IKEA U.S. Releases First Original Song From Group Nine’s New Exclusive Partnership With Song Candy

IKEA U.S. Marks First Brand Partner to Leverage Group Nine’s New Ad Solution For Advertisers

Company Release
November 10, 2021

NEW YORK – (November 10, 2021) – IKEA U.S. announced today its new holiday campaign, “Host Masters,” and new holiday anthem as part of a new exclusive partnership between Group Nine Media, the no. 1 video publisher on mobile in the U.S. [source: Nielsen DCR, June 2020], and Song Candy, a first-of-its-kind, data-driven music studio and creative agency that produces original songs built to drive results for brand partners. The partnership leverages Group Nine’s content creation expertise, coupled with Song Candy’s original music production. IKEA U.S. marks the first brand to leverage Group Nine’s new advertiser solution with “Host Masters” distributed across Thrillist and POPSUGAR.

The partnership officially launches on November 10th with a new holiday anthem and campaign for IKEA U.S. that humorously reminds people how to host again for the holidays after nearly two years of virtual interactions with friends and family. Made possible through its media agency Wavemaker, the IKEA U.S. “Host Masters” campaign includes a friendly competition between two amateur Holiday Design Challengers to become the best holiday host, with a video series from Thrillist and a collection of Instagram Stories on Thrillist and POPSUGAR’s Home vertical. In each episode, an IKEA Design Expert will assist the Holiday Design Challengers as they pull products from an IKEA Design Shop to set up the perfect holiday get-together in a mock living room and dining room. From the perfect holiday decor for making their house warm and welcoming again, to the tools they need to perfectly roast their holiday turkey, to a step-by-step lesson on how to hug people again, “Host Masters” will relieve these rusty hosts’ worries. Interested consumers can watch the series at

“Our team at IKEA is so thrilled to partner with Group Nine and Song Candy to bring this new song ‘Feels Just Like a Holiday’ to life this holiday season”, says Christine Whitehawk, IKEA U.S. Marketing Communications Manager. “Music brings people together and we can’t wait to be a part of our customers' warm and welcoming homes during the holidays.”

“As the most-engaging media portfolio in the U.S., Group Nine is an expert at storytelling on the platforms where young people spend their time*,” said Group Nine CRO Geoff Schiller. “Innovative brand partners like IKEA understand that in order to reach the next generation of consumers, they need to create branded content that both entertains and provides value. Our new music offering with Song Candy does exactly that in addition to extending advertisers’ messaging across TikTok, IGTV, Spotify and beyond.”

A recent study found 65% of TikTokers prefer to see videos from brands featuring an original sound, and 58% of TikTokers said they felt more connected to the brand if the sound/music was something they enjoyed listening to [source: US TikTok Marketing Science Music Perception Research, conducted by MRC Data Nov 2020]. Group Nine’s new partnership with Song Candy engineers hit tunes guided by music science, trend data, and audience insights to give songs the “sticky” factor. By leveraging Song Candy’s Grammy-winning and Billboard-charting in-house musical talent and network of professional musicians, songwriters, and producers, the partnership enhances Group Nine’s branded campaigns with memorable audio assets designed for social consumption which can also live independently on audio platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Spotify and Apple Music.

“Music is a universal language that connects us all,” said Song Candy Co-founder Gabbie Bradford. “Music and audio are vital elements for storytelling in the new era of video-dominant, sound-centric platforms like TikTok, IG Reels and YouTube. We’re thrilled to partner with Group Nine to help brands embrace music as a marketing vehicle to better tell their story, drive meaningful engagement, and connect with their audience.”

*Group Nine is the most-engaging media portfolio in the U.S. according to Comscore, July 2021.

About Group Nine Media:
Group Nine has the most optimistic, fast moving, deeply connected brands in the categories that matter NOW. As the #1 video publisher on mobile in the U.S. [Nielsen DCR, June 2020], Group Nine’s brands are built for the platforms where young people spend the majority of their time. We reach over 80% of Americans in their 20s every month [Nielsen DCR, June 2020]. Audiences spend over 90 million hours a month engaging with our category-defining brands [platform analytics, August 2020] - NowThis, the no. 1 most-watched news brand globally on social [Tubular Labs, January 2021]; The Dodo, the no. 1 animal brand globally on social [Tubular, January 2021]; POPSUGAR, the no. 1 most engaged-with Women’s Lifestyle site globally [Comscore, September 2020]; Thrillist, the no. 1 food, drink and travel brand for Gen Z and Millennials [Comscore Media Matrix & Plan Metrix, Q3 2020]; and Seeker, the no. 1 science brand on mobile in the U.S. [Nielsen DCR, April 2020]. Group Nine has been recognized with hundreds of prestigious awards including Oscars, Edward R. Murrow, James Beard, Cannes Lions, Critic’s Choice, among others.

About IKEA:
IKEA offers well-designed, functional and affordable, high-quality home furnishing, produced with care for people and the environment. There are several companies with different owners, working under the IKEA Brand, all sharing the same vision: to create a better everyday life for the many people. IKEA was founded in Sweden in 1943.

About the IKEA franchise system:
The IKEA retail business is operated through a franchise system with franchisees that are authorised to market and sell the IKEA product range within specified geographical territories. Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is the owner of the IKEA Concept and worldwide IKEA franchisor, who also assigns different IKEA companies to develop the product range, supply products and deliver communication solutions. Today, 12 different groups of companies have the right to own and operate IKEA sales channels under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V.

About Inter IKEA Group:
Inter IKEA Group includes Inter IKEA Systems B.V., IKEA of Sweden AB, IKEA Supply AG and IKEA Industry AB related businesses. Inter IKEA Holding B.V. is the holding company for the Inter IKEA Group.

For more information see, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA or IKEAUSA on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

About Song Candy:
Song Candy is a first-of-its-kind, data-driven music studio and creative agency. We specialize in creating breakthrough campaigns and original branded music for sound-on environments like TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube, Triller, Spotify and more. Our mission is to help brands drive connection with their audience by entertaining instead of interrupting their consumer experience. We do this by creating relatable, trend-driven content told through music, voiceovers, & influencers. Our approach is backed by Music Science, Trend Data + Audience Insights to give your song the “sticky” factor and actualized through a 360 marketing strategy. Song Candy comes with a proven track record of success in both the music and marketing industries. Our founders have a combined +25 years of marketing experience across digital brand + performance marketing, as well as +35 years in the music industry having worked on grammy-winning albums and with billboard charting artists.



IKEA US Press Office


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