Ikea’s advertising has been strong and distinctive for years. After all, the Swedish homeware retailer won Advertiser of the Year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2011. The accolade recognised 20 years of outstanding advertising and the receipt of more than 50 Lions, including the Film Grand Prix in 2003. Yet with its "the wonderful everyday" campaign by Mother London and, in particular, the "beds" spot launched in July, Ikea’s advertising hit new heights in 2014.
"Beds" has an intentionally dreamlike quality and shows a woman jumping from a wrought-iron bed, suspended high above Earth. As she gracefully tumbles through the sky, like a skydiver whose fall has been slowed by a parachute, her descent is broken by a procession of different beds. As the woman gets closer to the ground, the ad shows the London skyline, with her clinging on to a sheet above it. She lets go and continues downwards before reaching her own bed.
When the woman lands on it, the tone changes and becomes more realistic, showing her partner in bed next to her and her dog lying on his back in a basket. Text in block capitals across the ad says: "There’s no bed like home." Then the voiceover finishes with the endline: "Ikea. The wonderful everyday." The moral of the story is that everyone always has a better night’s sleep in their own bed.
As "beds" unfolds, the actress Prunella Scales reads from the first scene of the fourth act of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The spot begins with the line "Our revels now are ended", and Scales continues with: "As dreams are made on, and our little life… is rounded with a sleep."
Juan Cabral directed the ad through MJZ, MPC was responsible for the special effects and the editing was handled by Work. The spot was the industry’s pick of the first half of the year, according to Campaign’s Half-Term School Reports.
"The wonderful everyday" campaign actually launched in February with activity that put sustainability at the core of Ikea’s brand positioning. The TV commercial depicts a pretty forest where, one by one, the trees are illuminated by Ikea lamps and light fittings. Once most of the forest is lit, the lights flash in time with the soundtrack, Wet And Rusting by Menomena.
At the end of the spot, Ikea makes the commitment that, by 2016, it will only sell energy-efficient LED light bulbs. The film was directed by Martin Krejcí through Stink.
The sustainable message continued online and through radio ads with tips on waste, water and energy efficiency. In-store, the message came alive through a home-furnishing fair that provided advice about how to be more sustainable.
In the online activity, Ikea provided lots of tips on how to save water and energy and reduce waste, whether by installing taps that use less water or insulating door openings to prevent heat loss. On YouTube, a series of online films told the stories of people who had made positive changes in order to live more sustainably.
The second ad in the campaign, "kitchen carousel", demonstrated how Ikea can help a family live harmoniously together, even if they are moving at different speeds. The ad depicts a kitchen spinning around on a carousel with different members of the family on separate concentric circles – but they are able to get dinner ready as a team because of to the Ikea products they own. At the end of the spot, the narrator says: "The kitchen is the busiest room in the house. If it doesn’t work for everyone, it doesn’t work at all." It was directed by Keith Schofield through Caviar. The soundtrack is This Head I Hold by Electric Guest.
The wider message of "the wonderful everyday" extended online and through direct mail, with activity developed by Lida. On the Ikea website, shoppers could find advice on how to make family movie nights feel like a film première or make mealtimes special, whether they are spontaneous dinners with friends or picnics under the kitchen table on rainy Saturday afternoons. The messaging was brought to life with videos of Marvin and Rochelle Humes, the married pop star couple, as well as everyday Ikea customers.
And the campaign has paid off. The retailer announced an 11.3 per cent increase in year-on-year sales to £1.41 billion in the UK for the year to 31 August. It saw strong growth in online sales, too, recording a 28.8 per cent rise in 2014.
For three brilliant films extended online through real-life tips, video and social content, Ikea is a worthy recipient of the Campaign of the Year 2014 accolade.
Recent winners: O2 (2013); Channel 4 (2012); John Lewis (2011); Nike (2010); Comparethemarket.com (2009)