Ikea makes children drawings get to life as toys. This is one of my favourite operations because it’s just full of joy and happiness. It’s good to have this kind of action nowadays and to be honest, who haven’t dreamed of it as a child?
Since 2003, the Swedish brand has initiated this operation. It’s been a long time now but it still needs to be known.
The brand is a Unicef and Save the Children‘s partner. But it has started its own fundraising: Soft Toys for Education, since 2003 and keep it on going ever since. The idea is simple. Children draw their ideal teddy bear. A jury decides which ones are gonna be created and designers give life to these toys. The latter are sold in Ikea‘s stores and one dollar for each sale go to the fundraising.
In the 2015 promotion, you have very different toys. Maybe, we could call them animals even if they don’t appear in nature, they do in children’s mind 😉 From the horse to dinosaur including a sort of ostrich, kids really have a wild imagination. I certainly have a preference for this one; a sort of skunk dressed in black and white:
BENEFITS FOR THE BRAND
GIVE HAPPINESS TO CHILDREN
First of all, Ikea is encouraging children to use their imagination and to create things. Whatever it is, it’s proofed that imagination and creativity is necessary to brain’s development. But, apart from this initiative, it is a dream come true for all kids who were selected to see their drawings coming to life. It’s the best gift ever. One they’ll be proud of forever, one they’ll never forget.
This way, the brand can enter their life with a positive preconception, straight away. Indeed, linking this experience with the name of Ikea will create a positive association in their mind. When they’ll think of Ikea, they will remember their drawing becoming a real toy and the joy they felt that day.
POSITIVE IMAGE OF IKEA
Of course, the brand image benefits from this action. This is not only the selected children or their family but a lot more people who will be in contact with it. The most people know about this wonderful operation, the most Ikea will be associated to a valuable brand, part of the good ones.
The nature of Soft Toys for Education helps the brand playing its societal role. It has one goal (among others more business oriented) and it’s to help children growing up with the best education possible. It is a laudable cause.
Ikea choose children as others choose environment or poverty. We cannot forget it is a business move (even if we all hope the brand’s owner and its employees do believe in this cause). Having a positive image over the world is essential to survival, to economic prosperity, even more in this constantly changing world. Indeed, a brand which works for worldwide causes has a role to play on the scene. It wins its place over there and is recognized for this by all consumers, without forgetting Medias. That’s what matter the most: being identified as a respectable brand in consumers’ mind.
Moreover, inside the company, it must be a personal satisfaction for any employee working on this project. And work satisfaction leads to more productivity and also, better brand image. We can’t avoid that what employees think of their company and jobs affects the brand itself because outside, they talk of their life. A proud employee is one of the most valuable and precious resources for a brand. I won’t stop repeating that. Brands forget it too often.
IMAGINATION NEVER ENDS
Moreover, this perfect action is giving ideas to designers. The toys are beautiful monsters adults could have never thought of. They’re seen with children eyes and are perfect to start a new story. We all know children education pass through this kind of games: creating stories, inventing life to characters and lots of them do it with their teddy bears. Using unusual ones helps them going further with imagination.
For adults designing toys, it is a fresh boost. This can be a way to rethink their toys, imaging something else; inspired by all the drawings they received. Only 10 are chosen to be created but there are so many others which deserve to have a look or to be the start of something totally new. In brief, this marketing/charitable action benefits to everyone involved.