3 brand campaigns you’ll wish you came up with

Ikea UAE

Here’s a campaign that definitely lives up to the title of this monthly roundup.

You’ll wish you came up with it… and actually, you could have come up with it. Because – as is so often the case with great ads – the secret ingredient here is simplicity.

Partnering with communications agency Publicis Spain, IKEA UAE recently launched the “IKEA Real Life” ad series, which sees popular TV show sets recreated using only IKEA items. It quickly went viral, and instantly caused a 50% uplift in web traffic.

Living rooms from The Simpsons, Stranger Things and Friends are all featured in the series. Everything included can be shopped in IKEA this season, bar only electronics and books.

The ads have been executed so well that if it wasn’t for the prices and Swedish product names dotted around, you might not even notice that the sofas, tables and soft furnishings aren’t the originals.

And really, IKEA had to get this right. Anything that didn’t trick the eye on first glance would have made the whole campaign kind of pointless.

So what else makes this work so well? I think it comes down to 3 main factors:

1. As mentioned above, the visuals are guaranteed attention grabbers. Way before realising they’re looking at an ad, the audience will be automatically drawn to scenery they know so well and associate with entertainment.

For both Friends and The Simpsons, nostalgia will also play a role in attracting initial interest.

Images: Ad Week

2. The concept is playful, fun and SO shareable. IKEA knows nobody will actually design their living room to match Homer and Marge’s (hopefully not, anyway) – but the idea is to get people scanning the ad out of intrigue and enjoyment, then encountering a whole range of products without even really knowing they’re doing it.

3. The future potential for this is limitless. IKEA can just keep on producing more versions from other popular shows. And from what I’ve heard, the brand will even be taking suggestions from customers into consideration when developing the next batch.

Good luck recreating Game of Thrones, guys.



Get ready because we’re about to serve up a double portion of KFC campaigns.

First up is a Spotify playlist called “Bucket Bangers” featuring 46 hip-hop tracks from artists worldwide.

I know what you’re thinking. What’s the big deal? Branded playlists are pretty common.

Well, yes. But this playlist is a little different.

Because, if you listen carefully, you’ll hear a KFC shoutout in each of the song’s lyrics.

The thing about KFC is: when you hear the name, you crave the food (speaking to fast-food loving, non-vegetarians, non-vegans only here!).

The brand recognition is so strong that you don’t necessarily need to see photos of juicy fried chicken to feel an urgent need to buy a bucket meal.

Which is why getting people to listen to a playlist packed with KFC mentions is a pretty clever idea.

Images: Ad Week

Campaign no. 2 is less digital-focused but just as tasty.

The TV, cinema and print ad campaign takes aim at all the KFC imitators out there.

Of which there are many.

Whether it’s “LFC”, “OFC”, “EFC” or any other, wannabe KFCs line high streets all across the country.

And instead of simply ignoring the pretenders, the brand is instead using them to highlight its own authenticity and credibility.

Image: Campaign Live

As quoted in Campaign Live, Meghan Farren, chief marketing officer at KFC UK and Ireland said:

“It’s flattering to have a legion of imitators and we wish every chicken shop out there the best of luck. But there’s nowhere else you can get the Colonel’s original recipe… We invest time, effort and skill into freshly hand-breading Kentucky Fried Chicken in our kitchens – all day, every day – and that’s why you can only get KFC at KFC.”


Back Market

When old Tweets suddenly resurface, it usually spells trouble.

But in the case of a recent campaign from French start-up Back Market, there was a positive outcome to long-forgotten posts from the likes of Ariana Grande, Ja Rule and Snoop Dogg.

Back Market sells refurbished smartphones and home electronics. After recently deciding to make a play for the US market, the company needed a way to get noticed that didn’t break the bank.

And it didn’t take long to come up with the perfect plan. Enter #RefurbishedTweets.

The brand delved into Twitter’s archives, digging out over 300 Tweets from well-known profiles. One common theme united the chosen Tweets: they all mentioned outdated handsets like the iPhone 5.

Basically all the models you passed down to your parents. And your parents passed down to your grandparents. And your grandparents still struggle to use.

Anyway, refurbishing these older styles is of course Back Market’s bread and butter so you can probably guess the next part…

Oh yes, the brand published cheeky responses to the celebs’ original Tweet and offered to send them a good-as-new version of the device they mentioned all those years ago.

I really like this campaign. It’s funny, different, bang on brand and ridiculously budget-friendly (despite featuring a host of celebs).

Know what else I really like? The copywriting. And actually the branding in general.

Hats off to the team for creating a genuinely memorable brand, and keeping it consistent across different platforms.

Back Market also manages to talk about an important subject – being environmentally friendly – in a lighthearted and engaging way.

Here’s the full campaign ad if you fancy checking it out: