Cheap Swedish Furniture Drives People To Extraordinary Lengths

Most people loathe standing in line, or “on line,” as the case may be. Which makes this promotional stunt from Ikea all the more painful to learn about.
According to a report in the Boston Herald, more than 2,000 people lined up by for the opening of the Swedish home furnishings chain’s first Massachusetts store. The first five people in line were rewarded gift certificates ranging in value from $500 to $5000.
First-in-line Mike Rice, an 18-year-old college freshman from Georgia, won the top prize. “Two weeks, $5,000 – that’s pretty good pay,” he said.
But it wasn’t all happy times for the top five prize-winners, who slept overnight in the Ikea garage anywhere from five to 12 days, depending on their spots in line. The close quarters sometimes took their toll on the four men and one woman. Gossiping ensued, and squabbles erupted over issues such as territory and smoking.
All five signed contracts with Ikea that governed their behavior, which was monitored via security camera. They could leave the line-up area for only 10 minutes at any time for restroom and smoking breaks, and were allowed one shower a day inside the store.
[via Adfreak]

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.