The Swedish furniture giant pokes fun at high-end rival brands in an ad that manages to have its cake and cook it.
The cost of living crisis poses somewhat of a unique challenge to advertisers at the moment. On the one hand, consumers like being wooed with images of glamour, luxury and exclusivity. On the other hand, many don’t have much money right now and don’t want their faces rubbed in it.
So, how do you square the circle? Well, if you’re clever, there are ways to appeal to both contradictory desires. And a new ad for IKEA, part of a campaign led by Mother London, shows one tongue-in-cheek way to do it.
The campaign appears to be for a high-end, pretentious kitchen retailer called Eureka Spiritsis, boasting a 25-year guarantee, quality workmanship, seamless functionality and deluxe style, with guidance from kitchen specialists. But there’s one catch: it’s actually an anagram, which, when unscrambled, reveals ‘SURPRISE, IT’S IKEA’. The premium kitchen is really an IKEA kitchen and was right under the viewer’s nose the whole time.
Dark and mysterious
The AV begins in a dark and mysterious room where a woman plays the cello under a spotlight. A pompous and enigmatic man then walks into the frame, and the camera follows him as his hand gently glides over a luxurious kitchen counter.
In a playfully pretentious style, the camera focuses on the man’s face as he proudly declares: “We are Eureka Spiritsis.” Around him, other parts of the kitchen appear as if by magic, as the man waxes lyrical about the unique detailing of the kitchen, their highly trained kitchen specialists and the 25-year guarantee.
The AV closes with a wide shot as studio lights suddenly flash on, revealing the complete IKEA kitchen in all its glory. A ‘EUREKA SPIRTISIS’ title appears, then unscrambles to reveal ‘SURPRISE, IT’S IKEA”. The recognisable IKEA voiceover closes the film by saying: “So we lied about the name. But everything else is true.”
The overall effect is to associate the brand with style and luxury while at the same time reminding people their stuff is shockingly cheap. Basically, it’s a clever way for IKEA to have their cake and eat it (or should that be cook it?).
And that’s not all. Over on TikTok, bespoke content has been created with the leading etiquette expert William Hanson to create a 30s-style hero film that explains the etiquette behind ‘how to use an IKEA kitchen’. There are also three bespoke 10-second edits focusing on key proof points around quality, design and service.
IKEA even held a media and influencer at The Hackney in East London, where guests were led to believe they were attending a launch event for the new, premium brand. At the event, which was centred around the same kitchen that features in the ad, it was revealed by a spokesperson that they’d actually been invited by IKEA.
The campaign was teased with in-market targeted communications in early January, with the wider campaign now being rolled out across the UK. The fully integrated campaign will be live across streaming video, TikTok, press and editorial, Pinterest and Meta, display, in-store and the IKEA website.
Kemi Anthony, marketing communication manager for IKEA UK & Ireland, says: “Kitchens are at the heart of every home, and through this campaign, we want to show that IKEA kitchens are stylish, practical and built to last by debunking some common misconceptions. With our playful misdirection, we want to give consumers a pleasant surprise and put IKEA kitchen’s design, quality, and expertise front and centre of the conversation.”