Posted November 12, 2012 5:36 pm by with 0 comments

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Ikea has just released a brand new, online holiday calendar that has me very excited. It’s not the store, or the products, it’s the catalog itself because it’s the future of digital advertising.

The world is changing and people no longer respond to a jiggling banner ad the way they used to. People want to interact with the screen and now, with Windows 8 and touch-screen tablets, that’s become an even bigger priority.

Have you ever read the kid’s book Pat the Bunny? Each page has a touch component such as Daddy’s scratchy beard (a bit of sandpaper) and a cloth you can lift to play peek-a-boo with Paul. We naturally like to interact with our surroundings and we remember and respond to things we can touch, watch, smell, taste and hear. Just last week, I wrote about a study that showed people’s natural inclination to touch the screens of their tablet while reading.

So here comes Ikea with an interactive catalog that inspires you to buy with practical solutions and fun new ideas for your home. They call it Celebrate Brilliantly. It has 31 pages divided into three sections. Each page fills your screen with an interactive photo of their products in a setting that makes sense. A variety of glassware for entertaining is lined up on a table. Scroll over each one and watch the glasses fill with liquid. See one you like? Click it to buy or add to your shopping list.

Here’s my favorite page:

Here’s a room filled with lovely accessories from Ikea. Flip the switch at the bottom of the page from Every Day to Holiday and you get this:

The same room made merry with just a few holiday touches from Ikea. It’s an inspiring transformation because you can actually see the effect of adding a couple of pillows, candles and trim.

The catalog has other rooms that are transformed when you pull down and release a virtual window shade. Products dance on other pages and pop-outs include recipes for Swedish baked goods and innovative ways to use wrapping paper and other holiday goods.

You can also watch videos from the catalog pages, recommend to Facebook and Pin items on Pinterest, all with one click.

Ikea’s holiday catalog is the future of online shopping. Instead of rows and rows of static pictures, we see items grouped in an artistic way that makes them more inviting. Ikea makes decorating look easy and that leads to sales.

The only downside to this catalog is that it doesn’t work very well on the iPad. This is odd since it seems to be even better suited for tablet use than computer use but it slogged along when I tried to use it via the browser on my iPad. Next, I downloaded the Ikea catalog app but that was 300 plus pages of. . . . pages! There were a few videos but in general there was nothing interactive in their app. For shame.

I’m not a programmer or a designer, so I have no idea what goes in to creating a truly interactive app but I know what I like.  Ikea’s Celebrate Brilliantly catalog is fun and engaging and that’s what all digital advertising should be.