Ikea turns 30: our favourite UK ads from the creative retailer

Ikea has built a reputation for pushing creative boundaries in advertising and marketing. Campaign looks back at some of its best ads as the brand marks 30 years in the UK.

Ikea's 'Beds' ad from 2014
Ikea's 'Beds' ad from 2014

Ikea is marking 30 years in the UK this month. To celebrate, the retailer has taken over a townhouse in London for a week of house parties to explore how the British living room has evolved over the decades.

The brand is known for pushing the boundaries creatively with outstanding marketing and advertising, and last year was named Campaign’s Creative Marketer of the Year. Below we take a look at some of the most memorable ads from Ikea’s UK history.

"Chuck out your chintz" by St Luke’s (1996)

This classic commercial encouraged British housewives to throw away fussy furnishings and embrace clean and contemporary design.

"Make a fresh start" by St Luke’s (1999)

This spot about people making a fresh start in relationships caused some controversy at the time for supposedly trivialising divorce and promoting homosexuality.

"Stop being so English" by St Luke’s (2000)

Ikea takes a swipe at "uptight and snotty" English taste with a Swedish narrator who advises people to be "more relaxed and less formal with your furniture."

"Elite designers against Ikea" by Karmarama (2003)

Angry "elite" designer Van den Puup rages against Ikea’s inexpensive furniture.

"Cats" by Mother (2010)

Ikea released a herd of 100 cats who make themselves at home in the retailer’s Wembley branch.

"Kitchen party" by Mother (2010)

Two awkward guys arrive at a house party to discover that the real fun is happening in the kitchen.

"Playin’ with my friends" by Mother (2012)

Giant toys come to life to help children and their families have a good time together.

"Gnomes" by Mother (2013)

What was meant to be a light-hearted spot became one of the most complained about ads for the "violence" of a couple killing off a swarm of revenge-seeking garden gnomes.

"There’s no bed like home" by Mother (2014)

The craft on display in this dreamy ad was simply unmatched that year.

"T-shirts" by Mother (2015)

Directed by Dougal Wilson, this ad brings to life T-shirts which make a long journey home.

"Monkeys" by Mother (2015)

Curious monkeys discover a kitchen in the jungle and wreak havoc.

Dining Club by Hope & Glory (2016)

Ikea received 3,800 requests for a slot at its Shoreditch dining club, a 16-day event inviting guests to be the chef at a DIY restaurant.

"Lion man" by Mother (2017)

Even lions take time off to relax, but not everything is as it first appears in this charming spot.

Allen the Peregrine Falcon by Mother (2017)

This year to celebrate its store opening in Sheffield, the brand pulled out all the stops, including creating a giant sculpture of a peregrine falcon out of allen keys.