writer + artist

IKEA Takes Over Paris Metro

with 64 comments

Ah the combination of my two foreign loves, Sweden and France… Here’s a fun Friday post:

Forget a boring commute. In Paris, between now and March 24, the metro is being turned into a comfortable living room. That’s thanks to a marketing initiative by IKEA, which is turning 4 metro stations into furnished interiors.

A crazy marketing campaign? Maybe, but it is ingenious in that it gets people passing by to interact with the product. And ask any metro goer and I’m sure they’ll take a comfortable couch over a gum-covered steel bench.

More pics after the jump.

Photos via

Written by Anna Brones

March 12, 2010 at 09:14

64 Responses

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  1. It’d be nice if the couches stayed – much comfier than the usual benches!


    March 12, 2010 at 10:08

  2. I’m hoping that Ikea realizes those couches will never be sellable, ever. I’m just hoping someone doesn’t pee on them (a few of the stops on the French metro reeks of it).


    March 12, 2010 at 10:19

    • And I hope that you are not serious in your comment. Why in the world would they even consider selling that funiture?


      March 13, 2010 at 12:25

      • They’ll sell it in their new section: “Peed in Subway!.
        And if you ask me the serious part, I don’t think this advertisement won’t last too long ( a few days may be ). But nevertheless, will sure take attention more than any other advertisements and this is a good idea, whoever thought.

        Deniz Sevki Kayabay

        March 13, 2010 at 23:17

  3. I’ve never seen anything like it!

    Interesting concept…. it’s like a pseudo home vibe.

    Wonder how long those couches will stay clean 😉

  4. They could never try this in Philly. They’d never get the homeless off the sofas.


    March 12, 2010 at 10:33

    • The same here in Chile. We ( I include myself) turn that into a bar!!! But I like the idea. It could be good to make people feel a little bit relaxed. 😉


      March 13, 2010 at 07:26

  5. Interesting and cool idea.

    I like the background images that wrap up over the ceiling and make it look like the couch is actually in the room.

    I don’t think they plan on selling the couches ever, they would probably end up in a dumpster somewhere. But I bet people will definitely notice their ad’s elsewhere now because of the name recognition of this “can’t miss” type of advertising.

  6. Great idea – although people might realize how uncomfortable Ikea’s sofas really are and not buy…after a week they are all dirty with legs missing and stuff 🙂

    Cancun Vacations

    March 12, 2010 at 10:53

    • i LOVE my leather Ikea sofa. I bought it in the as-is department of Ikea Frisco, Texas. Nothing like saving on a former floor model. I’ve had it for two years and I’m sure it was a floor model for many years more. Super comfortable and very durable.


      March 12, 2010 at 18:28

  7. Quite brilliant stunt there by Ikea. I’m sure that will get people interested in their name.

    Though I’m wondering how they planned to manage the inevitable degradation of the furniture…


    March 12, 2010 at 10:59

    • Exactly!

      The marketing team must be interested in the initial exposure and buzz & not so concerned with the longevity of the display.

      Hopefully they’ll pull the pieces before the whole things looks like hell. But I’d imagine that anything would be more comfortable than plastic benches.

  8. This is SO cool!! I would love to see this in person.


    March 12, 2010 at 11:40

  9. What fun! I can think of a few places where people would try to steal the sofas. A good advertising mind could turn that into positive publicity, I guess.


    March 12, 2010 at 12:42

    • That’s exactly what I was thinking. Where I live those couches would be stolen one by one. I envision a U-Haul being backed up to the entrance of the station and people loading it up and burning out.


      March 13, 2010 at 15:20

  10. Smart. And awesome. 🙂

  11. I’ve never been to Paris yet, but if I get there and it’s Ikea-less, I will hold you to blame.

    Travis Dillinger

    March 12, 2010 at 12:47

    • haha! well, blame IKEA… they’re only doing the campaign until March 24th.


      March 12, 2010 at 13:25

  12. This is fantastic! Ikea is consistently so creative with its marketing strategies. I love their commercials too. Have you seen the Spike Jonze one?


    March 12, 2010 at 13:06

    • I wanna know exactly what the guy says at the end of the commercials. any ideas?


      March 12, 2010 at 22:37

  13. Interesting marketing scheme. Obviously they’ll be better than the metal benches, but I can just imagine many disgusting things happening on those couches…Think I’ll stand.

    Tara Aarness

    March 12, 2010 at 14:24

  14. gotta love the Ikea sense of humour. Great marketing


    March 12, 2010 at 15:07

  15. Woohhhh, amezing!!!!! Great Idea!!


    March 12, 2010 at 15:44

  16. having a cousin living in Paris, having visited there so many times somehow it makes me smile. I guess this is not an idea of IKEA in the orignal country and it is of IKEA French office. This kind of surprising event makes our life colourful.


    March 12, 2010 at 16:45

  17. this is so fabulous, good old Paris, I lived there for three years, could always rely on the randomness of the city initiatives!


    March 12, 2010 at 16:56

  18. Cool! I wish they did something like that here! …except I’m guessing some of the furniture would be destroyed by drunken louts!


    March 12, 2010 at 20:01

  19. Ummm…did you folks happen to notice that this campaign is only running through March 24? This is a short term thing, so I am sure that there is no real concern that much will happen to the display models in the course of 2 weeks or so.

    And oh do I love IKEA! Let me count the ways….
    1 is for the one bunkbed in my kids room…along with the crib, and children’s hangars.

    2 is for the two shelves displaying my plates and such in my kitchen…along with 2 spice racks, assorted utensils and cookware. And so on.

    Also…I got a set of 8 drinking glasses (like the ones that they use in their cafeteria) and before I could even wash and put them away, I accidentally dropped a full large can of something from a top shelf onto all of the glasses sitting on my counter. Not one had even a scratch. They make a rather durable product and I am proud to be on their mailing list. 🙂


    March 12, 2010 at 20:53

  20. Great marketing idea! Plenty of exposure and interaction. Hope it doesn’t backfire and take away the classy aspect of IKEA. Very smart idea!

    Daniel Yu

    March 12, 2010 at 22:12

  21. LOVE IT!!! I miss the Paris metro from my time studying there, so I think this is great! Wish they would’ve had those instead of those hard plastic things when I was there 2 years ago, though….

    The one thing I wonder though: couldn’t someone steal one of those couches fairly easy in the wee hours of the morning? Like, the metro is closed from like 1:30-5:30, surely a few people could come down during that time, into a station, hop the barricade and tote one off?


    March 12, 2010 at 22:28

  22. I love it!!! I`ve never been to Paris but would love to visit one day. They should have that concept everywhere! Plus, I love IKEA 🙂





    March 13, 2010 at 00:03

  23. Wow. I live in Paris. You couldn’t pay me enough to sit on one of those couches. As for only being two weeks-trust me, its beyond enough time for something disgusting to happen to them.
    Cool idea, but honestly, those couches are going to be absolutely vile in a matter of days.


    March 13, 2010 at 03:32

  24. Give the homeless the sofas thats what I say


    March 13, 2010 at 04:08

  25. Genius tie-in with an ad campaign. I think I will definitely try to pass the OpĂ©ra today just to take a peek! 🙂

    Chicsetera Paris

    March 13, 2010 at 08:35

  26. Very nice. This reminds me of the campaign Ikea Italy did in Torino last year. They replaced their old (and cramped store) with a new one (out in the sticks unfortunately). To mark the grand opening of the store, Ikea placed giant versions of their wares in various piazzas in Torino. It was rather interesting to be near the Royal Palace and seeing a giant version of those green plastic kid’s chairs that they sell.

    Ikea didn’t need to convince me as most of the furnishings in my apartment including the kitchen came from Ikea.


    March 13, 2010 at 11:10

  27. Wow, creative idea! Looks fine there! A comfortable wait for the next train.


    March 13, 2010 at 11:56

  28. What a great idea! I think it’s time I took a trip to Paris!


    March 13, 2010 at 13:23

  29. I guess this is innovative as far as marketing goes.


    March 13, 2010 at 14:51

  30. Love it! Great marketing.


    March 13, 2010 at 19:09

  31. smart idea, even though those couches will be disgusting after two days.


    March 13, 2010 at 20:32

  32. oui, pourquoi pas? enfin une idee qui pourait marquer le debut de l’exteriorisation de l’intimite et de l’espace prive. on agit et reagit differament devant un sofa, notre language du corps est envoute par des ondes differents. une situation qui pourait nous reveler beaucoup


    March 13, 2010 at 22:50

  33. Why can’t they do that the rest of the year? Then I could have seen it x)


    March 14, 2010 at 00:51

  34. Wow!! go Ikea! i just hope noone steals them :S but it does look very cosy!


    March 14, 2010 at 10:27

  35. Great initiative, IKEA. And when the campaign is over, wuld you please dontate the sofas still in usable condition to the people who look after the Parisian homeless & dispossessed?

    Make it a good goodwill campaign right to the end!


    Jean GROGAN

    March 14, 2010 at 10:39

  36. […] fram till 24 mars. SpĂ€nnande marknadsföringsgrepp. Modigt. Som nĂ„gra kommentarer pĂ„pekar i originalinlĂ€gget sĂ„ mĂ„ste man ha bestĂ€mt sig för att strunta i risken för pissattacker och trötta […]

  37. very brave! cool idea, so much that can go wrong with it though that I am surprised they dared do it. Don’t think it would be possible in Stockholm, can imagine there’d be lot’s of hassle with fire and other safety regulations. Borrowed your picture for my blog (in swedish) and mentioned you post!


    March 14, 2010 at 12:17

  38. First thing I thought of is, won’t they be stolen?


    March 14, 2010 at 13:04

  39. Haha.. nice post!!! very interesting, I wish I was in paris during this time so I could see it for myself.. maybe one day they might do something like this in london =)


    March 14, 2010 at 15:08

  40. i’d so pick a comfy sofa over a bench, great idea!


    March 14, 2010 at 15:09

  41. Well guys, I got curious and went to check it out today. I went to all four of the stations, and so far the couches are looking ok, bit worn already but I suppose that’s to be expected given the amount of traffic. At three of the four stations there were security guards on duty, and at one of those I saw a guard approach a man who looked as if he was planning on taking a little snooze in one of the chairs. Also, the sofas are bolted into the floor. There were people everywhere taking pics and laughing, overall a pretty cool campaign. I definitely think having the security guards helps though, otherwise they would be in much worse condition.


    March 14, 2010 at 15:46

  42. […] via: https://annabrones.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/ikea-takes-over-paris-metro/ […]

  43. I’m kind of a newbie (six months?) at blogging. I conclude: if everybody on Earth had the opportunity and took the time to add a comment to ANY blog out there … not ONE of them would say anything that matters to anybody else on Earth. WHAT are we doing?

    I guess we’re recognizing our utter insignificance.


    March 14, 2010 at 17:51

  44. better than this… the subway could rail into my lounge… I would be sure that the couch is pee-free.


    March 14, 2010 at 18:06

  45. That is extremely impressive !!!


    March 14, 2010 at 18:21

  46. Hmmm, very creative.

    the dish diva

    March 14, 2010 at 19:51

  47. very interesting.. 🙂


    March 14, 2010 at 20:48

  48. Thank you for this interesting post.
    Last week IKEA opened its’ 2nd shop in Israel and many people came to the opening and of course to buy what they needed.

    You are right. It is a great way for IKEA to give their customers a feeling/touch how their products look like outside the shop.


    March 15, 2010 at 03:02

  49. i love this. i’d love the wallpaper for inside my garage.


    March 15, 2010 at 03:41

  50. […] till den 24 mars pĂ„gĂ„r utstĂ€llningen pĂ„ fyra utvalda stationer, allt enligt Anna Brones blogg med hĂ€rliga […]

  51. this is a funny, but good and comfortable idea!
    something that only french people can realize =)
    Hope the furniture isn’t going to be damaged.


    March 15, 2010 at 06:25

  52. Excellent idea! IKEA in the Metro. It must have been a nice surprise to all tired commuters when going off the train……..


    March 15, 2010 at 07:43

  53. oh god, what a horrible advertising idea! no one wants to see their sofa in a subway pier! i d like to see the statistics after this – if there are any


    March 16, 2010 at 08:01

  54. […] them. This seemed to be the idea that triggered Sweden’s furniture giant, IKEA to decorate Paris Metro stations for a limited time in March […]

  55. […] Mientras tanto en ParĂ­s IKEA toma el metro y lo transforma en un cuarto de estar. Buena estrategia para caer bien.. esperemos que los amantes del vin du brik no tomen los sofĂĄs como lugar de residencia. VĂ­a Je vais oĂč? […]

  56. […] March 2010, IKEA turned the waiting areas at four Paris subway stations into a small living room, featuring best-selling pieces such as the KLIPPAN and EKTORP sofas. In December of the same year, […]

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