Creative Director's Choice: BigEyedWish's Ian Wishingrad talks up Ikea's Allen key film

Ian Wishingrad of BigEyedWish

Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the current work they think is the best out in the ad world – the ads and campaigns they believe are making a difference.

This week, Ian Wishingrad, founder and creative director of BigEyedWish, talks about Ikea's spot that highlights a rich woman dealing with a spare Allen wrench left over from furniture building.

All too often, commercials feel like commercials in the first couple seconds, giving jaded viewers easy permission to tune out or change channels. So it is always a great treat when an ad comes out of the gate not looking, feeling or sounding like an ad.

The Ikea spot from McCann Spain/MRM McCann Spain feels like a film, not a TV commercial. The one minute-plus video establishes itself from the outset with purpose, communicating in strong terms that the audience will be entertained and that a storyline will be resolved. The spot, helmed by Agustín Alberdi and produced by Landia, unspools the narrative immediately, when a wealthy woman, hosting a group of friends for tea, is shocked when a guest discovers an Allen key.

This is the universal moment that binds viewers. Every Ikea customer that has spent many hours on a Saturday afternoon assembling a bunch of confusing parts to somehow wind up with a sofa will recoil in horror at the sight of the Allen key and spare parts.

This discovery sets her off on a fruitless search throughout the grounds of her palatial mansion, querying all of the help, “It’s yours?” to no avail. The narrative is propelled by quick camera cuts and a jumpy, classical score that harkens back to old Hollywood whodunnits. The spot comes to a richly satisfying end when the woman’s husband enters the mansion and proudly admits that he is the one that brought Ikea furniture into the house. His glib pride at owning Ikea is a message to aspirational, upwardly mobile homeowners that Ikea has upped its game and that its brand truly 'Fits Everywhere.' I know many couples in their 30s who get married and promise themselves no more cheap furniture. Ikea sees that opportunity to reach these people by elevating its brand by employing a classic, almost timeless approach.

In an era where ads too often try to hit big emotional notes, there is nothing heavy-handed about this spot. It nails the brief and is so enjoyable to see the creative team play with a conventional murder mystery trope in a fun, whimsical way.

This is the kind of ad that made people want to go to film school. When I was a teenager making one or two-minute mini-movies, this is the kind of spot I dreamed of doing.

Ian Wishingrad is founder and creative director at New York boutique agency BigEyedWish.

View the spot by clicking the Creative Works box below.

To see the latest creative ads and campaigns, please visit The Drum’s Creative Works section. If you or your creative director would like to be featured in our Creative Director’s Choice, please contact Kyle O’Brien at kyle.obrien@thedrum.com.

IKEA: Allen Key by McCann Spain

Added 14 December 2017
Agency: McCann Spain
Overall Rating
5/5 Vote

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