Winning Hearts and Headlines by Channeling Ikea
Thursday, September 17th, 2015
Clever concept home try out was inspired by furniture giant – proving a huge hit for Blackwood
The amazing concept home from Blackwood will be lifechanging for people with disabilities, but how to properly demonstrate this was a challenge. At least, that was, up until the housing specialists took inspiration from Ikea.
Maybe you are one of those who eagerly hotfoots it round the inside of the giant blue and yellow boxes, marvelling at the latest space and labour saving ingenuity, while enthusiastically testing the soft close drawers and plumpness of the furnishings.
Or perhaps you’re one of the others. The weary-looking souls plodding along behind the Swedish furniture enthusiasts, when you’d actually rather be doing just about anything else.
Whichever camp you fall into, here’s a question for you: Have you ever given any thought into how much work it takes to set up those convincingly real household interiors?
Have you ever wondered what’s involved in letting you wander from bathroom-to-bedroom and from living room-to-kitchen as if you were in a real house and not in a luridly-coloured warehouse on an out-of-town industrial estate?
To be honest, it wasn’t a question that had ever troubled the team here at Holyrood PR. In much the same way that we’d never found ourselves wondering how they build such convincing sets on Coronation Street or EastEnders.
Yet we were still pleasantly surprised when we got an insight into the secrets of Ikea’s faux houses – courtesy of our client Blackwood, which built a mock up of its new concept house under the domed roof of Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.
For the past 40 years Blackwood has been a pioneer in building homes that include the latest features to help people live the fullest possible life by overcoming disabilities, impaired mobility or age related conditions.
As a technology pioneer Blackwood has relentlessy innovated in this cause. Indeed, its new concept house is a gadget and feature-packed marvel that could be genuinely tranformative for countless people with disabilities, as well as their families and carers.
The good people at Blackwood realised that telling people about the benefits is all well and good – but showing them? Well, that would be all kinds of better.
So they dreamt up an ambitious plan for the Blackwood AGM – to deliver a walk-through version of the concept home where anyone interested could see for themselves, while having hands on experience of the technology.
And wow – what a success it was, proving a massive hit with visitors. And with a bit of help from our expert public relations team, it also proved a major hit with the media.
The Blackwood success story started with a 22-hour marathon to create the concept house set in Dynamic Earth ahead of the AGM event itself.
A small army of contractors and Blackwood staff, pictured left, worked round the clock to erect the walls, put in cabling, fit the bathrooms and kitchens, furnish a bedroom and living room, then add homely touches, includnig lamps, vases of flowers and more.
The result was a beautifully presented home where visitors could test out for themselves the ingenious shower spaces, the rise and fall kitchen sinks and worktops, a moaveable toilet and bathroom sink and a host of other smart technology, including a prototype of a washing machine concept that promises to clean, dry AND iron clothes and a spoon that doesn’t spill.
The whole process was caught in this impressive time-lapse video, while we helped tell the story of the project across an impressive range of media, including The Times, The Scotsman, The Herald and the Evening News, as well as a raft of coverage across a wide range of influential care and housing titles.
This is the latest example of how our PR services have helped Blackwood get the story of its amazing work to a much larger audience. Month after month we help share positive stories about Blackwood, its people and those whose lives are enriched thanks to its work
Meanwhile, we’ve also helped establish Blackwood’s reputation as an organisation which delivers amazing experiences for those attending its annual meeting – see this video we pulled together for last year’s equally colourful AGM at Glasgow Science Centre.
We’d like to offer our congratulations to Blackwood on this latest event.
We’d also like to thank them for opening our eyes to the secrets of the Ikea show floor, while illuminating us to the fact that the rooms we know so well from TV shows actually have only three walls each.
Find out more about the work we do for Blackwood by visting their Client Hub
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Scott Douglas is the co-founder of the multi award-winning Holyrood Partnership, renowned public relations agency in Edinburgh, Scotland.
As well as providing expert PR services in Scotland and the UK, the former journalist heads a team which offers a host of other professional media services.
Those include crisis management PR, photography for business PR, affordable business video, social media campaigns and strategic content planning and delivery for businesses of all sizes.
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