Ikea Made an Original Song, and a Hosting Contest, for the Holidays
The holidays are all about peace on Earth, giving thanks, sharing special moments with loved ones—and cutthroat competition to pick the perfect host.
Um, make that friendly competition. We think.
This week, Ikea U.S. joined with agency Wavemaker to unbox "Host Masters," a video series running across Group Nine digital properties, including Thrillist and Pop Sugar. Three 10-minute episodes feature comedian Preacher Lawson and design experts who encourage and cajole challengers as they select Ikea products to decorate homes for seasonal get-togethers.
You can watch the first installment in its entirety here, and this teaser offers a taste of what's in store:
The holidays are also about carols and novelty tunes, and Ikea is well-versed at crafting Christmas melodies. It did so in memorable fashion two years ago in this U.K. spot, and an Indian pop classic drives a new yuletide offering from the retailer's operations in Canada.
For "Host Masters," Ikea, Group Nine and Song Candy created a ditty you can sample below. The song plays at various points in the video series.
That'll set Santa's toes tapping! Hit play again, and sing along:
"There's twinkling lights hanging over the fireplace,
And cozy blankets for the whole family.
My mother-in-law says some crazy stuff—
But there's nowhere else that I'd rather be
I can't wait to curl up in the glow
Of those candles from Ikea,
With the ones that mean the most to me.
...I don't care what you say,
Cause when this season comes around
I never want it to go away."
These days, branded gifting lasts almost 15 percent of the year. It sure feels like it never goes away!
"Innovative brand partners like Ikea understand that in order to reach the next generation of consumers, they need to create branded content that both entertains and provides value," says Group revenue chief Geoff Schiller, hence the decision to make long-form videos.
While 10 minutes feels like a big slice of the holiday pie, the work does provide something unexpected in the category. Moreover, it winks at pre-Covid traditions while teasing the simpler pleasures of a reopening world. It speaks to a time when pandemic anxieties vanish (we hope!), and the ideal placement of Ikea's extendable tables, wing chairs, ottomans, chandeliers and pendant lamps—all featured in "Host Masters"—becomes our most pressing concern.
What's more, "Having a catchy tune is one way we hope to generate attention," says Ikea U.S. marketing communications manager Christine Whitehawk. "Music is always something people gravitate to, and it has an even more special place in people’s hearts during the holidays. Initially, the song will live on TikTok and our website. We are hoping that it catches on and becomes a favorite."
Tiny Friendsgiving Featuring Host Masters♬ Promoted Music - Thrillist