The IKEA “Lamp” commercial starts off by playing on your emotions before delivering a knockout blow, based on making furniture fashionable.
In 2002, Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s Paul Keister and his team were lounging about at his place, coming up with the approach that would ultimately win them the business. You can get rid of your furniture if you don’t like it.
The realisation was that, for some inexplicable reason, individuals are reluctant to get rid of their old furniture. This is funny because people in this group are more likely than average to buy big things like cars, jewelry, and even property. Some folks have more wives than they have coffee tables. It could be emotional. Maybe they end up feeling a special connection to these inanimate objects.
One idea was to depict old heavy furniture as tombstones in a cemetery. There were others too.
To demonstrate how absurd this is, it was Ari Merkin’s idea that first played on people’s emotions before completely surprising them. Art directors Steven Mapp and Mark Taylor helped him perfect the concept.
Perhaps most known for his work on Being John Malkovich, director Spike Jonze set out to create a commercial with a melancholy tone.
Because director Spike Jonze wanted the guy to seem like “an Ikea worker who’d wandered out of the shop and into the street,” he hired Jonas Fornander, a complete non-actor, for the role. Fornander was meant to represent Ikea as a whole.
Opening on an Ikea red bulb in the corner of a room. As the lamp is thrown out into the street, sad piano music tugs at the listener’s heart. When finally deciding to turn the switch, the process is painstakingly slow and methodical. A strange Swedish guy walks up to the camera and says, “Many of you feel bad for this lamp. That is because you are crazy. It has no feelings, and the new one is much better. “
One of the crew members took the prop home when filming wrapped. It was sent to Crispin Porter + Bogusky along with a message that parodied the commercial’s language: “See? You’ve fallen for it. “You’ve grown attached to the lamp, and you are crazy.”
It was a classic bait-and-switch when it made you feel sorry for an inanimate thing, only to scold you for your emotions abruptly.
The 60-second commercial was the first part of the “Unböring” campaign.