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NOFNIDEA? Was the bold heading on the billboard. The tagline was “no tools, no worries koala.com.” In the background was the distinctive blue and yellow of an IKEA store.

Australians often like humour. We can be cheeky. Sometimes it backfires. This was an attempt by a mattress / sofa company called koala to poke fun at how much easier it is to assemble their furniture than IKEA. I imagine there would have been some debate and possibly nervousness yet the advert was approved.

When advertising the billboard on facebook koala included a statement “We love IKEA. You love IKEA” yet it wasn’t enough to soften the perceived insult.

Reading the comments online provides an insight into Australian culture.

“Koala for the love of god shoot your marketing manager! It’s clear they are wet behind the ears! This is about as effective as a glass hammer!”

Comment: I am not sure if this marketing helped or hurt the koala branding. It certainly raised awareness but also divided and inflamed people. Koala representatives were proactive in commenting online also – often with good effect in keeping the discussion going and taking some of the heat out of it. In highlighting your distinctiveness, it is best to take care and not insult other schools.

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