Humorous IKEA ad doesn’t pull its punches

My tip for most creative-but-overlooked ad of the year? This integrated one for IKEA has to be a candidate, although I am of course guessing about the overlooked bit.

It may lack the pizzazz of a Billy Joel backtrack and beautiful, soft-focus production values, but it hits the spot in other ways. “Peace, Love and Storage”, devised by Mother, cleverly exploits our fascination with the war of the sexes to highlight IKEA’s natty storage solutions.

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Like most good ideas, it’s very simple. Four stand-up comedians, of both sexes, out-quip each other across a studio bedroom demarcated like a battlefield. Who are messier, men or women? By the end, we’re none the wiser, but we’ve had a good chuckle, acknowledged the verité behind some of the badinage and are left in no doubt that IKEA is chock-full of suitable storage solutions.

The show within a show, where a long ad dominates the break (this one is 60 seconds), is not in itself new. Many years ago, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe exploited the idea to great effect with Miller Time, hosted by Johnny Miller (a spoof on the Johnny Carson Show, for Miller Beers, which actually lasted 3 minutes), but it’s refreshing to see the theme in action again. And the planning insights are spot on.

Sarah Rabia, strategist at Mother, is quoted as saying: “Mess in the home is the third most common cause of domestic arguments – after sex and money. We have too much of one of them, not enough of the other two.” So now you know.

UPDATE, MAY 17, 2011: It’s heart-warming to note I was wrong on at least one count. This Mother ad will not be entirely overlooked, as IKEA has just romped home as Advertiser of the Year at the Cannes International Advertising Festival. It should be noted that Mother will not be the only beneficiary, as its client uses a wide roster of agencies. Among them are Lida (in the UK), Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors, Dutch agency Lenz and French agency La Chose.

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