IKEA Canada 

Launching the 2021 IKEA Catalogue Virtually During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

The iconic Catalogue is as central to IKEA’s identity as the maple leaf is to Canada’s. A fixture on coffee tables and bookshelves for decades, the IKEA Catalogue has presented countless ways for households of every shape and size to make the most of their space.

Now in its 70th year, Catalogue has outlasted its fair share of global change and uncertainty – but Covid-19 presented an altogether unique challenge. How could we celebrate a major milestone without the annual fete influencers and industry watchers have come to know, love, and expect?

On July 23, 2020, H+K partnered with IKEA Canada for a global first: a Virtual Catalogue Launch and Trends Fika (“virtual fika”). Hosted by renowned journalist, Cityline host, and IKEA aficionado Tracy Moore, the virtual fika positioned IKEA’s 70th Catalogue as the must-have home furnishing guide for 2021. Channelling the peaceful spirit of the traditional Swedish coffee break, we encouraged attendees to temporarily set aside the stress of the workday and indulge in some self-care. While they participated in an in-depth review of the latest design trends and a panel discussion on sustainability, circularity, and democratic design, attendees were treated to prizes, a curated kit of sustainable IKEA goodies delivered right to their doorstep, and a sneak peek at the 2021 IKEA Catalogue.

Central to our thinking and strategy was the need to recreate the warmth, excitement, and sparkle of a traditional IKEA event in a virtual context. An unboxing component, artistic visuals, the right blend of influencer vs. brand voices, and flawless technical execution were relied upon to deliver a single, special experience guests could experience together, though they were physically apart.

An impressive 115 guests participated in the 45-minute virtual fika, among them some of Toronto’s top-tier lifestyle media and influencers. Engagement was incredibly high: over 500 messages were exchanged throughout the event via the app’s chat function. The event received praise from IKEA Canada’s communications team and participants, one of whom described the fika as “the best virtual event I’ve attended yet.

Behind the scenes with IKEA Canada and the H+K Canada team.
Sector: Retail + Leisure
Specialist expertise: Virtual Events, The Studio
Office: Toronto