IKEA Lamp part 2: It’s lit

Who: IKEA Canada and Rethink

What: A clever new TV spot for its “Beautiful Possibilities” platform that delivers a strong brand message to consumers, while also sharing an inside joke with industry professionals.

How: “Lamp 2” is a sequel to the famous Spike Jonez “Lamp” ad from 2002 in which viewers were tricked into feeling sorry for a sad desk lamp replaced by a newer IKEA model and left at the curb. The spot ends with a man appearing to mock viewers for their misplaced sentimentality (“You’re crazy”).

The new version begins with a discarded lamp being picked up by a young girl, taken home and put back to use. Most viewers won’t realize (or care) that this ad about recycling old products also recycles an old idea, but ad folks will appreciate it.

What else: Aside from the nudge-nudge to the industry, the ad really is delivering a strong message for the brand. Sixteen years ago it was just throw out that lamp and get a new one. Now the message is, are you sure you need to throw out that lamp? At a time when huge consumer brands have mastered the art of planned obsolescence, this remains a unique space for a marketer, occupied by the likes of Patagonia and few others.

IKEA calls it being a “circular” business, meaning it intends to build products that last longer and use fully recyclable or sustainable materials in their construction. It’s also creating programs to give its products a second life, such as actively supporting second-hand marketplaces, like Kijiji. -David Brown

David Brown

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