If you took today's obsession with photographing our food and posting it on social media and applied it to the 19th century, what would you get? Ikea's latest spot is an answer to that never asked question. It's very well done, funny and poignant. And it's the latest in a long history of Ikea creating entertaining content to draw us in, before making a point about their brand.
The spot starts out with an aristocrat 19th century family being served their evening meal. As the daughter is getting ready to dig in, the dad makes her wait. Then he brings in a painter who quickly (for a painter) captures the meal on canvas, while the bored family sits and waits to start their meal. Then, the meal's painting is carried through town and country to gain the "thumbs up" approval of all the people who view it. Finally, the servants finish tabulating the approval and come back to report to the dad that his meal painting has received a resounding thumbs up approval rating. Yay!
The scene then shifts to the same family in modern time waiting as the dad snaps pictures of their meal on his cell phone. The transition is accompanied by the line, "It's a meal, not a competition." And then, Ikea tells us to "just relax." The idea is to take the time at home to actually be with the people there – not worrying about everyone else's opinion of what you're up to at that moment in time. And, of course, Ikea sells all the stuff for your home to relax with, from furniture to cooking ware.
According to a recent Adweek article, the germ of the idea flows out of Ikea's "Life at Home Report" which touts facts such as "in Shanghai, 49 percent of respondents think it's more important to have good Wi-Fi than to have social spaces at home, so they can nurture relationships without having to be out." Or that " 73 percent of people feel more at home when they cook … but 42 percent lack the time to cook daily, and potentially even feel intimidated by the perfection that "social" cooking demands in our Likes-addled brains." It also says this is the first of several "let's relax" campiagn videos. If they continue to have this kind of quality storytelling and poignancy, I can't wait.
Ikea – Let's Relax
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions for the next Ad of the Week. See you next week!