2021 Winner


Won't Wake The Baby Ads


BronzeConnection Strategy

The sleep category has become crowded with new, direct-to-consumer mattress-in-a-box brands popping up and gaining popularity. Although they offer limited product ranges (usually just mattresses and pillows), their communications position them as the key to a good nights’ rest. IKEA needed to be positioned as a true sleep expert in order to grow sales during their bedroom event and compete with these new entrants in the category, reminding their audience of their vast range in sleep products.

They uncovered one group notoriously known for their erratic sleeping patterns and poor quality of sleep who needed sleep solutions more than anyone: the exhausted parents of newborn babies. Many new parents use whitenoise and other ambient sounds to help keep their babies asleep and many turn to Spotify playlists to find the right sounds. More than half of all Spotify users, especially new parents, use the free version of the service, and their peaceful playlists are interrupted by ads. What if they could help parents prevent their babies from waking up to show that IKEA really understands how important sleep is? They’re the sleep experts after all.

While Peaceful free Spotify playlists that parents use to help their newborns sleep are interrupted by loud ads, theirs actually enhanced the experience by replacing ads with their soft, quiet, shushy ones to help babies stay asleep.

Their insight around the segment they chose allowed them to effectively target a niche audience at the right place and right time, when sleep was on their minds. They decided to buy up all the ad space on popular sleep playlists for babies and create a series of ads that matched the tone of the tracks in the playlist. The agency created 11 ads, each with unique SFX like whitenoise, raindrops, and ocean waves, while a soothing, whispered VO from IKEA’s longtime Swedish spokesperson for the past 17 years, Jonas, delivered the sleep message. They even gave parents the option to tap on a companion banner and shop IKEA’s bedroom solutions during their rare moment of peace.

Ads usually diminish the user experience on Spotify, but this idea enhanced it by helping babies stay asleep by blocking out loud ads with their soft, quiet, shushy ones, allowing them to drive their audience to IKEA sleep solutions, positioning IKEA as a true sleep expert.

During the course of their Spotify takeover, online sales of bedroom furniture increased by 7.1% from the previous period. Their audio ads drove a click through rate that was 25% higher than the Spotify average, directing thankful parents to IKEA.ca to shop for sleep products. Both Native and In-Playlist Desktop Overlays outperformed Spotify average benchmarks by 59%. Finally, their Mobile Overlay companion banner delivered a CTR 164% above the Spotify benchmark.

IKEA’s brand purpose is to create a better everyday life for many people, and often build campaigns as such. This campaign changed the way IKEA goes to market by targeting a particular behaviour of a niche audience on Spotify.

The strategy got IKEA’s bedroom message to the people who needed their sleep solutions the most, when sleep was on their minds. As a lead-up to the IKEA bedroom sale, this strategy was the key influencer in the brand's success as online sales of bedroom furniture increased by 7.1% from the previous period.

By making this strategic change to a niche market and solving a specific problem for them, it started a customer's journey on a thankful and positive note. This led to a campaign with click through rates that were 25% higher than the Spotify average and both Native and In-Playlist Desktop Overlays outperforming Spotify average benchmarks by 59%. Additionally, online sales of bedroom furniture increased by 7.1% from the previous period. Most importantly, they didn’t wake any babies.

CCO: Aaron Starkman
Executive Creative Director: Mike Dubrick
Head of Art: Joel Holtby
Creative Director: Aaron Starkman, Mike Dubrick, Leia Rogers, Morgan Tierney, Hans Thiessen, Joel Holtby
Art Director: Charmaine Cheng
Writer: Evan Kane
Head of Strategy: Sean McDonald
Strategy Director: Stacy Ross, Shereen Ladha
Broadcast Producer (in house): Anna Tricinci
Production Company: Vapor Music
Audio Director: Ted Rosnick
Engineer: Ryan Chalmers
Audio Producer: Kat Stewart
Media: Carat
Account Services: Sarah Riedlinger, Daniel Riggi
Agency: Carat
Vice President, Group Account Director: Karen Hrstic
Account Director: Tracey Cronin
Account Director: Vanessa Coutinho
Media Planner: Monalyn Quelnat
Media Assistant: Crystal Kim

Have questions? Need help?
Contact Rowan Traynor at 1-416-408-2300 x213 or rtraynor@brunico.com.