Ikea parody reflects brand’s cultural standing

We get this spoof because we get the Ikea brand so well

Many of us have a love hate relationship with Ikea. There is simply no way to dodge a full assault of the senses, even if your need is as simple as a coffee mug. You have to navigate myriad of household products across a maze of settings. There is no short cut, simply walk faster. However, it is the scale, breadth of range and in-situ contexts that shapes Ikea’s appeal. Add the Swedish design element and very attractive pricing and you understand why across 26 counties the brand is able to attract more than 660 million customers a year.


Because we get Ikea so well we have no problems instantly relating to this clever little parody by director and writer Daniel Hubbard that’s gone viral on YouTube. The film is titled Alfonso Cuarón’s Ikea, and is a direct copy of the blockbuster space epic Gravity starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.

While it provides a great laugh it also reminds us of the iconic brilliance of Ikea’s brand proposition. It is a proposition based on totally reframing the value chain and the business system behind it. Ikea cleverly transferred some of the value creation activities back to customers. Its signature flat pack format means customers do the transporting and the assembly. It allows Ikea to cost effectively source the components for its products globally. Every action of Ikea driven by a brand ethos based upon cost obsession fused with design culture. No design, no matter how inspired, finds its way into Ikea if it cannot be made affordable.

Ikea represents a perfect example for all brand managers of the power of having absolute clarity around knowing what the brand is, and what it is not. Finally, how wonderful to be in a position where as a brand owner your proposition is so strong and relevant that you can easily laugh along with any spoof thrown your way.

Peter Singline
Brand Scientist

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