Back in 2002 IKEA came out with this now iconic ad about a forlorn lamp. The ad worked so well because it expertly played on our emotions (we won’t tell if you get a little misty), using the tropes and patterns millions of ads have set up before it, only to crash into those expectations with a hilarious ending that perfectly fits the IKEA brand. The ad, directed by quirky feature film director Spike Jonze, showcased IKEA’s sense of humor, style, and high production values.
Sixteen years later, IKEA has released a sequel ad. Still playing on our emotions, still encouraging us to laugh at ourselves, but this time with a different ending that speaks to the current eco-friendly trend. As this article from Fast Company points out, “earnest optimism replaces the original wisecrack.”
Watched together, the two ads show how a brand can adapt to changing consumer sensibilities, while still remaining true to itself. It’s also interesting to note that while the first ad used a big-name director, the second one did not. Spending the money to use a director like Spike Jonze, known for music videos and feature films like Being John Malkovich, made sense for IKEA in 2002, when they were still establishing their international reputation. Having done that, they are able to leverage that investment more than a decade later.
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