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6 Reasons why IKEA’s “Get Cheras to IKEA Cheras” ad will restore your faith in Malaysian advertising. Number 4 will blow your mind.


The title is as ridiculous as to how successful IKEA’s launch in Cheras was. For those of you who don’t know about it, last Thursday IKEA announced the biggest housewarming party Malaysia ever had – or so they claimed. And everyone was invited!

IKEA broke the household rules of advertising. And for Malaysian advertising, they took it to a whole new level.

How did they do it? Well, for starters, to initiate the opening of the branch, Sweden’s ambassador cuts a log with a long saw – I know that they do that in Swede, but in Malaysia? I can probably vouch that most of them are jakun at such a sight. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg!

List of household rules broken by IKEA

1.    Location: Cheras

Choice of locations are usually based on the accessibility factor. Come one, come all, an easy access for people to travel. Yet, they opened it in Cheras… Cheras! Out of all the areas in the world, they chose Cheras – a place known for its 24/7 heavy flow of traffic jams. It’ll be worse if you’re a fan of butter! And yet, people still flocked in like birds looking for shelter from the snow. IKEA may just cause an overflow of jam in Cheras, until the LRT opens… which is probably in 2017.

2.    Launch Time & Day: 10am, Thursday


Product, brand, and outlet launches are usually done on the weekends, or even public holidays. They initiated it on a Thursday morning. Why? Because it’s too mainstream to launch an opening on the weekends. I don’t know the rationale behind why, but let’s just go with it. The combination of Thursday and morning is a very unconventional. Yet, people still found their way there. 5,000 of them at the launch, all donning paper Viking hats. Some even there since 7am. Despite it being a working day. What other brands would dare to pull off a launch in the morning of a working day?

3.    Product Promotion: Jingle Pun

Normally, promotional campaigns include informing consumers of some sort of cut prices that ties in with the event itself. However, IKEA created a jingle that pushed aside every conventional method practiced by Malaysia. Turning their products into puns for a jingle, with a stuffed panda shaking its booty and yellow men dancing around, being puppeteers to the objects. All they did in terms of a promotional basis was luring people onto their Get Cheras to IKEA Cheras Facebook event page, and asked them to click going to receive free prizes. And 43,000 of them clicked going. And it ends there. Still, people swarmed the place.

4.    Price: Irrelevant



They say Malaysians love discounts. The mere mention of it will get their heads tilting. But no. IKEA did not promote nor mention any form of discounts. And yet, Malaysians still swarmed the place. And only after going there did people find out that there actually were discounts. Massive discounts! Free goodies! I don’t know about you, but I find that really astounding.

5.    Puns Galore

We’ve mentioned how they turned their products into puns. In the advertising world, puns are discouraged from being used for multiple reasons. One, not many people will get it. And that means reaching niche audiences. Then there’s the problem that the pun could easily mean a different thing in a different language. Sometimes that can be distasteful. However, we definitely agree that a good pun does wonders. For IKEA to turn their own products into a fun jingle is simply marvellous. Kinda makes you forget that there’s a swear word in there somewhere…
P.S. For all you know, they got the idea from this viral video:

6.    Usage of Negative Word

A normal general template for any form of advertising is to not use negative or swear words. Yet the IKEA ad turned Cheras into a pun by calling it “your a**.” Now… Usually this would be unacceptable. Either people were ok with it because it’s IKEA, a brand loved by many Malaysians, or it just zoomed past their heads because it’s catchy, fluffy and filled with an abundance of fun. Over 400,000 views on Youtube, multiple listenings through the radio, a 30-second video ad on Youtube, and hundreds of shares on Facebook suggests that Malaysians loved the ingenious wordplay.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) Singapore has thrown conventions out the window and went bat shit crazy. And we commend them. They have opened up the advertising executions required for companies in Malaysia to communicate with consumers.

Safe to say, the IKEA ad has proved that Malaysians are ready for something more ludicrous than all the conventional styles of advertising we have seen. The doors are open and new horizons await us.

How will your brand succeed in breaking the household rules of advertising?

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