Ikea is using slice-of-life anime in a new back-to-college campaign, turning its lamps, desks and filing cabinets into animation.
The new marketing effort, created by Ogilvy, will run on TikTok. And while anime is wildly popular among Gen Z for blockbuster dramas, this campaign draws on the quiet realism of anime's slice-of-life genre.
Those shows, including "Lucky Star" and "Minami-ke," are known for their storylines that focus on personal and even mundane stories. The spots include situations like finding a quiet corner for studying in a crowded area.
"Ikea wanted to do something that felt a bit more unexpected, that felt true to what Gen Z is watching," says Sho Matsuzaki, a creative director at Ogilvy, which created the campaign. "And thanks to Netflix and other streaming services, this niche community has become considerably more mainstream. Slice-of-life is all about celebrating these little everyday moments, and that's Ikea's brand vision."
Matsuzaki tells Retail Insider that while anime first appealed to a "nerdier" crowd, "there's been a pretty major shift in the audience. We expect this to do well with people who are into fashion, home furnishings and want a curated look to their space."
"One of the most exciting parts of this project was to see every little piece of the Ikea products get translated into an anime version," says Fanny Josefsson, a creative director. "We worked closely with Clubcamping, an animation studio, to make sure that every single product and every single Ikea piece was exactly represented in its anime version. It's all based in reality."
The landing page is where animation merges with the real world, directing viewers to problem-solving products.
"People can just click to purchase," Matsuzaki says. "And we're driving fun engagement, using GIPHY stickers and helping people immerse themselves in the brand world."