Social by design: IKEA or Death Metal band?

Do you find yourself at a loss trying to understand (or even pronounce!) the names of IKEA furniture as you wander through the maze of your local store? Having lived in Sweden as an exchange student the year after I finished high school, a few “blanks” are filled, but I still find many of the words with all their umlauts and such, tough to understand and pronounce.

The clever kids at digital/PR/ad house Gatesman and Dave (Pittsburgh, USA) sought to start some light-hearted social conversations around this conundrum with the launch of IKEA or Death last week – A little web tool that makes fun of IKEA’s unpronounceable product names and their similarities to Scandinavian death metal bands.

This simple click-to-select tool that has generated a mass amount of web buzz, social and traditional media conversation since launch. News of the site has already appeared in SPIN, Gizmodo, Metal Injection, BoingBoing, FasterLouder and more, securing worldwide coverage and attention for this off-beat concept.


Funnily enough, this campaign was not lead (or started) by IKEA at all. IKEA doesn’t even appear to be a Gatesman and Dave client. But imagine if it had been – The campaign has made IKEA part of the news in spaces where its Billy bookshelves and Bordet tables would have never garnered a mention. Music press, metal blogs, digital lifestyle blogs….IKEA all of a sudden has a rock edge and relevance, making it interesting for these audiences to talk about. Gatesman and Dave have certainly demonstrated their digital and creative credentials through the exercise though. Well played gentlemen.

On Friday, ABC News in the US reported that so far, “the site has about 2 million hits so far and averages about 15,000 visitors at once”. Two days is like a million years in web time, so that number is likely far greater since the report. Add to that 441,000 Facebook shares and we can see the massive network effect and exposure achieved for this quirky idea.

Social by design and socially driven in its success. Made to be a conversation starter – Five stars!

Head to IKEA or Death and test your skills – What did you score? Disclosure: I got 14 our of 20, so not too bad 😉

2 responses to “Social by design: IKEA or Death Metal band?

  1. That is such a clever idea … the IKEA pr team would be doing high 5’s if they had come up with this idea. Social media is such a great platform for innovative campaigns – as long as they have strategic thought and desired outcomes behind them. More PR & marcoms people should be considering the potential and exploiting, exploiting, exploiting !!! BTW, I got 10/20 – hilarious. At least I now know names of some Ikea furniture along with some Swedish bands …

  2. This is hilarious! i scored an entertaining 13/20 which makes me Kvlt – scary to children and their parents haha. Great idea, I’m not sure what it really does for the agency other than bring awareness to them, but i guess that’s enough

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