German critic Hellmuth Karasek reviews the Ikea catalogue

Following last year’s brilliant bookbook film, Ikea has returned with another doozy of an ad to promote the release of this year’s catalogue. Created for the Swiss market, it features renowned German literary critic Hellmuth Karasek subjecting the “world’s most widely distributed book” to a review…

Following last year’s brilliant bookbook film, Ikea has returned with another doozy of an ad to promote the release of this year’s catalogue. Created for the Swiss market, it features renowned German literary critic Hellmuth Karasek subjecting the “world’s most widely distributed book” to a review…

While determinedly tongue-in-cheek throughout, Karasek doesn’t pull any punches, remarking upon the book’s overly informal style and its use of “idyllic” language. After reading out one rather optimistic passage about the effect that an Ikea bed will have on your sleep, he comments drily that “it is tempting at this point to put the book away, and carry on snoozing without it”.

He also draws upon Freud to take apart the Ikea catalogue’s description of happiness as “a super-comfy sofabed, a few side tables, and a strong wi-fi connection”. But alongside these disparaging remarks, Karasek does slip in details of its “astounding” print run of 220 million copies, even if he concludes that it lacks “everything” required to make it a literary novel. Funny stuff.

Credits:
Agency: Wirz Werbung Zürich
ECD: LIvio Dainese, Fernando Perez
Creative director: Caspar Heuss, Michael Schmidt
Creatives: Luca Schneider, Wolfgang Bark
Production company: Big Fish

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