IKEA have been responsible for some memorable moves in sonic branding over the years. Their 2019 Christmas ad collaborated with D Double E and delivered grime music to the masses, and their 2004 ad by Buf arguably saw one of the most underrated syncs of the early noughties, featuring Wilson Simonal’s ‘Nem Vem Que Não Tem – Ao Vivo’. However, in recent years, they have seriously upped their game in showing the world how vital sound is to their brand, and the recently announced collaboration with electronic music giants Swedish House
With the music production expertise from the trio that make up Swedish House Mafia, and IKEAs ability to create quality, affordable furniture, the collaboration is set to democratise creativity.
These two Swedish powerhouses revealed their collaboration, which is said to consist of products to encourage creativity and music-making in the home, at the IKEA Festival on Thursday 16th September. IKEA and Swedish House Mafia will further enable the rise of the bedroom-producer, a phenomenon that has seen growth since the pandemic and the increased popularity of apps like TikTok – ‘this collection will enable people to create the perfect home studio for an affordable price’, said James Futcher, IKEA Sweden’s Product Design Leader. With the music production expertise from the trio that make up Swedish House Mafia, and IKEAs ability to create quality, affordable furniture, the collaboration is set to ‘democratise creativity’, making everyday music listening and creativity more accessible at home.
Of course, this collaboration isn’t IKEAs first soiree into combining their products with sound: SYMFONISK saw IKEA team up with audio-experts Sonos to create a way to ‘furnish with sound’, with a range of furniture that double as a high quality sound system – from picture frames, to bookends, to table lamps.
And IKEA aren’t just creating sonic-based products to sell, they are setting the gold standard for putting sound at the centre of their identity – after 70 years of producing their iconic in-print catalogue, they announced that it would be ceasing its press for good, and to celebrate, they released their 2021 catalogue as a thirteen-part podcast, or an “audio catalogue for stylish design inspiration”.
Self-proclaimed “master of the multitask”, the podcast aurally takes the listener on a tour through the furnished homes of six families, whilst describing the visual catalogue; allowing the listener to continue with their daily tasks. Much like their upcoming collaboration with Swedish House Mafia, this audio catalogue creates different possibilities allowing for greater accessibility, and so it is potentially a step in the right direction for those with visual or cognitive impairments.
Okay, admittedly, we prefer these sonic projects to their other sensory products, such as their limited edition meatball-scented candle, however we cannot deny that IKEA are proving themselves to be the masters of experiential marketing, tickling the senses of all their customers who are willing to get involved.