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Ikea’s YouTube Comedy of Errors


Ikea’s new series of YouTube assembly videos turned into an Internet hit, but not for the reasons that the Swedish furniture giant intended.

The company launched the videos in a tacit acknowledgement that some customers pull their hair out trying to decipher the lengthy instructions for assembling the flat-pack furniture. But some experts say the videos are equally confusing. The most popular of Ikea’s YouTube offerings show two employees in the company’s signature yellow t-shirts assembling a bed frame. It has over 38,200 hits and counting. Mona Liss, a spokeswoman for Ikea, says the videos are designed for the less handy among us. “As for manual dexterity, it does depend on the individual,” she says. “I find the college set love the challenge, my son included.”

Comments poked fun at the old-fashioned VHS-style of the videos, the cheerful elevator music, and complain that the bed assembly video leaves out key details in the process. Paul Thompson, owner of LibraMediaLtd, a U.K.-based animation studio, is unimpressed with Ikea’s efforts: “I watched this and it’s starting to become comedy,” he says. “All the video shows most of the time is someone repeatedly screwing a screw.” He says Ikea should use animation to show angles that are not possible in the real world and to show objects appear semi-transparent so the consumer can get a better picture of how the furniture is assembled.

Others say it should have asked for help from college students itself assembling the ad copy. This video’s instructions for assembling Ikea’s Malm bed tell customers: “You’ll need the Skova Midbeam – boxed seperately from the frame.” One commenter writes: “What I love the most about your Ikea USA video is that you spelt ‘separately’ wrong.” Another commentator asks, “How do you spell ‘separately’?” For its part, IkeaUSA, the official channel for the U.S. stores, appears to take the criticism on the chin: “Thanks everyone — we appreciate you sharing your thoughts!”

Even with the help of Ikea’s videos, some customers rely on the kindness of students. Eric Koester, a co-founder of Zaarly.com, a website that helps put consumers in touch with local businesses, hired two Georgetown University students to put a wardrobe together. It took six hours – and cost Koester another $100, not including a $50 tip. “We got a place to hang our clothes without all the stress,” he says, “and the students earned some spending money.” Others say the furniture is perfectly easy to assemble. “People too stupid to read a pictogram deserve to sleep on the floor,” another YouTube member, “Guyinagorillasuit,” says of the instruction video.

Read here for more about “5 Ways Ikea Seduces Customers”.


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    • Name a great power that has had a debt like ours and not gone into decline – England, after the Napoleonic Wars. It was in an ullpralneaed position to profit from the peace, industry, and the growth of world trade. Its military might was at the service of its merchant interests, even to the point of going to war with China **three times** to keep the country hooked on opium, because without that the drop in tea excise revenue would have dropped the budget by 1/6th.- The US, post-WWII. Of course, we were the only major country with our industrial base and working-age population intact. Also, wartime shortages and thrift had given put the American consumer debt rate at as little as 60% of GDP, meaning US consumers had both the will and the means to drive economic growth.Now, we are not the only industrial power in the world. We are not the only intact industrial power in the world. Defense is getting cut, and putting it to use to secure our prosperity is considered too crass to be discussed. Consumer debt levels are at 270% of GDP.This Growth you speak of. Where is it going to come from?We will probably have to reduce this debt by *paying it back*.Guess what? That’s a thesis for another War On The Young post!

    • Nah, I belong in the ktchien baking with flour all over my face. Cookies anyone? ;)Don’t worry I helped out. I just have a fascination with picking up the camera anytime I think a moment is interesting.I’ll let him tell you about the time I lifted over 100lbs of drywall over 20 times up a couple of flights of stairs. THAT was fun. Wish I would have had a vlog then

    • Today is often a greater period than in the past to think about doing work from your home. Increasing numbers of people are generally shedding his or her work opportunities by means of no fault of their own. A number of will be in organizations …

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