IKEA Canada celebrates home learning

Who: IKEA Canada, with Rethink (plus several other international and domestic agencies — explanation below), Alter Ego, Vapor, R&D Productions.

What: A new brand spot, “Home Lessons,” that highlights all of the new skills we’ve learned since we’ve been stuck at home because of the pandemic. It ladders up to the brand’s “Beautiful Possibilities” platform.

When & Where: The TV spot debuts today (June 25) and is being extended across out-of-home, social, digital and in-store. Those elements include a call-to-action inviting Canadians to share the new skills they learned from home using the #IKEAHomeLessons hashtag.

Why: The new spot is a follow-up to April’s “Make the Most of Home” series, paying tribute to the home as the most important place in the world. In keeping with previous efforts like “Stuff Monster” and “Lamp 2,” the new spot also leans hard into sustainability and circularity, which IKEA says will be “prominent themes” in its marketing going forward.

“We want Canadians to take time to reflect on what they’ve learned and to feel optimistic toward the future,” says Johanna Andrén, who joined IKEA Canada as country marketing manager in January. “While these have been incredibly challenging times for many, they have also sparked new possibilities and truly enabled all of us to reflect on what’s most important.”

How: The 30-second spot shows how people learned new lessons at home during self-isolation, from how to give their kids haircuts, to growing their own vegetables to connecting with others both personally and professionally.

In keeping with IKEA’s penchant for soundtracking its spots with emotionally resonant music (Cat Stevens’ “Tea for the Tillerman,” covers of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” and Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love”) this spot features a gentle acoustic version of Jimmy Eat World’s popular pop-rock song “The Middle.”

Wait a minute, that looks like a non-COVID shoot: You’re right, but there’s a twist. The spot is comprised of spliced-together footage from prior commercials created for IKEA in markets around the world (see the complete list below). IKEA worked with several markets, including Belgium, Italy, Switzerland/Germany, the U.K. and Greece, to compile the footage. It also includes clips from three former Rethink spots (“Magic Man,” “Bottled” and “Wonderful World”), as well as a clip from the 2016 spot “Make Every Second Count,” created by IKEA’s former Canadian agency, Leo Burnett.

So could this become a new way of working? “We have a wonderful marketing community globally and we often collaborate, share ideas and get inspired by each other’s work,” says Andrén. “The ‘Home Lessons’ spot is a fantastic example of the togetherness of our marketing community collecting advertising content from six different markets, a core value at IKEA. I can call any marketing manager across the world and discuss/share content.

And we quote: “It’s no secret that these past few months have tested us, our relationships, and our homes. It has been full of challenges: parenting, strained relationships, awkward living spaces, solitude and economic uncertainty. But has also sparked new possibilities: renewed appreciation for little things, time to reflect, quality time with loved ones and the opportunity to learn something new. The inspiration for this new campaign came from that insight, and we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the little lessons we’ve learned at home that we would otherwise never have learned in ‘normal times.'” —Johanna Andrén, country marketing manager, IKEA Canada

Credit list (in order of appearance):

• IKEA Global; “Make Room for Life”; Agency: ACNE/IKEA Creative Hub

• IKEA Belgium; “Skate”; Agency: DDB Brussels

• IKEA UK; “Silence the Critics”; Agency: Mother London

• IKEA Canada; “Magic Man”; Agency: Rethink

• IKEA Italy; “#RipartiamoDaCasa”; Agency: DDB Group Italy 

• IKEA Canada; “Bottled”; Agency: Rethink

• IKEA Greece; “More Houses”; Agency: Foss Productions

• IKEA Germany and IKEA Switzerland; “Fill Your Life with Home”; Agency: Vice

• IKEA Canada; “Wonderful World”; Agency: Rethink

• IKEA Canada; “Make Every Second Count”; Agency: Leo Burnet

Chris Powell