HOLLYWOOD, FL: IKEA's Home Tour Squad – where a group of employees travel across the US to solve consumers' home-decoration problems – shows how brands can drive significant digital traffic while also achieving local relevance.

Alia Kemet, US Director/Media for IKEA, discussed its Home Tour series – which has been running since 2014 – at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2016 Masters of Media Conference.

More specifically, she asserted that the rotating cast of IKEA team members who star in this program, and produce all of its content, have proved essential in securing traction on properties like YouTube.

"What made this different from anything else we've ever done in the digital space … were the real IKEA co-workers ... They went out and actually transformed the spaces. And they got really good at it," said Kemet. (For more, including further details about the campaign, read Warc's exclusive report: What surprised IKEA in social media.)

And the content delivered by its Home Tour Squad remains popular with consumers, having generated 6.9m video views on YouTube between September 2015 and January 2016.

These figures build on the 18m viewed racked up by the 22 makeovers completed by mid-2015, as consumers continue seeking out advice and inspiration for updating their home.

In terms of media coverage, the "national attention" peaked in the first year, Kemet said. As the tour hits new towns and cities, though, local interest has stayed strong.

"Every time we go to a new city, we're getting new earned attention with the very local reporters. And, my God, did they eat this stuff up," said Kemet.

By way of illustration, she revealed that local TV stations frequently request anywhere from three to five minutes of Home Tour video.

"Then they'd say, 'Tomorrow, we'll come back here with the Home Tour team for another makeover'," Kemet told the ANA delegates.

"It was really surprising how much attention we could get just really focusing on the local news and the stories of these local families."

Data sourced from Warc