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Ad of the Day: Ikea appeal encourages consumers to upcycle its furniture

Ikea Norway is taking action on the mountains of furniture waste piling up in landfill as a result of a throwaway culture by highlighting the ugly end-of-life truth for many of its products.

Taking viewers on a tour of landfill, dumpsters and flytipping sites, the retailer concludes with The Trash Collection 2021 – a selection of reclaimed furniture saved from a tip.

The Swedish big-box brand is pulling no punches in facing up to its environmental responsibilities with a hard-hitting video highlighting the mounting impact discarded furniture has on the environment.

Across Norway alone it is estimated that around three million items of furniture are thrown out every year – many of which originate from the blue and yellow gates of Ikea.

Accepting that honesty is the best policy, the retailer has unveiled The Trash Collection 2021, an attempt to repurpose unwanted furniture for more environmentally-minded shoppers. Reconditioning actual Ikea furniture, the campaign shows how one person’s trash can be another’s treasure when reconditioned and given a clean for sale in their second-hand stores.

Articulating the need for action, marketing communications manager Tobias Lien said: “Too much of our furniture ends up in the trash, and with this campaign we wanted to show how it doesn’t need to. Often the products are just fine or maybe they just need a few small spare parts. To show how little it takes, we have therefore collected some of them and given them a second chance at Ikea.”

Marketing manager Frode Skage Ullebust adds: “An important part of our responsibility is to launch new services that help our customers throw away less. I must admit that it hurts a little to see our furniture presented in this way, but at the same time I think it has become a very honest and beautiful way to get people to reflect.”

Acknowledging that it must do more to shape consumer behavior, Ikea has been seeking ways to discourage our throwaway culture by introducing a buy-back option for unwanted furniture, as well as a free spare parts service to extend the lifespan of products.

Developed by Try while the production company was Aparent, the evocative footage is set to Hold What You’ve Got by Joe Tex. Warming to its theme, Ikea published a scrapbook illustrating how kitchen waste can be turned into tasty treats earlier this year.

You can view the campaign in full by clicking on the box below. To get in touch about Ad of the Day, please email imogen.watson@thedrum.com.

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