endless supply of items out of the Frakta bag. The platform’s tagline, “Affordable design. Endless possibilities.” is what inspired the retailer’s latest move.
In April, Ikea announced it would invest more than $2.2 billion to increase its presence in the United States over the next three years. The investment is Ikea’s largest over the company’s four decades of operating in the U.S. and will be used to open new locations and strengthen its fulfillment network. Among its plans are eight new traditional large-scale stores, nine “plan and order” points catering to urban locations and 900 pickup locations.
A diverse retail execution is key to the company’s increasingly important omnichannel retail strategy. Eight of 10 Ikea customers begin their shopping experiences through digital channels such as the company’s website or app. However, consumers still have a need to physically interact with products, Tolga Öncü, chief operating officer and global head of Ikea retail at Ingka Group told Retail Dive.