Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Everybody Needs A Pink Duckswan

Ikea is a well-loved brand. And they sure know how to stay that way.

Here’s an initiative with a good cause behind it – their charity fundraiser. Each year they create a new campaign to raise money for children’s charities. And in a quirky, off-beat idea, this year they’ve created a series of plush toys, their designs taken from the doodles of children themselves.

Hence, the pink duckswan referenced above.

(Now there’s a sentence you don’t often see. The cadence is all over the chart.)

And the rest. Which range from “goofball bat” to “depressed skunksquirrel” to the classic, much-loved “dinosaur with no arms and a Morph head wearing a beanie”.

I think you'll find that that was a perfect description.
(I believe it was Da Vinci who first developed this design, or perhaps it was Caravaggio.)

It’s innovative. Eye-catching, certainly. And in turning kids' ideas into works of art, it taps into something powerful – empathy, in playing upon something that people already do.

(Apparently “praising ads which tap into things which people already do” is now my theme of the month, going by the number of times I’ve referenced this idea recently. Don’t worry; using italicised asides is still theme of the year.)

Seriously. You can find story after story, gallery after gallery of this. Parents, artists and photographers working to translate silly, whimsical ideas and drawings from children into silly, whimsical, beautiful pieces of art.

Perhaps the fact that this does take inspiration from other projects undermines my claim of it being “innovative”.

(It’s always embarrassing when you’re inconsistent within your own article.)

But it’s the first time a major brand has this on.

And it’s executed so well. Bold. Beautiful. Un-self-conscious. They feel as much real, believable, plausible toys, as much as they feel like real toys designed by kids.

The fact that it feels genuine is the most important factor in the end. Ikea actually is a company which invests and focuses on charitable giving for children’s causes. $90 million since 2003. And the style of the initiative, the idea behind it, the childish, simplistic creativity – it’s all very Ikea, in the very best way.

It’s a brilliant campaign. A great cause. And it doesn’t feel forced. It’s a feat of its own, to create a charity campaign that is both authentic and actually engaging. Ikea makes it look easy, and natural.

And, to conclude, I would like to buy a pink duckswan.

Here's the full collection:

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