The central idea of the ad is the notion of home. Here's the blurb from Ikea's website:
IKEA believes that homes are not just made of bricks and mortar with four walls. Home is an emotion - a feeling of security, safety, comfort, peace, about being yourself and being together with your loved ones. Home is the place where memories are made, relationships are built, where children and families grow together. IKEA believes that regardless of where you live or who you are, home is the most important place in the world.It's a wonderful idea, for sure. Evokes warm feelings. Who doesn't like the idea of home?
The problem is with the visuals in its TV ad. The ad contains pictures of various types of homes - apartments, single-family homes, a horse trailer, a house perched on the edge of a spectacular cliff, a boathouse, farmhouse, a tent in a desert. It also has a shot of a structure fashioned out of rags, plastic sheets and paper on the back of an old, abandoned car. Right at that point, the grating, all-knowing voice-over intones,
...because wherever you are, whoever you are, home is the most important place in the world.I don't know the jargon, but this is one of those feel-good ads that's supposed to evoke favorable feelings in the viewer about the company. It does not directly sell a product. But it's Ikea. You know exactly what they are selling. And the point is, whoever lives in that contraption of rags and metal and paper is homeless. They don't have a place they can call their own in this whole wide world. They probably can't afford even the cheapest of Ikea's formidably low-priced products. Even if they could, they would have no place to put it. No, they are not secure, safe, at peace or comfortable. They are probably on someone else's land, living in fear that at any point they might be thrown out.
The ad was pleasant enough when it started out. Some of the shots are visually stunning. But by the end, it left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
Here's the ad from Ikea's website (you will need RealPlayer).
I tried to find the ad on YouTube. They don't have the version they are playing here in the US, but they do have this: