IKEA Canada turns to a synth-pop classic to promote its Sleep Event

Who: IKEA Canada, with Rethink, Revolver Films, Saints Editorial, The Vanity, Alter Ego and Carat for media.

What: “Swede Dreams,” a new spot promoting the retailer’s annual Sleep Event.

When & Where: The spot begins airing today across TV and online video. It’s part of a broader campaign supporting the event that runs through Sept. 23.

Why: It’s promoting one of the home furnishing retailer’s tentpole sales events. It follows last year’s “Night Owls” campaign and the successful “Bedtime” campaign, which saw IKEA send targeted YouTube ads to people up late at night watching things like cat videos and sports highlights.

How: Directed by Scott Cudmore (who also helmed “The Wardrobe” ad for the retailer’s annual storage event earlier this year) “Swede Dreams” features a montage of people settling in for a night’s sleep, only to struggle because there’s too much light in the room, their partner is hogging the covers, etc.

It sounds like a standard sleep event commercial, except this one is presented like a music video—with bedrooms bathed in blue and red light and soundtracked by a cover of the ’80s synth-pop song “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” sung (sort of) by IKEA’s longtime radio voice, Jonas Fornander.

In heavily-accented English, Fornander sings adapted lyrics like “shut off the glow through your curtains/quit your tossin’ and turnin.'” The spot ends with callouts promoting specific IKEA bedroom items like the Småsporre comforter and Klubbsporre pillow. The French-language creative uses a version of the song “T’es Dans La Lune” (“You Are in the Moon”) by the popular 1980s and 1990s Quebec band Les B.B.

About that song: A press release credits it as a ’90s song by La Bouche, not the Eurythmics (who first released the song in 1983), which makes us feel kinda old. Anyway, the song has popped up in countless movies and TV shows over the years, as well as ads by brands as varied as Honda, Sony PlayStation and the BBC.

We could use a good night’s rest: According to government of Canada data, one quarter of Canadian adults 18-34 and one-third of adults 35-64 aren’t getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

And our sleep quality isn’t very good either, with half of adults having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, one in five not finding their sleep refreshing, and one-third having difficulty staying aware during the day.

And we quote: “Sleep is absolutely critical to our health and wellbeing and Canadians just aren’t getting enough of it. So at IKEA Canada, we want to help. We believe in the power of a complete sleep. With the right, personalized solutions, you can create the kind of environment required to get the rest you need.” — Lena Dukic, brand director, IKEA Canada.

Chris Powell