IKEA – Save The Lamp & Moo Cow – Unboring (2002) / By Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Mar 07

These are older (2002) commercials for IKEA produced by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami and directed by Spike Jonze (Director, Being John Malkovich, Tenacious D, Adaptation, etc) and Clay Williams.

They are great ads to explore when talking about creative briefs because there’s a lot of info about them on the web and some great insight that helps writing a reverse-creative-brief (since we have no access to the real creative brief… do you? If you do, drop us a line!)

Save The Lamp (Spike Jonze)

Moo Cow Milker (Clay Williams)

The Unboring campaign won Grand Prix in the “Film” category for the world’s best TV and cinema ads at the 50th Annual Cannes Lions Advertising Festival (2003), the International ANDY Awards 2003, Grand Clio at the CLIO Awards 2003, London International Advertising Awards (2003) and The Gunn Report 2003 for Most Awarded TV Ad

Client: IKEA
Ad: Save The Lamp (Spike Jonze) / Moo Cow Milker (Clay Williams)
Campaign: Unboring
Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami
Creative Director: Alex Bogusky
Associate Creative Director: Paul Keister
Art Directors: Mark Taylor, Steve Mapp
Copywriter: Ari Merkin
Agency Producer: Rupert Samuel
Production Company: Morton Jankel Zander
Production Designers: Mark Taylor, Steve Mapp
Producer: Vince Landay
Director: Spike Jonze
Music: Wren Clyce, Ren Klyce, Mitt Out Sound
Editor: Eric Zumbrunnen, Spot Welders
Cutter: Eric Zumbrunnen
Kamera (DoP): Rodrigo Prieto
Management Supervisor: Rick Humphrey
Account Supervisor: Marianne Pizzi

Background / Insight:

The average North American will have in their lifetime 9 watches, 7 cars, 5 jobs, 4 homes, 3 dogs, 2.5 cats, 1.5 spouses – and only 1.5 dining room tables.  The challenge faced by IKEA, according to Christian Mathieu, External Marketing Manager, IKEA US/Canada:

“to tap into the feelings and emotions that people have about their furniture.”

In a year long multi-media and interactive campaign that began in 2002, IKEA sought to free Americans from their attachments to old furniture.  The campaign encouraged people to get rid of old, sad furniture and bring in fresh new items – preferably IKEA.

(source: IKEA fans website)

To get greater insight as to the marketing plan and the account planning research, check out IKEA’s official press release at:


Plymouth Meeting, PA, September 16, 2002 — IKEA, the leading home furnishings retailer, announced today the launch of a new multi-million dollar marketing campaign that does something that many would say is risky – it pokes fun at our tendency to hold on to old, outdated furniture, and challenges us to break that addiction.

In a 2002 New York Times article, Alex Bogusky (of Crispin Porter + Bogusky) added:

”Generally, advertising doesn’t call you crazy. We’re trying to jolt people out of the mentality in buying furniture that ‘I’ll die with this.’ We’re not saying, ‘Hey, get rid of stuff and get new stuff all the time.’ We’re saying, ‘If you’re living a life that’s short of what you’d like, you don’t need to.’ ”

Reverse Creative Brief

If we had to guess how would the creative brief for the Unboring campaign might have looked like…

  • What is the (perceptual) problem we are trying to solve?
    North Americans have an emotional (almost nostalgic) attachment to their furniture.

  • Who are we talking to? (target audience)
    Jill is a nostalgic person. Comfort and stability are an important part of her personality but she desires to spice up her life. One of Jill’s fears is that she’ll wake up one day thinking “where did my life go?”

  • What do they currently think of us/the brand/the idea? (current perception)
    Being nostalgic and having an emotional attachment to things (furniture, her car, etc) gives Jill a sense of comfort and stability but may lead to a boring lifestyle.

  • What do we want them to think about us/the brand/the idea? (future perception)
    We’d like Jill to realize that comfort and stability (while important sometimes) are the enemy of practical improvement and of having a more exciting life.

  • What is the SINGLE most important idea we’d like to communicate?
    Having an emotional attachment to old (as in less practical) furniture doesn’t make any sense.

  • What is the best way to communicate that idea? (strategy, tone of voice, feel, mood)
    play on emotions, poke-people to wake-up, offer an alternative lifestyle.

  • How do we know we’re right? (support)
    “The average North American will have in their lifetime 9 watches, 7 cars, 5 jobs, 4 homes, 3 dogs, 2.5 cats, 1.5 spouses – and only 1.5 dining room tables”

What do you think? Did we nail it? What would your creative brief for the Unboring campaign look like?

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