Has Ikea released its most ‘unforgettable’ Asian catalogue campaign yet?

Ikea may have released its most memorable annual catalogue campaign to date with the help of a two-time memory champion.

The Swedish furniture giant and agency BBH Singapore challenged 23-year-old Yanjaa Wintersoul to learn every detail of the 2018 IKEA Catalogue – all 328 pages of it – in just one week.

The resulting video, released for Ikea’s Singapore, Malaysian and Thai catalogue, shows Ikea employees in Singapore recruiting Wintersoul and then flying her over to take a test, whereby she describes randomly-selected pages in the new book.

Born in Mongolia and raised in Tokyo and Stockholm, Wintersoul made national headlines earlier this year when she appeared on Sweden’s Got Talent, though remains relatively unknown globally.

However, as the new face of Ikea’s 2018 catalogue, Wintersoul will appear in a series of printed and out-of-home campaigns and will also take part in a public ‘test’ in Singapore on September 6, which will be streamed on Facebook Live.

During the two-and-a-half-minute ‘test’ video, Wintersoul can be seen remembering everything from a child’s drawing stuck on a far corner of a room’s fridge on page 21, to the types of books sitting inside a glass BRIMNES Cabinet on page 132.

BBH creative director Nikhil Panjwani said: “I’m forgetting the details, but I vaguely remember this idea being born in a workshop somewhere. I have a fleeting memory of the meeting room where our amazing client took a giant leap of faith and gave us a go-ahead. I faintly recollect telling someone that even if we had hired the best talent scout in Hollywood, we wouldn’t have been able to find someone as amazing and charismatic as Yanjaa.”

Ikea prints around 200 million copies of its catalogue every year for 38 countries and its release has become something of a marketing flagship for the company and BBH Singapore.

In 2015, Ikea’s ‘bookbook’ campaign, a gentle satire of Apple and tech enthusiasts’ obsession with trendy gadgets, became a global phenomenon and has to date been viewed more than 18 million times on YouTube.

IKEA South East Asia retail director Mike King said:“The iconic IKEA Catalogue is something we are very proud of. Each year we celebrate its launch as we believe it is the go – to home furnishing inspiration for many people and it has been that way for years.

‘This year we are very proud of the fun we are having with BBH and Yanjaa, further strengthening the link between people and home furnishings. After all, inspiring and challenging people to relook at their homes has been the main purpose of the IKEA Catalogue for all these years.”


Executive Creative Director: Joakim Borgstrom
Creative Director: Nikhil Panjwani, Joakim Borgstrom
Art Director: Jon Loke, Kooichi Chee
Writer: Nikhil Panjwani
Creative team: Maurice Wee, Yashanti Yap, Bae Soo Yeon, Zac Ong, Anastasia Serdukova, Emily Rosen
Head of Planning: James Sowden
Associate Account Director: Jade Cheng
Account Manager: Abbas Zafar
Senior Social Strategist: Josie Khng
Community Manager: Nurul Maideen
Executive Producer: Daphne Ng
Digital Producer: Chris Salonga, Zac Ong
Director: Peggy Goh
Studio: Eva Loo
Production Company: Freeflow Productions


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