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We’ve all snapped our food for Instagram at a meal. But while this used to be an act reserved for fancy, restaurant-quality food, the rise in home cooking and heightened interest in food porn has brought this compulsion into our homes. And it’s this desire to socialise and compete online that forms the basis of IKEA’s latest ad spot; ‘Let's Relax’, created by Acne.

The spot begins with an 18th century family about to tuck into a feast. Dad demands that everyone hold tight while the food is immortalised in a painting, before it’s shown to the local village, earning praise from princes and paupers alike. The spot concludes with a young girl in 2016, watching her dad snapping away at the dish he’s prepared with her head in her hands. ‘It’s a meal. Not a competition’, reads the tagline. Fitting, given that twice as many children as parents express concerns over family members oversharing on social media.

IKEA has long demonstrated that it understands its audience, but this spot really shows that it understands the context in which their products are used – it understands what interactions are carried out in the rooms people share its products with. The brand’s awareness of evolving family structures – and the way they behave in their own homes – means that the focus needed to move towards how families (however they’re made up) actually enjoy mealtimes. It speaks to the 88% of families that are less interested in technology than they are spending quality time with each other.

What would Instagram have looked like in the 18th century?
IKEA (2016) ©

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Hannah Callaghan is an account executive at Canvas8. As an Advertising Management graduate, she’s an expert in all things celebrity and pop culture.