Mark Malkoff, a comedian and filmmaker, needed to find a new place to live for a week in early January, because his apartment was being fumigated. Although most people in his situation would decide to crash at a friend’s place or fork out a few extra bucks for a hotel, Mark chose an unlikely place to reside: Ikea.
Why would Ikea agree to let Mark live in its Paramus, New Jersey store? Well, lets just say Ikea knows a good marketing maneuver when they see one. The Swedish furniture giant received a hefty amount of positive exposure from an unpaid spokesperson.
According to this Washington Post article, “Ikea was dubious at first, but once they got to know Malkoff — realized what squeaky, G-rated videos he made and what a good, unpaid spokesman he’d be — they opened the doors and made a little placard reading “Mark’s Apartment” to go outside his living space.”
Mark documented his every move at Ikea for a week, and videos were posted daily on his Web site “Mark Lives in Ikea” that captured his adventures. His Web site has received over a million hits since January 7, and his videos are also featured on YouTube. Visitors flocked to the New Jersey store to meet the man living at Ikea, and the media jumped on Mark’s story.
Sometimes the best marketing tricks are ones outsiders devise. In case you are interested, here is the first episode of Mark’s adventures at Ikea.