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Ads We Like: Ikea Canada updates iconic lamp spot with heartwarming story and a welcome twist

In 2002, Ikea Canada tapped red-hot director Spike Jonze to helm a spot that told the sad story of a simple desk lamp. After 16 years, the home goods giant decided that the story needed an update, which it has done while maintaining the twisted nostalgia of the original.

Simply called ‘Lamp 2,’ the spot picks up where the original left off. The original ‘Lamp’ showed a desk lamp, unplugged by its owner and put out on the sidewalk, seemingly for trash. As we see the woman enjoying her new Ikea lamp, the discarded one sits forlornly in the rain. Just when it seems there may be a heartfelt moment, Swede Jonas Fornander enters the picture, stating: “Many of you feel bad for this lamp. That is because you crazy. It has no feelings, and the new one is much better."

The sequel addresses Ikea’s ‘People and Planet Positive’ strategy with the opportunity to tell a new story about Ikea’s product quality and longevity. The spot, according to the company, also wanted to tell a story about the value of people keeping their products longer, loving them longer, and how much better that will be for the world. Thus, 'Lamp' comes back to tell our full circle story.

The new spot picks up where 2002 left off shows what happened to the rain-soaked lamp. A young girl sees the potential beauty in the old lamp and puts it in her wagon just before the trash people pull to the curb. She takes it home, shines it up and puts in a new bulb, which ignites her imagination. She uses it to make shadow animals, to have a tea party, to do her homework, play games with friends and read. It even comforts her at her bedside. In a shot reminiscent of the first video, the camera pans down so the light is visible in the window.

Enter Jonas Fornander, played by the same actor, who states, much like in the original, but with a less cynical take: “Many of you feel happy for this lamp. That’s not crazy. Reusing things is much better.”

Last year, Ikea Canada kicked off the ‘Beautiful Possibilities’ platform that shifted the company’s external communications strategy to be more purpose-led, showing Canadians they could not only create the type of home they want, but also the type of world they want. Since that time, Ikea’s corporate strategy has followed suit with new programs and initiatives that support diversity and inclusion, sustainability and vulnerable populations like refugees.

In June, Ikea released its new People and Planet strategy which outlined ambitions until 2030, notably eliminating all single-use plastics from its range and restaurant, but also committing to being a completely circular business by 2030 – meaning among many other things that its products will be built to last-longer, its materials fully recyclable and sustainable and it will have programs in place to allow products to have a second-life.

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