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IKEA’s AR App Helps Kids Dream Up Cardboard Box Creations

IKEA’s AR App Helps Kids Dream Up Cardboard Box Creations
Packaging & Product Engagement

The mobile application suggests cardboard art projects in response to photos users snap of their leftover IKEA boxes, repurposing the cardboard materials as well as offering an interactive family activity for the brand's customers

Todd Neikirk
  • 22 june 2018

Most parents are familiar with the reaction their children have to a large cardboard box—for the next day or so, the kids don’t touch any of their toys and all the focus is on the box. With its new Toy Box Project, IKEA is looking to enhance the fun kids can have with cardboard creations.

Ikea worked on the project with WPP’s Wunderman and Kantar Consulting. Research done by the firms found that “approximately half of parents say they have a hard time coming up with creative ways for their kids to play,” which is what the smartphone-based, augmented reality app hopes to change. The program allows users to take a picture of a box with their phone, and then suggests possible creations based on the size of box along with step by step instructions for construction. Many of IKEA’s products come in large boxes and need to be assembled, so the app can also provide kids with an engaging activity while the parents assemble the furniture.

A large part of Ikea’s brand identity involves crafty design that puts basic materials to innovative use, so coming up with cardboard works of art is a natural and creative extension of the retailer’s offer to customers. Implementing augmented reality technology via a user-friendly app allows the brand not only to offer a family-oriented activity but also puts the cardboard waste often generated by its products to good use, giving them a second life as a craft project. The Toybox app recently premiered at Cannes Lions and will be released to the public soon.

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