Saturday, 11 September 2010

Ikea can haz interwebs cultyure?

Cats had to get into video designed for the TV screen sooner or later didn't they? The thinking behind Ikea's 'Happy Inside' video is pretty straightforward: the brand premise is aspirational but cheap, and the trade off for cheap is the dehumanising big box trolley dash of the shopping experience. So what would make an Ikea warehouse look like a home? Cats. And cats conveniently enough also have the power to spread videos on the internet. Here's the background.

So far, so awesome. But when you see the finished TV ad, a lot of that potential awesomeness has vanished. Although cat videos are the internet's uber-meme, there is no trace of reference to them other than the animals themselves. The cats are being used outside of the rich seam of references that could be played upon in the films. Which makes it all a little bit 'glossy production no culture'.

It all seems to be taking itself a bit seriously. Now since we're talking about serious TV ads here's how to do several levels of postmodern category awareness. Baby Carrots: Eat 'Em Like Junk Food is the best ad I've seen since Old Spice - it plays every 'taking itself too seriously' trick/cliche in the book with the full knowledge that the audience know that they are tricks/cliches too, and that it is only by going to the ironic extreme that a junk food ad would go to seriously, that you can suggest re-evaluating baby carrots in a junk food wrapper. And more importantly they are fun.

Sort of like Tango - an excuse to embed my favourite 90s Tango ad


john v willshire said...

Yep, agree about the missed opportunity. Unless there's something more to come.

Smacks a little of 'hey, we've got this cool new high-speed capture HD camera for the film crew, and do you know what looks cool shot in that? Moving fur...'. 'Happy Inside' is a great line to be fair.

Also... by picking cats, surely they alienate a fair proportion of the population who think cats are bastards? Which they are, btw.

And also also... I presume if you're allergic to cats, you shouldn't go to that IKEA for a while? Everything's covered in cat hair.

(These views on cats are my own personal views, not those of my employer. But it is scientifically proven that cats are po-faced catty bastards.)

walterbayliss said...

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Graeme Wood said...

yeh, but they make the internet go round...

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