Ikea Trash Collection: The case for make do and mend

ikeaWith Euro 2020 – or 2021 – now in full swing, here at the Decision Marketing Nerve Centre we are embarking on a tour of European ad campaigns to tap into the continental zeitgeist.

And what better brand to kick it all off with than Ikea, which, to be fair, has had a pretty tough week after being savaged in France for spying on staff and then savaged again for pulling its ads off GB News.

Still, over in Norway, the Swedish retailer is pulling no punches in facing up to its environmental responsibilities with a new campaign highlighting the mounting impact on the environment of discarded furniture.

Opening in a household waste site, the film takes viewers on a rather depressing tour of landfill and fly-tipping sites – and even front gardens – where broken Ikea furniture is strewn all over the shop. Shameless fools.

However, it is all made good in the end, when the film switches to a repair shop for The Trash Collection 2021, a selection of reclaimed furniture saved from the local tip. Developed by agency Try, the footage is set to the Joe Tex track Hold Onto What You’ve Got.

Across Norway alone it is estimated that around 3 million items of furniture are thrown out every year (most of it in this ad), with the retailer attempting to repurpose unwanted furniture for more environmentally minded shoppers.

Acknowledging that it must do more to shape consumer behaviour, Ikea has been seeking ways to discourage this 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.

Reconditioning actual Ikea furniture, the campaign shows how one person’s trash can be another’s treasure when reconditioned for sale in Ikea’s second-hand stores.

Ikea marketing communications manager Tobias Lien said: “Too much of our furniture ends 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.”

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?

Well, to be honest, we really could do with a trip to our local Ikea (when they have finished building it), whether to get new or reconditioned furniture, as this office is in a desperate need of a makeover. Oh for a Billy Bookcase to put all our marketing text books.

So, we applaud this initiative and the campaign, too, although whether the Norwegians will be happy with this profligate portrayal is another matter. But, then again, that’s the point isn’t it?

Decision Marketing Adometer: A Grönkulla to Grundtal and Dagstorp to Flärdfull 8 out of 10

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