- Ikea franchisee Ingka Group has named Interpublic Group’s McCann as its first global brand marketing partner, a pivot from the Swedish retailer’s past approach of employing a patchwork of agencies, according to a press release.
- Madrid-based McCann Spain will spearhead the operation, which goes into effect this month. Ikea said new creative should be expected in spring 2024. However, the company is preserving relationships with some regional shops.
- Ikea is angling to streamline its agency strategy, a common goal among marketers that want to reduce complexity in their work with marketing services providers. The news marks a win for McCann, which has previously worked with the furniture store.
Ikea wants to develop a more consistent, refined brand voice for its global business, an aim it hopes to achieve by delegating more work to a single agency partner. The streamlining bid was guided by the insight that the needs of the retailer’s customers are fairly universal — eating, sleeping and sharing quality time together — and can resonate across cultures and demographics. Ikea is also emphasizing a positioning around value as many consumers continue to contend with inflationary challenges.
“As one of the most trusted brands in the world, we have the responsibility to show how we are leading from our vision and purpose; that we are siding with the many through our affordable range and actions we take as a company for people and the planet,” said Licca Li, acting global marketing manager at Ikea parent Ingka Group, in a statement. “I am excited to see how this shift gives us the opportunity to connect to more people with a stronger voice.”
Ingka Group is the world's largest Ikea franchisee, with hundreds of stores across 31 markets. It is responsible for around 90% of the retailer’s total sales, giving McCann a wide remit. Ikea has been trying to accelerate growth in the states, an expansion plan that could be complemented by a fresh approach to marketing. The retailer in April announced it would invest over $2.2 billion in the U.S. over the next three years, with resources focused on opening new stores and improving its fulfillment network.
Ikea has ramped up its activity on channels including social to connect with consumer groups like Gen Z. The brand this summer ran a slice-of-life anime series on TikTok targeted at college students, one of its bread-and-butter audiences. The campaign was created with Ogilvy New York and studio Clubcamping.
McCann is aligning Ikea’s messaging around “universal truths” with its own Truth Well Told ethos. Securing a wide swath of the Ikea business comes as a boost for McCann parent IPG, which has struggled amid the tech downturn. The ad-holding group reported that organic net revenue declined 1.7% in the second quarter and slashed its full-year forecast.