Ikea Goes Through the Wardrobe in Its Fairy Tale of a New Ad

Rethink crafts a magical fantasy world

In this charming spot from Ikea, a little girl discovers that a closet full of colorful clothes and accessories always has room for more—much, much more—thanks to the Swedish furniture chain's iconic PAX wardrobe.

Actually, that's wardrobes, plural, arranged in attractively organized aisles that seemingly stretch to infinity thanks to Rethink Canada and director Scott Cudmore: 

Ikea | The Wardrobe

Hang in there, kid, you'll make it to Narnia someday. Did you notice Ikea's famous red lamp around the 0:17 mark? Bright idea for an Easter egg! 

"Keeping our stuff organized is one of the biggest pain-points in our homes," Ikea Canada brand director Lena Dukic tells Muse. "But when you can create a system that works for you, where all your things are perfectly organized and in their right place, it feels kind of magical—it's like something out of a fairytale. That's what led us to place the wardrobe in an imaginary world that is reminiscent of children's storybooks." 

Ikea and Rethink conjured up some memorable messaging last year with their Stuff Monster, a 20-foot-high metaphor for sustainability. Here, "The Wardrobe" treads somewhat similar fantasy ground, albeit with a much lighter, more whimsical touch. 

"The two-day shoot was fun, but it was also a challenge," recalls Rethink managing partner Christina Yu. "We wanted to capture as much of the world in-camera as possible, but we only had 28 PAX wardrobes to work with—definitely not anywhere close to the number we'd need to build an infinite world."

To perfect the illusion of endless space, the team "shifted the wardrobes around to create the different hallways and junctions," Yu recalls. "We also had to redress each of the wardrobes when we moved them to perfect the color blocking and to avoid repeating the same one twice."

A process called photogrammetry came into play. This involved "taking hundreds of photos of the PAX from different angles," Yu says. "Those photos were then used to digitally recreate the PAX and build out the infinite space."

Casting the little girl was equally crucial, and Reese Kirby stood out among a large pool of talented young actresses. "She perfectly captured the curiosity we were looking for," Yu says. "She may be only 9 years old, but she's so expressive, especially her eyes, which added another layer of wonder to the spot."

CREDITS

Client: Ikea
Lena Dukic, Brand Director
Jordan Sequeira, Brand Manager
Ami Warrington, Brand Manager
Agency: Rethink
Creative Director: Christina Yu / Aaron Starkman
Art Director: Nick Noh
Writer: Jordan Darnbrough
Strategist: Sean McDonald, Stacy Ross
Broadcast Producer (in-house): Anna Tricinci
Group Account Director: Sarah Riedlinger
Account Manager: Megan Christopher
Production Company: Revolver Films
Director: Scott Cudmore
Editor: Ross Birchall
Director of Photography: Pablo Berron
Line Producer: Peter Oad
Post Production House: Saints Editorial
On-Line: Kaelem Cahill, The Vanity
Grading: Wade Odlum, Alter Ego
Casting Director: Steven Mann, Mann Casting
Audio House: Vapor Music
Audio Director: Ted Rosnick
Audio Engineer: Art Mullin
Media Company - Carat

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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