It is no secret that many apartments in Tokyo are about as large as a storage cupboard in some other countries. Showing that it is however possible to do more with less, Ikea Japan have set up model 5m² rooms at the Small Space Living Exhibition in Kyoto complete with Geisha.
Set up in the grounds of a temple and in the shadow of a pagoda, Ikea Japan arranged a number of 3 tatami sized rooms, or the equivalent of 5m² and in a video produced by Roomie attempted to evoke all things Japanese. The exhibition drew a fair amount of attention from passers by including apparently two real life Maiko (apprentice Geisha).
Ikea Japan have been trying out some interesting marketing efforts in Japan since they arrived back in 2002 after first trying to expand here in 1974 but failed to gain a foothold in the market. They recently launched a campaign where shoppers could actually spend the night in apartment mockups within their stores, sleeping in the beds and dining at the tables. As a result of such innovative campaigns as well as localisation efforts focusing on ’small space living’ and adapting products that are suitable to the Japanese lifestyle, the furniture retailer has become particularly popular with Japanese consumers yet crucially still managed to maintain it’s strong Swedish brand image.