The ad, by Mother London, was a venture into the unknown, admits Kemi Anthony, Ikea's advertising manager for UK & Ireland. The ad took six months to realise and was a challenge both technically and in aligning with Ikea's brand image "But," says Anthony, "we want great, not nice."
"Ghosts" is the brand’s callout to get more daring with fabrics and is part of the retailer’s #WonderfulEveryday strategy.
In the ad, a couple leave their house for the evening, whereupon a group of dull white-sheeted ghosts begin a decidedly lifeless party. That's until a host of brightly-textiled gate-crashers liven things up with outrageous dance moves and awesome tunes. When the couple return, the ghosts melt away, leaving the home cheerfully transformed by the Swedish retailer’s colourful materials.
The commercial was directed through Blink by Dougal Wilson who shot Ikea’s 2015 "T-shirts", in which garments make a long journey home, like birds.
"Ikea tickles us deliciously while weaving a tale that balances the retailer’s slightly out-of-reach and fantasy feel with a superbly solid insight, plus product in all its glory underpinned by a smasher of a line: ‘Be a maverick with fabric’," says Matt Davis, executive creative director at The Red Brick Road and a Thinkbox Academy judge. "Take a bow, writer."
Second and third in the March/April Thinkboxes Awards for TV ad creativity were "It’s Time To Power Your Life Differently" for Ovo Energy by Uncomon Creative Studio and "Goodluck" for Guinness Africa by AMV BBDO. Also shortlisted were "Cake Stall" for Jaguar Land Rover by The Outfit and "Louise's Story" for The Royal Navy by WCRS.
The Thinkboxes, in association with Campaign, are the only bi-monthly awards that celebrate the UK’s world-beating TV ad creativity, in all its forms. They’re judged by the Thinkbox Academy – 200 advertising and marketing luminaries who have been involved in award-winning creative work for TV.
Go backstage at the party and find out about the making of the "Ghosts" in the June issue of Campaign.
Thinkbox is the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, in all its forms. Its shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Media Innovations and UKTV. Thinkbox works with the marketing community with a single ambition: to help advertisers get the best out of today’s TV.