Ikea’s Back-to-School Campaign Is Using Influencers on Snapchat to Target Millennials

Includes an interactive video

Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying are members of Superfruit and Pentatonix. MEC
Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Even as some marketers question how much Snapchat is interested in cultivating relationships with influencers, brands like Ikea are leaning on social stars to amplify campaigns.

The furniture brand and MEC are launching a back-to-school initiative on Snapchat with pop music and web comedy duo Superfruit that promotes products for college dorms through an interactive video.

Vertical-video ads within the app prompt users to “swipe up” to play a clip that lets users answer quiz questions and click on buttons about their home décor style to find the right products for them. Once someone has completed the quiz, they can click through to Ikea’s website to buy products featured in the video. The clickable video is powered by Eko’s technology and MEC worked with Fullscreen Media to use its influencer talent.

In addition to running the video as a paid ad, Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying (the duo comprises Superfruit and is a part of the music group Pentatonix) will post the clip to their accounts using Snapchat’s week-old Paperclip feature, which lets users link posts to websites. While YouTube and Instagram have built tools to help creators build audiences, Snap is notoriously tough for growing an audience organically. Instead, Snap execs have played up the app as a one-to-one communication tool for friends.

“We like a challenge and Snap for a lot of marketers has been a challenge when it comes to working with influencers—we thought that there’s a better way to do this,” said Noah Mallin, head of social at MEC Wavemaker. “From Snap’s perspective, I would describe them as having been indifferent to influencers. I don’t think they’ve been hostile but they’ve just concentrated on other parts of the platform.”

Still, the influencer strategy leans heavily on paid ads that help people discover the content, Mallin said.

“Part of it is understanding that we can take the two-tier approach where we’re going to use [Snapchat’s] ads platform and actually use that to highlight the influencers there,” he said. “That way we’re not just relying on the influencers to break through them—that’s where I think a lot of brands have struggled.”

At the same time, Ikea’s core demographic of millennials means that traditional ads—even those formatted specifically for Snapchat—aren’t necessarily effective.

“This is the pickiest audience out there and they’re an audience that is getting so saturated by messaging,” Mallin said. “If we just did traditional ads—even at six seconds and vertical—[their] eyes start to glaze over. If we’re going to rely on that, it’s not really getting the most out of the platform.”

@laurenjohnson lauren.johnson@adweek.com Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.