IKEA decided to enter India in the offline furniture retail market – a category considered boring and inconvenient - by launching its firstever Indian store in Hyderabad (a city where most people didn't even know about the brand).
We figured out a way to address the biggest barrier, i.e. what people thought a typical furniture store was like - boring, inconvenient and not very trustworthy. And we challenged it by positioning IKEA as a store which, instead of selling furniture, was about experiences woven around urban life.
We brought this unique positioning alive by imagining a quintessential yet mundane part of the urban Indian existence – the humble auto ride – in an IKEA way. Using VR (Virtual Reality) technology, we converted this auto ride (and the streets of Hyderabad) into a drive-through gamified IKEA catalogue, complete with animated game-like characters.
This gamified catalogue proved to be a hugely successful invite for the store launch, going by the record-breaking 40,000 people who caused not only a stampede to get into the store but also 2-km-long queues and 6 hours of standstill traffic outside it. All this generated huge media (national and international) coverage along with a massive spike in brand awareness – just at the right time.