I suppose we’d better discuss this

Juan Cabral directs an Ikea ad for Mother.

It’s like the advertising industry of 2005 decided to create a fantasy team to produce the finest ad of all time.

But, y’know, it’s 2014, so can those stalwarts of awardification still cut the mustard?

Well, for what it’s worth I think they’ve run a Stanley knife through the Colman’s like a proverbial motherfucker.

It’s one of those event ads I was brought up to believe we should aspire to.

It’ll stand out like dogs’ bollocks, intrigue, delight and satisfy.

OK, it’s not quite a Surfer, Drugstore, Grrr or Balls – it lacks a touch of relevance in closing the circle of the idea, but that’s a tiny quibble for a bloody good ad.

Hats off.

Comments 47

  1. Scamp wrote:

    So… it was all a dream?

    Posted 12 Jul 2014 at 10:46 am
  2. ben wrote:

    I think that openness to interpretation is why it falls slightly short.

    Was it all a dream, or just a thing for the ad?

    Posted 12 Jul 2014 at 11:27 am
  3. Fraggle wrote:

    I laughed a little when I saw it was for IKEA. That is a bad sign. Amazing until then. They probably didn’t need the pretentious layer of the Shakespeare dialogue over top. The visuals are what lift it. It could have been just as visually stunning and feel like a better fit for IKEA without all The Tempest talk…I think back to the Adidas ad Hello Tomorrow by Spike Jonze; it had a really nice dream like quality without being quite as far up its own ass.

    Posted 12 Jul 2014 at 12:22 pm
  4. steakandcheese wrote:

    Sorry, gonna call wank on this.

    Posted 12 Jul 2014 at 5:14 pm
  5. Original Richard H wrote:

    Lovely bit of film. In terms of spectacle, it knocks pretty much everything that’s aired so far this year into a proverbial. Lands the product, too, so the client’s happy. I look forward to seeing if it works in 30 seconds.

    Posted 12 Jul 2014 at 6:31 pm
  6. Wigan PR wrote:

    Love it. Best thing Mother have done in a long time.

    I don’t find the Shakespeare V/O pretentious at all actually. If you actually consider the content of the verse, it’s a very good fit.

    What I like most is that the client has let the agency make something slightly bizarre and surreal and trusted in them that it will make the point, as opposed to all the other ham-fisted bullshit we’re seeing around these days.

    It allows the observer/consumer to engage with the ad and make their own mind up as to what it means, rather than telling them as though they’ve got severe learning difficulties.

    Posted 13 Jul 2014 at 2:44 am
  7. Bender Smithee wrote:

    Bit long.

    Posted 13 Jul 2014 at 12:28 pm
  8. Brian Clough wrote:

    Cant wait for the DFS spoof…

    Posted 13 Jul 2014 at 7:12 pm
  9. neil christie wrote:

    Lovely work. Different, thought-provoking, moving, beautifully executed. And that Shakespeare, he was some writer.

    Posted 13 Jul 2014 at 9:08 pm
  10. Gordon Comstock wrote:

    Great copy.

    Posted 13 Jul 2014 at 9:46 pm
  11. GOUT_LEGS wrote:

    as a single mother in her late 20′s, i bloody love it.

    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 8:44 am
  12. Owl John wrote:

    Love it. Ikea beds are shit though. She should really end up at the chiropractor.

    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 10:23 am
  13. Jon wrote:

    Why not go full hog with Shakespeare over a totes emotional scene from Forest Gump? Sure there’s a heartfelt one involving a bed where someone has cancer/has aids/dies.

    Then … wham … hit’em with the Ikea logo at the end.

    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 10:26 am
  14. Gadgie wrote:


    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 10:30 am
  15. Adam wrote:

    Beautiful film of course.

    This Shakespeare guy is a pretty good copywriter.

    But when did Bill and friends become the go to copywriters for epic spots?

    Bukowski seems to be a particularly overexploited (copy)writer. http://youtu.be/e0wwLXmYN2A

    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 10:41 am
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    VO is way too much. It would have been better ad without it. Would the average IKEA customer appreciate it? I doubt it.

    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 10:47 am
  17. Alan Wilson wrote:

    This is a fantastic advert and beautiful piece of film. It’s the best thing i’ve seen in ages. Congratulations to everyone involved.

    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 11:45 am
  18. Aus wrote:

    Beautiful. Astonishingly pretentious. But beautiful.

    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 12:01 pm
  19. general consumer wrote:

    Its bang on brand.
    I’ve been to Ikea loads of times and also felt as if i was plummeting to my own death

    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 1:19 pm
  20. snoozefest wrote:

    Appalling VO at the end. But that’s nitpicking. Great ad.

    TV is dead, but what a send off.

    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 2:44 pm
  21. Anonymous wrote:

    Really like it. its a bit 9/11 but great to see ads like this being made.

    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 3:44 pm
  22. steakandcheese wrote:

    Not trying to take the piss, but I sincerely don’t get why this is good. I’ve watched it about five times now. Can someone please enlighten me as to why this is good? All I see is a nicely made piece of film that doesn’t tell me anything about why I should go to Ikea and buy a bed from them.

    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 3:52 pm
  23. Oh, do come on... wrote:

    “Kitchen at Parties” and “Playing with my Friends” bully this ad at playtime, for being a pretentious little overwrought cunt.

    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 4:27 pm
  24. Anonymouse wrote:

    Epic ads make we wince

    But there’s enough talent on show in this to keep my grumpy old wincing at bay.

    It’s very good isn’t it? I think the fact it’s an ad is my only criticism. And that’s not really a fair criticism of an ad at all.

    It won me over. Though my soul shuddered initially at the VO.

    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 4:36 pm
  25. Damo wrote:

    It’s very Juan. Remember that thing with the speakers in the Norwegian village? Some people really do live in a different universe. If I came up with stuff like this I’d get a clip round the ear and a kick up the arse.

    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 6:55 pm
  26. Fraggle wrote:

    I would hate to be part of a creative team who gets Juan Cabral to direct your ad. If it turns out well, you get no credit. Everybody would just assume he wrote, art directed, directed, produced it and catered the shoot.

    Posted 14 Jul 2014 at 9:25 pm
  27. Cynical wrote:

    It’s great, the rocket and the dog are nice touches.

    Posted 15 Jul 2014 at 12:20 am
  28. Brian Clough wrote:

    @Fraggle – To be fair he probably did write it. I saw and pitched on ‘the’ script and it bares no resemblance to the final film. Hats off to him.

    Posted 15 Jul 2014 at 8:08 am
  29. GOUT_LEGS wrote:

    to be fair @brian clough.

    when they read your treatment, it probably made them re-write it.

    And often, it takes a great creative team with confidence in themselves to love someone else’s ideas above their own and make them happen.

    still @brian clough. what a county thing to do. you cunt.

    Posted 15 Jul 2014 at 9:23 am
  30. ben wrote:

    @ Brian Clough: just for the future, it’s ‘bears no resemblance’.

    Posted 15 Jul 2014 at 9:30 am
  31. Adam T wrote:

    I think this is really rather good. There’s also no stupid fucking participation bollocks asking me to upload my own plummeting experience. Well done Juan. Never thought you were a particularly gifted director, but I shall now dine on the words I never actually uttered.

    ‘Bares no resemblance’ sounds much better. Like having a different-shaped cock to the next man.

    Posted 15 Jul 2014 at 11:50 am
  32. Brian Clough wrote:

    Thanks Ben, noted. I do struggle with my dyslexia.

    @GOUT_LEGS Sorry i didn’t mean to offend, i just think credit where it is due; Credit to Juan for writing it and directing it so beautifully and to the team for supporting him and having bravery to back him.
    It’s hard losing out on good jobs but so much easier when they are realised so beautifully by someone else. Just an opinion its what makes the world go round.

    Posted 15 Jul 2014 at 12:52 pm
  33. It floats wrote:

    Looks epic, feels epic, looks like a kid’s story movie, feels like a kid’s story movie from the 90s. There’s no ‘how did they ever think of that moment’. Still, it’s really brilliant.

    Posted 15 Jul 2014 at 3:53 pm
  34. Bill wrote:

    I don’t know why there is a need for criticism here, it speaks volumes about the industry.

    I know the team that wrote this and they are great creatives, it’s a beautiful ad. Well directed. Easily the best i’ve seen this year.

    Great work.

    Posted 15 Jul 2014 at 4:05 pm
  35. Julio wrote:

    I love your point Adam. ‘Participation bollocks’ is my new favourite phrase.

    Posted 15 Jul 2014 at 4:16 pm
  36. Not a recruiter wrote:

    who was the team?

    tim and freddy?
    thom and danielle?
    the placement team???

    Posted 15 Jul 2014 at 5:25 pm
  37. ben wrote:

    ‘Mother’, innit?

    Posted 15 Jul 2014 at 6:19 pm
  38. Les McQueen wrote:

    Big dog’s cock! Well, a staffy’s, which is medium sized, right at the end. Other good things; no ‘IKEA PRESENTS’ shit, but the Male VO’s strapline delivery is, frankly, toilet.

    Posted 15 Jul 2014 at 6:28 pm
  39. sssshhhhhhhhh wrote:

    it would seem the client didn’t have a clue.

    Peter Wright, IKEA UK and Ireland Marketing Manager, said, “We spend a great deal of time and money planning a wonderful two week holiday, but pay little attention to the things we do on the other 50 weeks of the year, and this is what we’re really curious about – the everyday.

    Peter also says “We know that if you don’t start your day off in the right way, it can have an effect on your whole day. We’ve all been there, where you’re running late because you’ve struggled to find the right clothes in the morning, or ended up falling asleep in the early hours because you couldn’t put your phone down.

    Posted 16 Jul 2014 at 2:29 am
  40. Mister Gash wrote:

    Love it.

    And I’m baffled by the comments about some parts of it being wasted on ‘the average IKEA customer’.

    Who would that be then?

    (Before you answer that – think about the sheer volume of stuff they shift Every Single Day from a relatively small number outlets…Target Audience? “Everyone”. I’m not saying “Everyone” will necessarily make the link – but if it makes the ad better for some and doesn’t get in the way for the rest….does that mean it’s ‘wasted’?)

    Posted 16 Jul 2014 at 3:05 pm
  41. neil christie wrote:

    Why is this a “good” ad?

    Because it make you feel good about Ikea by stirring your emotions. (Assuming that you do correctly associate the ad with Ikea.)

    When you’re buying something, it’s the brand that comes most easily to mind and has the most emotional associations that wins slightly more promiscuous buyers, slightly more often than the other brands in the category.

    In this battle for the majority of buyers, what matters is how famous your brand becomes.

    The way to make your brand famous is to generate stronger feelings towards it than any others.

    The way to generate the strongest feelings is through emotional, creative advertising, not through telling people rational reasons why they should buy a bed at Ikea.

    The IPA’s analysis on the world’s biggest database of econometrically modelled advertising effectiveness found that the best of the combined rational/emotional ads were significantly less successful than purely emotional adverts that had no overt message, no information to process. This suggests that including rational messages can actually make your advertising less effective.

    Great news, folks: creative, emotional advertising is scientifically proven to be more effective!

    See: Marketing In The Age of Accountability, Binet & Field; How Brands Grow – Prof. Byron Sharp; Thinking, Fast And Slow – Prof. Daniel Kahneman.

    Posted 16 Jul 2014 at 10:23 pm
  42. Putney Nope wrote:

    Wonder what Sell Sell’s got to say about that one…

    Posted 17 Jul 2014 at 1:45 pm
  43. George wrote:

    Good God yes Adam. No interactive, upload your experience, crowd sourcing, live stunt bullshit. Just a really pleasurable piece of film.
    Actually I agree with you about Juan the director too. Didn’t think he was up to much until now.

    Posted 17 Jul 2014 at 2:11 pm
  44. Alvanta wrote:

    @Neil Christie

    neither Sharp nor Kahneman claim ANY of your statements (OK, Sharp comes close with slightly-slightly statement, but that’s not new anyway).

    read them again. slowly & thorougly this time.

    Posted 17 Jul 2014 at 8:38 pm
  45. neil christie wrote:

    @Alvanta – Sorry if I didn’t make myself clear. I should have said, for further relevant info see Sharp, Kahhneman, et al. For a summary on Sharp, see here:


    To be fair, Sharp does say that the inclusion of rationally persuasive facts won’t necessarily have a detrimental effect on sales. (Contrary to Binet & Fields’ findings?) If you have a piece of information that is genuinely persuasive, then say it, so long as it does not interfere with appealing to the emotions. He might also point out that, beyond the end frame and VO, this ad is failing to use distinctive and familiar Ikea brand assets that build and refresh memories and associations and that this may weaken its effectiveness.

    Posted 18 Jul 2014 at 7:56 am
  46. Sell! Sell! wrote:

    “Wonder what Sell Sell’s got to say about that one…”

    Thanks for asking, Putney Nope. For what it’s worth, I think you should do the advertising that you believe will work best for your client. Do anything other than that, regardless of what you believe, and you’re a hack.

    Posted 22 Jul 2014 at 5:31 pm
  47. Wigan PR wrote:

    Apparently IKEA have pulled this because of connotations with the disastrous plane incident in Ukraine.

    Posted 28 Jul 2014 at 3:04 pm

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