Select Page

IKEA’s Arresting Kitchen Activity Commercials

Swedish Furniture Company IKEA has been instrumental in providing much impetus for what some sociologists refer to as ‘The Modern IKEA Society’ to describe the predominantly urban, and very mobile consumer segment of home improvement seekers and doers,

IKEA’s long running retail communication campaign about their flexible kitchen design solutions, are particularly appealing in their topical focus on adaptive lifestyle consciousness and responsible food sustainability practices.

The Eagerly Awaited IKEA Catalogue

IKEA’s commercials are primarily about comforting spaces and understanding the lifestyles of the people who occupy them.

Their main advertising medium however, is their yearly, August catalogue that accounts for 70% of their annual budget.

The 300 page catalogues take 18 months to plan, design and produce, and are one of the world’s most distributed publications. Sales of IKEA’s 2018 catalogue, for example, reached a total of 203 million.

Their catalogues are also made available online as part of IKEAS’s offline and integrated online advertising strategy, that has successfully seen the catalogue reach a cult-like Internet following in many countries.

1. IKEA, The Book That Will Change Your Life

Advertising Agency: Memac Ogilvy, Dubai, UAE

IKEA’s 2020 catalogue advertising campaign for the UAE, Egypt, Qatar and Oman, features an entertaining tongue-in-cheek commercial directed by filmmaker Samir Mallal.

The story about how Ali’s life is transformed after discovering the ‘The book that will change your life’, and subsequently becoming a ‘Life Guru’, is highly watchable.

The soundtrack music is by composer, arranger, songwriter and producer, Francesco D’Andrea.

2. IKEA, Recipes for Delicious Kitchens

Advertising Agency: BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty) Asia, Singapore.

Directed by Javier Laurenco, the ‘Recipes for Delicious Kitchens’ commercial is a visual delight and an entertaining demonstration of the many versatile options on offer awaiting to be explored at IKEA stores.

3. IKEA, Scrap du Soleil

Advertising Agency: Rethink, Toronto, Canada

Choreographed by Artistic and Stage Director Lydia Bouchard of Montreal’s famed entertainment troupe ‘Cirque du Soleil’, the commercial features dancers Véronique Giasson and Rahmane Belkebiche.

Directed by filmmaker Mark Zibert, as part of IKEA’s food sustainability campaign, ‘kitchen-ballet’ is an entertaining depiction of how the joy of shared cooking activities, in an IKEA designed kitchen, can be beautiful and gracefully simple.

4. IKEA, Dramatic Food Waste

Advertising Agency: Instinct BBDO, Moscow, Russia

IKEA’s bid to encourage a more sensible, considerate approach to Christmas consumption, and not to discard excess food carelessly, was directed by filmmaker Ilya Naishuller.

The entertainingly dramatised commercial, serves as a timely reminder that having adequate storage containers for preserving leftover food is an essential part of sustainable kitchen practice.

5. IKEA, Cooking With Parents

Advertising Agency: IKEA Creative Hub, Malmö, Sweden

Production Company: Acne/Redloop, Malmö, Sweden

Directed by Rene Villar-Rios and Daniel Skoglund, IKEA’s ‘Cooking With Parents’ is about encouraging families to take a break from watching television and spend more productive, ‘family-bonding time’, in the kitchen.

Children however, view the prospect of returning to the kitchen and having fun cooking together as being conditional. Their ‘Manifesto To Parents’, entertainingly delivered with authoritative panache by the commercial’s young star, lists 5 basic rules that need to be followed before they commit to returning to family kitchen activities.

6. IKEA, Cooking Is Caring

Advertising Agency: Buzzman, Paris

Directed by Katia Lewkowicz, this amusing story deals insightfully with a familiar real life scenario about separated parents and their divided responsibilities in caring for their young offspring.

The amusing story of a young lad’s ‘guilt trips’, and how he cleverly manipulates the rivalry between his parents to his tasty advantage, makes for rewarding viewing.

7. IKEA, Rediscover The Joy of The Kitchen

Advertising Agency: Mother, London, UK

Directed by filmmaker Juan Cabral, the commercial stars Capuchin, Howler, and Spider monkeys, from Costa Rica’s Jaguar Monkey Sanctuary.

Filmed on location in Costa Rica’s rainforest over four days, using seven cameras, was a challenging undertaking as MJZ Production Company Film Producer Stephen Johnson revealed on

“One thing I learned from the shoot is that monkeys don’t do what you want them to do. They would run all over the set and steal equipment, jump on crew and pinch their belongings”.

“All the crew and the equipment had to be camouflaged or hidden so as not to distract the monkeys”.

8. IKEA, Meals Are Not a Competition

Advertising Agency: Acne, Stockholm, Sweden

IKEA’s call to ‘Let’s Relax, Meals Are Not a Competition’, is a lavish, cinematic commercial with a superbly art directed period setting and character portrayal about rediscovering the simple joy of cooking, eating, and being together.

Directed by filmmaking duo Tomas Skoging and Filip Nilsson, the story is aimed at motivating thoughtful consideration of the expectations that make our lives unnecessarily demanding.