IKEA has released an ad that sees a middle-aged couple dancing gracefully through their flat, celebrating their timeless energy. The spot injects excitement into the domestic setting, showing people how beauty can pop up unexpectedly – whether in getting older, or in a humble piece of furniture. We explore the insights behind the ad, and what a furniture retailer has to gain by tackling taboos around ageing.
The IKEA spot, created by DDB Brussels, follows a couple – former figure skaters – as they slide across their living room, mimicking the skating motions of their youth. Their dance weaves around the home and various pieces of IKEA furniture, ending with the caption: ‘Bring life into your living room’. “For creatives, an IKEA briefing is a great challenge because IKEA is a particularly creative brand in its DNA,” say Antoinette Ribas and Gregory Ginterdaele, the ad’s creative team. "Every IKEA product is inspiring, smart and surprising. We wanted to have the same feeling for the film: surprise and inspire.”
The ad aims to surprise and inspire through its take on ageing – a topic that's shifting in its public conception, given that 62% of British over-65s say they don’t feel as old as they are. Because of this shift, there’s a growing demand for better representation of old age, with 75% of older people feeling that marketers completely ignore them. IKEA is addressing this by bundling together a number of things that were once brushed off as unexciting – getting older or ’grudge purchases’ like household items – and reimagining them as potentially thrilling. The company is gesturing to people’s newfound open-mindedness towards ageing and asks them to apply it to how they see their domestic setting as well.
Mira Kopolovic is a behavioural analyst at Canvas8, which specialises in behavioural insights and consumer research. She has a master’s degree in creative industries, which focused on artist-brand collaborations, and spends her spare time poring over dystopian literature.