Ikea's Excellent Sequel to 'Lamp' Flips the Script on an Ad That Didn't Age Well

Discarding old goods isn't as fashionable as it used to be

Ikea's "Lamp" ad, from 2002, is one of advertising's most classic commercials. It mawkishly played on your heartstrings, amping up the melodrama of an old lamp being tossed onto the street by its owner. By the end of the spot, you actually feel sorry for the damn thing—until Swedish actor Jonas Fornander wanders onscreen and admonishes you for being so easily manipulated. 

"Many of you feel bad for this lamp," he says in one of the great rug-pulls in ad history. "That is because you're crazy. It has no feelings, and the new one is much better." 

The spot, created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky and director Spike Jonze, won a slew of advertising awards, including a Grand Clio. But its endorsement of blithely discarding old goods in favor of shiny new stuff certainly feels out of step in today's world. 

Now, Ikea Canada revisits that old spot—creating a sequel that's all about reuse and recycling. And Fornander himself even makes a return to deliver the message—that a new lamp isn't necessarily much better. 

Ikea | Lamp 2

The new spot was made by Canadian agency Rethink. 

"Times are changing, and so are we," Ikea writes on its website. "We always strive to make the most of our products—that includes putting an old spin on an iconic commercial from 2002." 

The retailer ads: "If everyone in the world produced as much garbage as Canada, we would need 4 planets to get by. That's a lot of planets. To help protect the one we've got, let's keep our furniture in the home and out of the landfill." 

The updated spot is very well done. It uses some of the same manipulative tricks that the original did, but without the cynicism. Indeed, it suggests emotional storytelling that anthropomorphizes something as lifeless as a lamp can actually have some truth at the core—that saving a lamp can be a deeply human act after all, as it could preserve our planet for future generations. 

Adweek has more about the spot here.

Client: Ikea
Creative Director: Aaron Starkman
Art Director: Joel Holtby
Writer: Mike Dubrick
Strategist: Sean McDonald, Stacy Ross
Broadcast Producer (in house): Anne Marie Martignago
Production Company: Scouts Honour
Director: Mark Zibert
Editor: Marc Langley
Director of photography: Todd Martin
Line Producer: Rita Popielak
Postproduction House: Rooster Editorial
On-Line: Ernie Mordak, Fort York VFX
Grading: Eric Whipp
Audio House: Mit Out Sound

Producer/Composer (Audio House): Ren Klyce
Audio Mix and Sound design: Vapor-rmw

Account Services:
Caleb Goodman, Managing Partner
Marie Lunny, Group Account Director
Sarah Riedlinger, Account Director
Becky Rudson, Account Manager

Lauren MacDonald, Chief Marketing Officer, Ikea
Jordan Sequeira, Brand Manager, Ikea

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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