IKEA voiceover guy now a cyber star

After more than a decade as the laconic voice of IKEA in Canada, ‘Swedish Guy’ has been pressed into cyber service in the first ever use of his likeness.

On Monday, the home furnishings giant began leveraging the character’s popularity to tout mattresses and box springs at the microsite www.ikea.ca/mattress. Created by IKEA AOR zig, together with Trapeze (both Toronto-based), the quirky, understated shtick casts Swedish Guy as a ‘sleep coach,’ earnestly offering help to the nocturnally needy.

Zig strategic planner Mark Aronson tells MiC the microsite – and accompanying advertising – are a response to a problem: ‘In a market where people expect to pay $1,000 for a mattress, IKEA’s competitive prices can actually be a liability. This integrated campaign is designed to break through and show consumers that IKEA is a place worth considering when buying a mattress.’

As well as the droll microsite action, Aronson says the campaign – with media buys by Toronto’s Mindshare – consists of print, magazine, rich media online banners and, of course, radio spots voiced by we-know-who. There was also a street stunt yesterday with IKEA teams lolling on mattresses in several high-traffic Toronto spots.

Incidentally, IKEA says that, for the foreseeable future, Swedish Guy will remain nameless.