The organisers of the 58th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which kicks off on June 19, just couldn't wait until the start date before handing out the first accolade, so they've given IKEA the prestigious Advertiser of the Year Award for distinguishing itself through inspiring innovative marketing of its products and embracing creative work.
Working with a number of different agencies around the world, IKEA has encouraged creative, unconventional and humorous advertising to raise awareness of its brand and drive people to enter its 284 stores. Maintaining their marketing strategy, which is based around the business idea of offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible can afford them, IKEA has localised its global target market and created advertising campaigns that vary significantly across territories as they take onboard and adapt to unique marketing conditions and cultural sensibilities of each country.
Since winning its first Cannes Lion in 1991, IKEA ads have gone on to win 50 Lions across all categories, including the Film Grand Prix in 2003 for ‘Lamp’ and a Titanium Lion in 2010 for ‘Facebook Showroom’.
“IKEA’s approach to its marketing and communications, with its decentralised structure and strong relationships with many different kinds of agencies, has been hugely successful over many years,” says Philip Thomas, Cannes Lions chief executive. “The company’s superb track record at Cannes reveals a clarity of vision and an enviable willingness to allow its agencies to truly flex their creative muscles. We congratulate both IKEA and its many agencies across many countries on this well-deserved honour.”
The Advertiser of the Year trophy will be presented in Cannes to Noel Wijsmans, global retail manager and vice president of IKEA Group, during the Film, Film Craft, Titanium & Integrated and Creative Effectiveness Lions on Saturday 25 June 2011.
“I am honoured to receive this award on behalf of IKEA," says Wijsmans. "It is a great recognition of IKEA advertising that speaks to all of us who want to have a functional and beautiful home. We want to inspire people to fulfill needs and dreams in their everyday life at home. And we want to do that with a smile. I would also like to thank all the creative agencies we work with worldwide, our in-house agency IKEA Communications in Sweden and all our fantastic co-workers around the globe.”
IKEA, the world's largest furniture retailer specialising in stylish but inexpensive Scandinavian designed furniture, was founded in 1943 by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad in Sweden. IKEA is named as an acronym comprising the initials of the founder's name, the farm where he grew up (Elmtaryd), and his home parish (Agunnaryd, in Småland, South Sweden). Today IKEA is in 26 countries, gets more than 600 million visitors a year and employs more than 127,000 people.