Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Furry friends could be the missing piece in your home, according to this furniture store… [Friday: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

February 23, 2024

When you walk into a home furniture store, what are some things you would likely see?

A thick, lush carpet?

A comfy sofa?

A practical kitchen counter?

Well, that’s typical.

… but what if you saw an adorable dog begging for food beside a brand-new dining table in that store?

Would you feel…

… surprised?

… curious?

… thoughtful of what it would be like to have that dog in your own home?

In 2014, life-sized cardboard cutouts of dogs were found all over a particular furniture store’s showroom. The goal was to encourage customers to shop for home items AND adopt these furry friends.

What’s this furniture store?


Photo from Smithsonian Magazine

IKEA is a Swedish multinational conglomerate best known for designing and manufacturing modernist, ready-to-assemble furniture.

The company’s MASSIVE showrooms with beautifully arranged room set-ups hold great appeal, allowing customers to walk in and interact with different pieces of furniture and other home essentials.

Did you know that in May 2014, IKEA’s Singapore store further innovated its furniture showrooms with a new addition?

Amid the kitchen, living room, and bedroom showcases were life-sized cardboard cutouts of lounging, sitting, and standing dogs!

Photo from AdAge

Collaborating with two local animal shelters, Animal Lovers League and Save Our Street Dogs, IKEA Singapore conducted the “Home for Hope” campaign where life-sized cardboard cutouts of dogs from the shelters were strategically placed in various showrooms.

For ease of reference, each cutout had a QR code providing detailed information about a particular dog and how to adopt them.

Many shoppers smiled as they passed by, finding the image of a friendly furry face a pleasant addition to the showrooms. Others were filled with curiosity, and stopped to know more about each dog through their QR codes.

With those adorable images and endearing narratives, some shoppers ended up taking home both furniture and a dog!

Photo from KindlySweet

This initiative not only showed the potential joy of adopting a homeless dog, but also highlighted how a house’s interior also makes it a warm place to live in for both humans and pets.

The campaign also served as a platform for animal rescuers to connect with a new audience. For context, most animal advocates who made up the usual audiences of the two shelters already have pets. Because of that, adoption rates before the campaign were low.

Through “Home for Hope,” the animal shelters and IKEA targeted another audience, reaching furniture shoppers who were already contemplating dog adoption, or who were simply drawn to the showcased canine cutouts.

The result?

Within the initial days of the project, 8 homeless dogs found their forever homes!


Aside from that, the campaign garnered widespread attention. It caught the eye of many prominent news outlets like the LA TimesFast Company, and Mashable.

Wait, there’s more!

6 other furniture stores in Singapore volunteered their showrooms in solidarity with the cause. Similar collaborations have also emerged globally, including that of IKEA Arizona and Arizona Humane Society, which resulted in the successful adoption of 6 featured dogs.

With the inspirational and innovative nature of the campaign, it’s no wonder that it also earned a Shortlist Entry at the 2015 Clio Awards.

Congratulations, IKEA, Animal Lovers League, and Save Our Street Dogs!

So, what can we learn from this heartwarming campaign by IKEA Singapore?

Show, don’t tell.

IKEA played on the concept of what visually makes a “home.” By strategically placing carefree images of dogs within its showrooms, IKEA let shoppers envision how an animal companion can make their homes warmer and livelier.

Because of this, the campaign brought together furniture shoppers and dogs in need of loving homes.

We hope today’s article warmed your heart and inspired you to think about such wonderful campaigns, too!

Remember: The most striking message is often shown, not said. So, in your marketing campaigns, do your best to “show,” not just “tell.”

We look forward to seeing your own successful guerrilla marketing strategies!

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Friday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you find this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Friday’s “Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!”


Kyle Yu
Head of Special Projects
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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