IKEA has always been a company with a very human purpose at its heart - to create a better everyday life for the many people. This focus has guided IKEA to make sure that everything it does, from its designs to its shopping experience to its marketing is born out of real human insight. Like every organisation around the world, IKEA now finds itself amid a revolution in insight being brought about by data… a revolution that it is keen to join.
Kantar Consulting and Wunderman partnered with IKEA Group to explore innovative ways of weaving multiple data sources together, traditional surveys plus digital and media DMPs to create a truly three-dimensional picture of its audiences. Voluntary cookie tracking allowed observation of the media DNA of targets, which can be replicated via look-alike modelling on Group M’s M-Platform to enable more effective media targeting. Kantar Consulting’s EVA (enhanced visual analytics) showed IKEA how image recognition and machine learning can be used to intelligently mine social UGC and reveal how consumers are using, changing and creating IKEA visual equity in their actual lives. We’re very excited about IKEA Group’s data-driven future.
In the spirit of this, IKEA Group challenged Kantar Consulting and Wunderman, to explore how data could be used to address a key question for Children’s IKEA: “How could we use data to inspire activation that would make Children’s IKEA even more famous?”
With Mumsnet, the UK’s largest digital parenting platform as a data partner, the team took 17 years’ worth of online conversations and analysed 50 million lines of dialogue data. We found that children’s behaviour and development is the second most talked about topic in relation to childcare (second only to ‘pregnancy’).
We also spoke to 3,000 parents and found clear evidence that every home could use some help with creative play time.
- 1 in 2 say that they’re struggling to find ideas to encourage creative play with their kids.
- 62% say they are worried their children don’t have enough time to develop creative skills.
- 56% are scared their children aren’t getting enough creative play.
We found that these sentiments are also reflected in parent’s UGC. When we looked at the 13 million images parents have published in this space, not only can we see that creative play is incredibly widely shared but we can even begin to see what kind of creative play is getting shared the most, and therefore has the most relevance to parents’ lives.
By bringing together these rich data sources we reached the conclusion that while parents know that imaginative play is key to their child’s happy and healthy development, they lack the opportunity, tools and inspiration to give their kids the chance to play creatively.
The idea of “PLAY” is central to Children’s IKEA strategy, so what better way to help make the brand more famous.
With these insights around creative play in mind, we asked ourselves, how could Children’s IKEA use creative, constructive play to raise the creativity quotient (CQ) of the entire world while also striving to contribute to IKEA’s sustainability goals?
We know that children are incredibly talented at making play happen if you give them the right space and inspiration. So, what if Children’s IKEA could create infinite possibilities for creative play without adding a single thing to the supply chain? And, how might we use digital to enable this analogue behaviour in a way that generated data which would also prove its power?
#IKEAToyBox – Open up to Play
From this, a beautifully simple idea was born: IKEA Toy Box. The notion was simple; any piece of cardboard waste, anywhere in the world, could be creatively transformed into a beautiful cardboard creation. Kantar Consulting and Wunderman developed the mobile first prototype idea and demonstrated how it would work.
We created a mobile platform – an app enabled by Augmented Reality technology that creates a recycled playground of infinite possibilities. Using the universal smartphone camera technology and the AR application would allow you to turn any shape, size and format of cardboard ‘waste’ into an opportunity to create and play.
1. Flatten out the cardboard
2. Open the IKEAToyBox app and aim the camera at the cardboard
3. The app measures the cardboard you have and magically works out what you can make: offering a world of play
4. Once you select what you want to make, each step of folding, cutting and making is there to follow
5. Once complete – photograph and share to the social web direct from the app.
When a consumer used the app, and shared their creations online, it would allow IKEA to capture data, helping them better understand behaviours around play as well as how and what kids create meaning future product and experience design could be more data-driven and built with kids in mind.
This experiment in data-driven creativity is just one example of how Children’s IKEA could help transform the home into everyone’s favourite site for creative play. The data experiment and a prototype app were premiered to the world LIVE on stage at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2018, showing the world how data (and play) can improve the lives of everyone. IKEA does not currently have any plans to develop or launch the Toy Box app but we continue to explore and encourage the creative use of data.