Thursday, 18 June 2015

Ikea Thinks Differently

Ikea had a brilliant ad last year. There’s a good chance you saw it. The “Book Book”, a spoof of the breathless, self-involved ads Apple has become known for.

(I just mean that rightly or wrongly, it’s become part of the general consensus. Put down the pitchforks, Apple people.)

It’s a fun spot regardless – check it out here. Quite apart from being a clever takedown of Apple’s perceived self-importance (and the overall obsession within the tech world for declaring minor innovation X to be the beginning of a revolution that will change everything), it’s just perfect for Ikea. As a brand it has always played upon its perceived quirkiness, it’s slightly mad Swedish sense of humour.

(Sidebar: has anyone else noticed that the vast majority of Swedes are slightly mad? In the most positive way possible, but still. Maybe it’s all that pickled herring.)

In any case, the ad is all about the new Ikea catalogue for 2015. And it’s their greatest innovation yet – with “tactile touch technology”, bookmarking, and (my personal favourite) loading pages instantly, with no “lag”.

But it’s not just a fun film. It’s an exercise in soft selling. We’re enjoying the film and each cleverly scripted joke, but every joke is about the catalogue and its features – and Ikea itself.

Ikea has too many varieties of product to sell every one of them in an ad. But we already know what Ikea provides and why it’s useful. All we need once in a while is a nudge, a reminder that Ikea is there.

And, of course, that Ikea is the fun, quirky, 21st century company that isn’t afraid to make fun of itself or the companies around it. Which seems to be something we like.

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