Ikea Norway keeps it very real in latest ad campaign

Rather than show a picture-perfect life, Ikea Norway’s new campaign embraces the grittiness of home, including scenes of puke and dog pee

There are three ads in the new campaign from ad agency Try, each of which flip a switch halfway through from being a glossy lifestyle ad to showing some of the more unpleasant realities of home life. The spots then end with the tagline, ‘Life is not an Ikea catalogue’.

The most innocuous of the three ads shows parents arriving home to the aftermath of a teenage party, with all the ensuing mess. From there, the ads up the ante, with Ikea’s clean and tidy furniture shown being peed and vomited on.

We’re used to Ikea taking an unexpected approach in its advertising to get attention: Try’s campaign for the brand last year highlighted how death and divorce can lead to a surplus of unwanted furniture (and promoted an initiative from the brand to buy back old items from customers).

But this recent campaign, especially the vomiting spot, has caused something of a reaction in Norwegian customers, both positive (for showing life as it really is) and negative (for showing puke).

The negativity doesn’t seem to be bother Ikea Norway’s head of marketing communication, Annika Mørch Asté, however, who comments: “Ikea products are made to let you handle the everyday, because we believe that both furniture and your home are meant to be used.

“Sure, it’s a bit rough to see our products on TV covered in vomit and dog pee,” she laughs. “But life isn’t always neat and tidy, so we think it’s great that the campaign can reflect just that.”

Agency: Try
Creatives: Caroline Riis, Eirik Sørensen
Designer: Mats Mæland
Production Company: Pravda
Director: Morten Borgestad
DoP: Jon Gaute Espevold
Editor: Henrik Berge