The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Help Yourself By Helping Society …
July 24, 2014, 6:11 am
Filed under: Brilliant Marketing Ideas In History, Comment, Human Goodness, IKEA

So I recently saw a campaign that IKEA did to help a local dog shelter.

Basically they put life sized cutouts of the shelters dogs around their store – on beds, on the sofa, sitting around the dining tables – so that as people walked around, they could see the pooches in a home environment and maybe get tempted to adopt one.

Better still, IKEA ensured that there was a code placed around the collar of each cardboard cutout pooch so that interested parties could get more information and organise an appointment to see them directly at the shelter.

Such a sweet, simple, lovely idea.

Of course, you could argue they should have done it with cats given they were the star of one of my favourite ever ads … but given they were once my public enemy #1, this is a lovely gesture that lets me forgive their past sins.

OK, so I have no idea how many homeless dogs have been adopted which means you could throw the whole ‘awareness counts for nothing’ argument I continually use, back in my face … however there’s a massive difference with this and the clearly defined, commercially-focused, business goal that many companies try and justify.

But all that aside, I think it will have had some sort of positive effect.

You see a long time back, a friend of mine – who runs an animal charity called Halo – asked for help to try and encourage people who were interested in getting a pet to go to him rather than a commercial business.

Sadly I didn’t think of the IKEA idea, but what I did say was that he could take ‘cute’ photos of the animals he had in his shelter and put them on instagram with a #tag.

Given animals are one of the most popular categories of instagram [along with, semi-ironically, food] people picked up on it rather quickly and before he knew it, he was getting comments, interest and offers from all over the World.

Of course, having someone in Australia contacting you when you’re in America is of little use … but he was able to use them to help drive even more awareness and over a period of 3 months, he re-homed 28 animals and raised a significant amount of donations for his charity … all for a cost of a few instagram photos and some emails.

With that in mind, I’m sure/hopeful the cardboard cutout dogs also had a positive affect on finding homes for those homeless pooches, just like I am sure/hopeful it had a positive effect on the perception of IKEA … because when people see a company doing something good for no other reason than they believe it’s the right thing to do [especially for the helpless], it makes society feel more positive and loyal towards them than any amount of contrived, bland ‘we care’ advertising they care to churn out.