National Geographic

The campaign does an excellent job
of piggybacking on the immense popularity
and mass-familiarity.

Image taken from NBCUniversal

In a campaign cleverly marketed as "Bedroom Habitats," National Geographic and IKEA have joined forces venturing into the interactive shopping space.

While IKEA is no stranger to innovative and interactive marketing techniques, it was a welcome surprise to see National Geographic get in on the action. National Geographic produces the videos themselves as branded partner content for IKEA.

What was their approach?

The videos take the form of a short series of documentaries. Each "episode" is roughly 90-seconds long and talks viewers through some of the challenges in furnishing a bedroom. To be as on-brand as possible, the shorts even feature a David Attenborough-style narration with nature documentary filming techniques.

As part of the narrative, it's then shown how carefully selected items from the IKEA catalogue can help solve these problems and lead to a better night's sleep.

At the end, shopping cart icons are displayed on the for-sale items, guiding users on their shopping journey.

Image taken from NBCUniversal

Why Did this Nat Geo and Ikea Collaboration work?​

The campaign does an excellent job of piggybacking on the immense popularity and mass-familiarity of National Geographics programs.

it's fair to say the campaign was a success. ​

The episodes are both funny and genuinely enjoyable to watch. While viewers can't guide the experience like in the Us Weekly video, they are gripped by the narrative and pure entertainment value. Shoppers are also pulled in by being presented with real-world pain points they are familiar with and how the products can help solve them.

As the saying goes, "show, don't tell."

What were the results?

An argument can be made that the National Geographic x IKEA collaboration isn't true "interactive shopping." However, it does combine engaging and illustrative video content with the retail experience in the hopes of boosting sales.

If nothing else, other brands can learn from this unique perspective and how to leverage brand awareness to the max.

With nearly four interactions per viewer and a sizable mobile audience that made up 83% of all viewers, it's fair to say the campaign was a success.


Remco van ‘t Veld

Industry Professional

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