Brooke Shields set to recline comfortably in La-Z-Boy campaign

By David Kiefaber on Tue Oct 19 2010


La-Z-Boy is courting women with an upcoming ad campaign starring Brooke Shields, who will be the face of the furniture manufacturer's drive to show that they make stuff besides recliners. And it's a full range of stuff we're talking about: La-Z-Boy is trotting out sofas, modular pieces, love seats, leather upholstery and anything else that's attractive to middle-class housewives. In fact, Shields got picked for being a celebrity mom who's still hot enough to keep La-Z-Boy's faithful male customers hanging around—something the company basically admits outright, although it helps that she's already a spokeswoman for more noble causes like Tupperware's Chain of Confidence SMART Girls campaign. That makes her, and by proxy La-Z-Boy, seem less mercenary about convincing you to buy things from them. Since none of the ads are out yet, there's not much to say beyond remarking on how odd it is that women can sell things like La-Z-Boys but cars are out of the question.

Dance with hipsters to horrible music in your lovely Ikea kitchen

By David Kiefaber on Thu Oct 14 2010

This slick TV spot by Mother London for Ikea's kitchen furniture has a really cool, almost theatrical set that frames one of the worst songs I've ever heard—Jona Lewie's droning, minimalist "You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties." It's a real song, too, as this extended video demonstrates, and it doesn't get any better with added time. Is this the best they could do? I mean, the guy from Owl City plays similar stuff, and at least he doesn't sing like he's whacked out on quaaludes. But I digress. At muted volume, the ad is a treat, with an Escher-esque layout and innovative inclusion of the drawers as stairs between levels, which also shows off their storage space. Whether actual Ikea furniture could survive being stepped on by drunken revelers is up for debate, but it's a cool visual. The work upgrades the company's image from "college kid dorm room" to "monied hipster party chic," but it's going to take a lot to repel the anti-Ikea forces. Just this year, an Icelandic couple got sued for installing an Ikea kitchen in their upscale Manhattan apartment.

Ikea: an excellent choice if you like cat hair all over your furniture

By Todd Wasserman on Tue Sep 14 2010

Ikea apparently got hip to the idea that cats equal viral success. This video from ad agency Mother, for the brand's U.K. operation, shows cats descending on an Ikea location at night. If you like cats, that's cool. But since I'm more of a dog person, I thought about the coughed-up furballs and impossible-to-remove urine smell that felines are known to leave behind. Nevertheless, the cats look happy here to be ensconced in Ikea's beds. Lucky them, they don't have to try to construct this junky furniture at home. Sorry, did that sound catty? There's also a behind-the-scenes video, which you can see here.

Ikea plays supporting role again, this time in guerrilla soap opera

Posted on Wed Sep 23 2009

Ikea was the unlikely backdrop to a cutesy scene in the indie hit (500) Days of Summer, and now it's the unlikely backdrop to what can only be described as a guerrilla soap opera as well. Ikea Heights, a soap satire on YouTube, was supposedly shot secretly within an Ikea in Burbank, Calif., without the company's knowledge or consent. Truth be told, it's shot with a crappy digital camera, and doesn't really showcase the furniture all that well anyway, so it's plausible that Ikea really wasn't involved. (A rep from Ikea's agency, Deutsch, could not be reached for comment.) The store setting provides a surreal mise en scene for standard genre scenarios like infidelity, a lost brother and murder. Watch a few episodes and you'll never look at an Ikea bedroom set or Baby Foto studio the same way again.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Mattress dominoes brings a sleepy British bed company to life

Posted on Mon Aug 3 2009

Woo. Ugh. Oof. Ahh. Yeah, baby! And ... cue the old-fashioned saloon music. This homemade video of bored factory workers attempting a world record in mattress dominoes doubles as a nice little ad for the company, the U.K.'s Bensons for Beds. Each person stands in front of a mattress, and one by one they get knocked down with it and issue hilarious guttural noises. When the last person is knocked backward, a tune comes on that you might have heard in the Old West (a little ironic for a British company, don't you think?), and the guy lies on his mattress as it rolls along a conveyor belt. Others equip him with a blanket, pillow and sleep mask. He eventually slides into the back of a truck, a woman gets into the bed with him (oh, those racy Brits), and the doors close to display the company's logo and information. Wait a second. Was I just watching a commercial? Although the song sequence reminds me a bit too much of a Yakety Sax high-speed montage, this ad is funny and original. For an extra laugh, watch it again with your eyes closed.

—Posted by Elana Glowatz

Is that Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in an Ikea ad?

Posted on Thu Jul 30 2009

Playing "house" isn't just for children anymore. In this Ikea commercial (viewable after a pre-roll ad), young lovers played by indie-film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel hit Ikea and mess around in the various full-room set-ups. After dinner in the kitchen section, they run past a sea of couches and get cozy on a bedroom set. The spot plays with the popular notion that a joint trip to Ikea is a sign that a couple is settling down, an idea that's become somewhat of a punch line among the terminally single. Oh, wait a minute ... sorry, this isn't an Ikea ad but a clip from the new rom-com (500) Days of Summer. The Swedish furniture chain exchanged a day's shooting in its Burbank, Calif., store and $10,000 in Ikea goods for this intense product placement. Particle board never looked so glamorous.

—Posted by Elana Glowatz

Ikea's furniture sucks, but I have a soft spot for this commercial

Posted on Tue Jun 30 2009

Saw one of my favorite commercials last night. They seem to dust it off every year for a short spell and then put it away like some sort of special treat. The commercial is for Ikea, of all places. (It was created by Zig for Ikea Canada and then adapted for nine countries, including the U.S.) I've pretty much vowed never to shop at Ikea again after years of buying wobbly furniture with screws that want nothing more than to strip. Still, this spot, where the woman flees Ikea like she just robbed the place because it was so cheap, is a solid piece of 30-second cinema. Maybe it's the fact that she's dressed like an insane librarian. Maybe it's the sheer over-the-top joy she exhibits as she and her husband pull away. Or maybe it's just a relatable scenario. Generally, if I notice, I'll point it out to the person at the register if they've undercharged me (although it's usually the other way around). But given the amount of crappy furniture I've bought from that place, combined with the hours I've spent assembling it, I would have to consider letting it slide if an Ikea cashier forgot to ring me up for a shelving unit, a wicker chair or set of scented candles. I don't know if I could mount the enthusiasm that the actress in the spot summons, but I'd probably feel pretty good. Or at the very least, justified.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Is there any way to make furniture advertising a bit less terrible?

Posted on Tue Jun 9 2009

Napier Marketing Group and Imagine Advertising have joined forces to, at long last, liven up furniture advertising, which, according to Bill Napier, "has become somewhat tired and predictable," relying on gimmicky sales and "guys screaming about going out of business." Their strategy so far relies upon tying in nationally themed promotional events with branded properties, starting with Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and presumably moving on from there, although neither agency is releasing any names yet. This seems like, and is, a pretty random piece of news, since I don't recall hearing any specific complaints about the state of furniture advertising before this came floating across my transom. They've hit the furniture-marketing stereotypes on the head though. For the most part, furniture ads are low-budget, local embarrassments with muddy sound, shaky panoramas of a showroom and some guy who sounds like he lives on a Red Bull drip freaking out about the low prices. (The few bright spots include this classic from Montgomery Flea Market or the recent Red House Furniture treatise on racial harmony.) But there is a certain charm to these ads that slicker marketing overlooks, so it would be in Napier and Imagine's best interest to not simply replace crappy hucksterism with generic, touring-rock-star "Hello, [Your City Name Here]!" condescension.

—Posted by David Kiefaber

Bottles filled with Ikea stuff 'mysteriously' wash up on beaches

Posted on Tue May 26 2009

IKEAbottle copy

Years ago, Sting told the story of his message in a bottle. It seems he sent out his SOS to relay the fact that he felt lonely. Well, wasn't he surprised when "100 million bottles" washed up on the shore. It was definitely a poignant tale that spoke to the deep yearnings within each of us. Now, years later, Ikea is sending out its own messages in a bottle, but the message here is: Buy Ikea products. Four- to six-foot bottles containing Ikea chairs and other bits of furniture have "mysteriously" washed up on the beaches of Tampa, according to a Deutsch rep. This follows other Ikea guerrilla stunts like its subway-beautification project in Kobe, Japan, last year. The bottles will no doubt get attention from beachgoers, though they might prefer a free Ikea chair to sit on instead.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Readers demand that Ikea's Oval Office be quickly disassembled

Posted on Tue Jan 20 2009


Did Ikea go too far with its proposed redesign of the Oval Office? Readers of a recent Brandweek story on the subject seem to think so.
  Of the 92 comments so far, the majority rip the Swedish furniture maker, mostly for demeaning the office with "tacky" furniture. "This is a joke of bad taste from Ikea," reads one. "This is the office of the most powerful nation in the world, not some movie set for comedy," reads another. "Where's the bong?" asks a third, intimating that the results look more like a college dorm than the office of the president.
  Some readers, though, applaud Ikea's marketing acumen. "Well, as marketing stunts go, it's a gem!" writes one. Another, perhaps damning with faint praise, thinks the set "might impress a visiting dignitary from Sweden." But getting people talking, even if it was mostly to bash the brand, is proof to some that the program worked. Writes one visitor: "If buzz was the goal, its success was undeniable."

—Posted by Todd Wasserman



search Brandfreak


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner