IKEA Catalog Goes Mobile – Literally

For the rollout of its 2009 catalog, IKEA is hittin’ the streets.

The streets of Seattle, that is. The furniture dealer is using a mobile billboard and 3D showroom vehicle from GoMobile Advertising to promote the launch of its new 374-page catalog, which mailed on July 31.

The BioDiesel-fueled vehicle – a small box truck with glass panels on the sides and back – is used to display IKEA’s newest home furnishings in 3D. Each August, upon the launch of the catalog, it travels around the greater Puget Sound area, making appearances at local fairs, festivals, homecomings and parades. During these events, GoMobile employees hand out hundreds of free catalogs.

“People don’t expect to see a room on wheels,” says Laurie Helm, manager of the Seattle IKEA, adding that this is the fourth year IKEA has used the vehicle. “When you’re in traffic, or when you’re walking down the sidewalk, and you see someone sitting on a sofa inside a truck, flipping through a catalog, it just catches you off guard.”

Helm says the truck, which comes wrapped with IKEA’s branding, usually displays the same merchandise that is on the front cover of the most current flyer. “We try to replicate that same display inside the vehicle,” she says, adding that when people first see the display “they tend to laugh.”

“A lot of them say they’d like to sit inside it,” she says. “It’s just an attention-getter.”

The truck can also display scrolled billboards that strategically run at different times, giving consumers the appearance of multiple trucks roaming around the area. It also sports a sound system that can be used for broadcasting messages.

Helm says the GoMobile truck is a “fun way” to build brand awareness by creating a strong local presence.

“IKEA has a tradition of trying to do advertising with a little twinkle in the eye, a little bit of a wink at the end of it – and GoMobile works well for us,” she says.

And delivering the thick catalog directly to prospects is certainly one way to avoid the high cost of postage!

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