IKEA celebrates Penang’s Hokkien heritage

March 13, 2019

Singapore, 12th March, 2019 – IKEA launches its new store in Penang with a quirky campaign that celebrates the city’s culture through the use of light-hearted Hokkien wordplay.

Developed by BBH Singapore, the campaign seeks to drive awareness and generate excitement for the opening of the first IKEA store in Penang on 14th March.

Using the phonetic similarity of some popular Penang Hokkien words with the Swedish company name, the campaign plays with these rhymes to capture attention.

One of the these shows parallel images of a chicken and a cabinet with the words “We are not Kay Kia. We are IKEA.” Kay Kia is the Hokkien word for chick. Another execution features a tall guy and the BILLY bookcase with the lines “We are not Lo Kha Kia (a tall guy). We are IKEA.”

The campaign was launched on OOH, digital, print and social platforms and marks the first phase of the launch. The second phase focuses on product-centred stories that demonstrate the IKEA values of sustainability, creativity and simplicity. This phase of the campaign is supported by rich, immersive spots that will run on digital platforms.

Nigel Richardson, Head of Marketing, IKEA Southeast Asia, said: “We wanted to introduce IKEA to Penang with an engaging and relatable campaign that takes into account the unique cultural nuances of the city. The new campaign has already created a lot of buzz and we hope to sustain the excitement through the second phase of the campaign.”

Gaston Soto, Creative Director, BBH Singapore, said: “The campaign was by inspired by Hokkien memes listing words that end with “Kia”. Through this wordplay IKEA is paying tribute to the rich culture of Penang.”


The APPIES Malaysia Marketing Awards 2019 open for submission!

APPIES is an annual festival of the best marketing ideas in Malaysia and Asia. Only outstanding campaigns that have unique marketing success stories will go on to ultimately win the APPIES Gold or Silver Medals.

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