Adwatch: Ikea shows product doesn't have to be poor relation of brand

Sandie Dilger, strategy partner at Ogilvy reviews "Ghosts" by Mother.

Ikea’s "Wonderful Everyday" is on my ‘list’. Up there with "Meet The Superhumans", "The last place you want to go" and "This Girl Can" for ideas that I wish I had been part of.

As a strategy, "Wonderful Everyday" skilfully manages to elevate Ikea and its products way beyond flat packed boxes whilst at the same time humbly acknowledging that it is home life and not Ikea that take centre stage.

But for me, what it is perhaps best at, is showing us brand advertising snobs who spend our days imploring our clients to think less product and more brand, that product advertising can be just as powerful, if not more so, to build a brand. 

"Ghosts" is back to what Ikea does best; elevating not just everyday life, but everyday products

Ikea has had a few forays into ‘brand advertising’, leaning, in my view, less distinctively on more general observations of everyday home life (see "Hooray for the Everyday" and "Wonderful Life"). However, "Ghosts" is back to what Ikea does best; elevating not just everyday life, but everyday products.

In the past, we’ve been encouraged to discover 'the joy of storage' or to 'win at sleeping', this time we are implored to 'be a maverick with fabric'.  Executionally, whilst it relies on the ‘when the cats away’ trope, it feels brilliantly relatable. We’ve all been to the dull house party populated by the plain white ghosts (though I do love a good game of Kerplunk), just as many of us have agonised over what specific shade of white to paint our hallway (Cornforth White, FYI).

Thankfully the patterns arrive to liven up events and the Ikea logo at the end reminds us that it probably won’t break the bank to dabble with a Tarbak rug or Fransine patterned cushion. I reckon it might just encourage me to pick some pattern up along with my tealights, tupperware and chest of drawers for the spare room (white, naturally) the next time I find myself there. I am both entertained and motivated. Perhaps product and brand aren’t as mutually exclusive as we think. 

Sandie Dilger is a strategy partner at Ogilvy