IKEA bags Cannes Lions Advertiser Of The Year Award

The organisers of the 58th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the world’s largest and most prestigious international annual awards celebrating creativity in advertising and communications, are pleased to announce that the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Advertiser of the Year Award will be the Swedish home furnishing retail company IKEA.

This important accolade is presented to advertisers who have distinguished themselves for inspiring innovative marketing of their products and who embrace and encourage the creative work produced by their agencies.

Working with a number of different agencies, IKEA has encouraged creative, unconventional and humorous advertising to raise awareness of their brand and drive people to enter their stores. Maintaining their marketing strategy, which is based around their business idea of offering a wide range of well designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible can afford them, IKEA has had the ability to localise its global target market and create advertising campaigns that vary significantly across territories as they take onboard and adapt to unique marketing conditions and cultural sensibilities of each country.

Since winning their first Cannes Lion in 1991, IKEA ads have gone on to win 50 Lions across all categories, including the Film Grand Prix in 2003 for ‘Lamp’ and a Titanium Lion in 2010 for ‘Facebook Showroom’.

“IKEA’s approach to its marketing and communications, with its decentralised structure and strong relationships with many different kinds of agencies, has been hugely successful over many years,” says Philip Thomas, Cannes Lions CEO. “The company’s superb track record at Cannes reveals a clarity of vision and an enviable willingness to allow its agencies to truly flex their creative muscles. We congratulate both IKEA and its many agencies across many countries on this well-deserved honour.”

The Advertiser of the Year trophy will be presented in Cannes to Noel Wijsmans, Global Retail Manager and Vice President of IKEA Group, during the Film, Film Craft, Titanium & Integrated and Creative Effectiveness Lions on Saturday 25 June 2011.

Commenting on the award, Noel Wijsmans says, “I am honoured to receive this award on behalf of IKEA. It is a great recognition of IKEA advertising that speaks to all of us who want to have a functional and beautiful home. We want to inspire people to fulfill needs and dreams in their everyday life at home. And we want to do that with a smile. I would also like to thank all the creative agencies we work with worldwide, our in-house agency IKEA Communications in Sweden and all our fantastic co-workers around the globe.”

IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer specialising in stylish but inexpensive Scandinavian designed furniture, was founded in 1943 by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad in Sweden. IKEA is named as an acronym comprising the initials of the founder’s name, the farm where he grew up (Elmtaryd), and his home parish (Agunnaryd, in Småland, South Sweden). Today there are 284 stores in 26 countries, with more than 600 million visitors a year. Currently there are more than 127,000 people working for the IKEA group.

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