Sunday, 7 August 2016

Everyday absurdities

There's a weekly feature in Campaign called something like ' Three Great Ads I Had Nothing To Do With'. Well, I make no secret of the fact that I work with IKEA, but I had very little to do with the commercial above, which is why I think I'm entitled to write a post about it.

Why is this a great ad? Well, where to start?

It's watchable. I defy anyone not to keep going to the end. What is this 18th century scene all about? Why does the meal have to be painted? Why is the painting being carted around for approval?
Involvement with the story results in active processing, which means it ends up in the long-term memory.

It's bursting with insight. It's not just an observation that people these days are always taking photos of food and putting them on Instagram and Facebook. The insight is how absurd this behaviour is, if you think about it, and how this is just one of many expectations these days that prevent people enjoying the simple pleasures of life at home.

It's beautifully done. From the casting, to the scenery, to the costumes to the lovely few bars of that jazzy number at the end, this is a beautifully conceived, directed and produced film. One that you can watch again and again and discover something new each time.

It's very IKEA. Finally, although the first part of the film may be unexpected for IKEA - 18th century costume drama? - this is maybe what makes this commercial so very IKEA. IKEA is a combination of the familiar and the surprising. This spot is for the catalogue launch and sets the theme of the year - Let's Relax - and the whole idea and thought behind it exemplifies the IKEA attitude - common sense, pointing out the absurdities of our behaviour with a twinkle in the eye, and ultimately showing that there is another way. This is exactly the tonality of the famous 'Lamp' commercial from over a decade ago. Not so fitting to today's times with sustainability upfront on the agenda, but nevertheless classic IKEA.

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