Real Time & Community Marketing: Portuguese Billboards by IKEA

Parte do outdoor do Ikea com apresentação da estante Kallax e copy "Boa para guardar livros ou 75800€"


What do Real Time Marketing and Community Marketing have in common? The new campaign by the IKEA brand in Portugal and its the repercussions.

There are few brands in Portugal with famous and more irreverent communication. Some are already recognized for their fantastic copy, such as Rebuçados Dr. Bayard, Staples, Licor Beirão, and Control. However, these brands stand out not only for the content they share but also for the interaction with the public and even between themselves!

And some weeks, there was a fun moment of news regarding Portuguese Real Time Marketing and Community Marketing! But before we delve into this subject, let’s take a look at the concrete definition of these two “recent” marketing strategies.

What is Community Marketing?

As the name suggests, it refers to community. So, Community Marketing is a strategy centered that aims building and strengthening communities around a brand, product, or service. This approach creates an environment where consumers feel connected and part of a community that shares common interests.

Moreover, according to Portuguese Marketeer, a Community Manager “is responsible for managing the voice and image of the brand and for preserving the company’s digital identity (…) listening, informing, energizing, and elaborating responses to customers”.

What is Real Time Marketing?

Real Time Marketing aligns with the “immediacy of the world we live in.” That is, it refers to strategies and activities executed instantaneously in response to current events, trends, or consumer behaviors. The goal of Real Time Marketing is to capitalize on timely opportunities, engage the audience in the moment, and create relevant and impactful content. This approach is dynamic and requires agility and quick response capability.

ROCK CONTENT website says that it “can be understood as a set of actions taken based on the identification of trends and feedback from consumers. [It] arises in a context where the public increasingly demands agility and relevance in a brand’s actions—or reactions.”

How did the IKEA campaign use these strategies?

IKEA is another brand that has been showing some irreverence in Portuguese advertising.

But recently, it took a step further.

IKEA decided to take advantage of a political scandal, recognized by the portuguese public, and, together with Uzina, created a campaign around this. Truth to be told, it was so risky, and surprisingly good, the campaign was everywhere! The billboards were talked about all over LinkedIn, mentioned on numerous Instagram pages and blogs, and even appeared in the media.

This campaign used several wordss related to the current Portuguese political situation. Words like “geringonça” (widget), “inflação” (inflation), or “coligado” (affiliated) were associated with IKEA products, presenting, for example, a duvet as “a widget against the cold“.

However, in this already bold scenario, there was one message that stood out: a specific billboard promoting a bookshelf, with the copy “Good for storing books. Or €75,800“, referring to the amount of money seized from Portuguese Prime Ministers’s chief of staff, Vítor Escária.

Thus, this political scandal, which had just broken out, constituted a true case of authentic Real Time Marketing.

Regarding Community Marketing, the interaction between brands, especially on social media, reveals the creation of an online community around the theme addressed by IKEA. And also, the campaign not only involved the brand fans, but also inspired other brands to participate in the discussion. In this way, a broader community of brands interacting and answering to each other was also generated.

How did the Marketing landscape in Portugal shake up?

It was precisely this last billboard that inspired other brands (from various sectors of activity) to create posts to the campaign. Not only was the brand’s audacity in using something so controversial and politically remarkable, but also the generated buzz around it, practically unprecedented.

Still, this situation is not entirely unprecedented. In 2021, there was a similar situation.

An alleged error with a test from the supermarket brand Continente mobile application, led brands to respond to Continente and “Mariana”, who apparently had made a mistake and sent a notification to all customers, about something in a test version.

Print da notificação recebida pelos utilizadores da App Continente
Continente’snNotification received by the app’s users

Truth to be told, this time it seems to have gone further. In addition to joining in the fun with posts, there was also a genuine conversation and interaction between brands in the comments section of… another brands’ Instagram post, Staples!

Here, Staples, that sells office furniture and supplies, directly asked “But does anyone keep it in the living room, IKEA?”, generating, then, several answers and comments from IKEA itself and other brands.

Strategies for “immediacy”

Today’s World is constantly changing. Therefore, in order to connect with the public and kept in their audience mind, brands need to adapt their strategies.

In Portugal, more and more brands are finally adopting these strategies and making marketing and communication funnier.

“Immediacy” aligns with the speed at which reality changes nowadays. Thus, the fastest brands respond to events, situations, and trends the easier they’ll stay ahead. Also, it is very important for their community that shares the sames emotions, experiences, and values, to feel included on their communication strategy.

In a nut shell, Real Time Marketing and Community Marketing are two strategies that should definitely not be overlooked.

What about you… what do you think about this IKEA campaign?


  • Tânia Amaral

    Estudou Publicidade e Relações Públicas na Escola Superior de Educação de Viseu, trabalha como Responsável de Marketing a tempo inteiro e faz trabalhos em regime freelancer na área de design e gestão de comunicação, conteúdos e redes sociais. É apaixonada pelas palavras e tem o blog Este Outro Mundo, de escrita criativa, há mais de 10 anos. Está em constante procura da melhor forma de tornar as marcas mais humanas e das novas tendências de comunicação.

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