Ikea gets stuffed animals singing for ‘Soft Toys Aid’

This year's edition of the furniture retailer's annual UNICEF and Save the Children fundraiser features a virtual benefit concert users can activate and send to friends.

Like the Live Aid event that inspired it, Ikea Canada is hoping a virtual interactive concert put on by its soft toys will delight people into participating in its annual fundraiser for UNICEF Canada and Save the Children.

As part of a global campaign, Ikea Canada is donating $1 to the fund for the charities for every soft toy sold in its 11 Canadian stores between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24.

The centerpiece of the campaign is a microsite on the Ikea website featuring a ‘band’ of virtual plush Ikea toys. Dubbed Soft Toys Aid, the singing stuffies are activated by the user, who can then record a voiceover, make the toys dance and send the whole mini-video off to a friend via social media buttons.

Developed at Ikea’s head office in Sweden, the goal of the campaign this year was to incorporate a viral video strategy to spread the word, Debbie McDowell, corporate communications manager, Ikea Canada, told MiC.

‘We know how impactful the whole viral side of things can be, and I think the Ikea organization is really dedicated to doing things with that, especially when it comes to good corporate sustainability messages,’ she says.

The campaign will be supported by in-store initiatives – which McDowell says is their biggest media asset – and through the Ikea website, including a button on the homepage to direct users to the Soft Toys Aid site. The Ikea site generates 2.2 million average unique monthly views, according to Omniture SiteCatalyst. The campaign will also be promoted through the Ikea newsletter, which goes out to 450,000 Canadians, and direct-mail inserts, with creative by Zig, will also carry messaging about the fundraising drive.

The campaign’s fundraising goal is to this year sell 180,000 plush toys, a 10% increase over last year.