Ikea's Holiday Love Letter To Introverts

The music, the well-wishing, the entertaining, the houseguests. It’s all just a little too much for some people. Ikea Canada’s new “Take a holiday from the holidays” ad, set to Tiffany’s classic, “I think we’re alone now,” celebrates those introverts, whether they’re hiding in the bathroom, under the table, or beneath earphones. Jonelle Ricketts, marketing manager, tells Marketing Daily about the new ads.

Marketing Daily: Why make an introvert-friendly ad this year?

Jonelle Ricketts: We wanted to do something different than our competitors. It’s a crowded space, and there’s a lot of clichés, especially with holiday music.

We wanted to find this happy medium between pulling out the emotion of the holiday that was entertaining but also built into reality. And we decided this reflects the reality of many Canadians, especially coming out of the pandemic.



Marketing Daily: After a few years of not entertaining at all or very selectively, the holidays do feel like a lot.

Ricketts: Yes. Families and friends are still trying to figure out what celebrating looks like. And as much as we enjoy seeing people we love, the season can be hard, especially for introverts. You need to take a moment to breathe, and we want to show that Ikea understands that.

Marketing Daily: The ad also shows plenty of your products, focusing on price. Why?

Ricketts: We live in a climate with a lot of economic uncertainty. More Canadians are worried about the future, and their wallet sizes seem to be shrinking. Their dollar doesn't go as far as it used to. So we baked in subtle cues around affordability.

Marketing Daily: While many aspects of the holidays can be considered stressful, this ad hits on two big ones: entertaining and houseguests.

Ricketts: Yes. The purpose is to bring those home furnishings to life and show how sometimes little touches -- a bath mat or a fresh duvet cover -- can make a significant change and be quite affordable. I love that the ad also shows how furniture gets used differently. Beds aren’t just for sleeping. In this ad, people collapse on a pile of coats on the bed to escape the crowd. It’s realistic.

Marketing Daily: This is one of those ads that owes almost everything to the right music. How did you pick the song?

Ricketts: It’s an '80s classic. I’m dating myself, but I remember singing along to this song in the car. Rethink, our creative agency had brought it to us from Day One, and it just stuck, even as we looked at other scripts. We were so excited when we could secure the rights. We even looked at different song versions, but this one worked incredibly well with our storytelling.

Marketing Daily: I’m dating myself, too. I remember the Tommy James version from the 1960s.

Ricketts: Many people didn’t realize Tiffany wasn't the original singer. Interestingly, we support all of our campaigns in English and French, and we always debate whether something will work in our Quebec market. We decided to go with the French version of the same song.

Marketing Daily: This commercial has a big cast. Why?

Ricketts: Equality, diversity, and inclusion are so important to me. Ikea has ambitious goals and a long journey to go. But we’re looking to ensure that there's diversity on screen with the talent that we had cast for this -- and all levels of diversity. We want to reflect the many Canadians and the diversity in the communities that we serve. It’s also important to look at that behind the scenes. We’re trying to provide many opportunities for our production and post-production crews. Diversity is just as important behind the camera.

Marketing Daily: How big is the campaign?

Ricketts: It’s a complete 360-degree effort. Besides Rethink, we are also working with Carat and Wunderman Thompson. We’re engaging with customers in all channels, including loyalty programs. It’s on linear and connected TV, as well as out-of-home, social and digital.

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