IKEA, a great place to have as a neighbor if you live in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and an even better place to purchase dish towels and tubes of fish roe spread if you live everywhere else, is no stranger to attention-grabbing methods of pushing its wares: Augmented reality, garden gnome slaughter, murder by salad fork, and on and on.

Now in a rather intriguing move in its Norwegian market, the Swedish home furnishings behemoth is encouraging customers to buy secondhand IKEA products which, as we all know, don’t exactly have heirloom written all over them.

Well, kind of.

As part of "Second Hand," an eight-week marketing stunt/multi-platform ad campaign launched by the global retailer with the help of Oslo-based agency SMFB, 50 different IKEA customers were given the chance to peddle their gently loved IKEA furniture via a virtual flea market of sorts. Each piece of previously used furniture appeared for sale not only on the IKEA Norway Facebook page but in TV spots along with print and billboard advertisements that ran the name and private phone number of the person selling the furniture just like in a traditional classified ad.

The goal of the campaign was, of course, to ultimately get consumers to make room for new IKEA furniture by getting rid of the old stuff. However, the underlying message was not to throw it away but to keep it out landfills by reselling it. Now this by seem a bit backwards considering IKEA furniture’s “disposable” reputation but as someone who has successfully sold old IKEA pieces on Craigslist, I can tell you there’s a huge market out there for used furniture bought from the sustainability-minded flat-pack industry leader.

It’s also worth pointing out that just like any proper non-virtual flea market, the Norway IKEA’s Facebook flea market was only open for business on Sunday afternoons: "It worked as an actual flea market in the sense that it was only available on Sundays. Upon closing time, we removed all the products from the page. Facebook was a crucial part since this activity was a more involving, interactive and social dimension of the campaign that opened up for anyone who wanted to sell stuff," Hans Magne Ekre of SMFB elaborated to Mashable.

And in case you were wondering, all 50 pieces of the second-hand IKEA furniture found new and loving homes throughout Norway by the end of the campaign.

Via [Mashable], [Ad Age]

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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

IKEA Norway launches online flea market for used furniture
IKEA and ad agency SMFB work with customers in Norway to offload their unwanted but still functional furniture via a virtual flea market and print and TV ads.