For Ikea Spain, McCann Madrid collaborated with indie singer Sandra Delaporte to produce a music-video commercial—the kind of work we always look forward to when Ikea's involved.
"Pero a tu lado," or "But by your side," is Delaporte's cover of an iconic Spanish song from the 1980s. In the video, a woman welcomes home a prodigal daughter. Later, she walks outside to meet the day, engaging in banal interactions with strangers.
But because the only communication between characters is an elegant contemporary choreography, those interactions—bumping into the delivery guy, passing a person in the street—take on an almost painful poignance.
"Pero a tu lado" is designed to reinforce Ikea's larger brand mission, "We all deserve a true home," focused on fighting social inequality. This particular ad is about the importance of solidarity and selfless acts. It is also an homage to the Spanish, who pulled together in support during the pandemic.
This is among a few recent ads that are flirting with work that depicts lots of people engaging with each other again, unhampered by the directives of "social distancing." Sometimes such work has felt uncomfortable. And it's hard to watch this without thinking of Extra's "For When It's Time," a comedic fantasy of post-pandemic reality.
These works touch different emotional chords, but "Pero a tu lado" speaks to the part of us that changed quietly this past year, and found Extra's rendition a little too rowdy and disingenuous.
It speaks to something many of us have missed, but that has been so hard to name.
There is a kind of connectivity between everyone in "Pero" that nearly vibrates when a moment is transformed into a small dance. We're thinking about a leap the woman makes, right into the arms of a construction worker, who catches her almost as a matter of course. It's intimate yet not at all, the sudden support of her weight a mere fact of life. And it invites a contrast between itself and all the interactions we've ever had with construction workers—friendly or less so.
In a strange way, it even rewrites them a little, creating more space for the person we perhaps failed to perceive before.
We were also struck by the proximity of two heads so close together at the crosswalk, its unexpected sensuality punctuated by a shared gaze. There are a hundred such moments in this work—fingertips touching between young, sad lovers; the playful tango slide between women related only by their passage through the same space in a day.
For us, a sense memory awakens—something about the diversity of contact we have mourned; even now, when a cashier gives me change, I am briefly moved by the careless intimacy of our touching skin.
It isn't just the pandemic. It's also the sensation of strife on social, ever-fomenting, ever escaping from the edges of its container, bleeding into our minds. In the two and a half minutes it takes to watch this piece, I am also reminded of our beauty, and of the fact that, whether we like it or not, and regardless of who we are (or are not) to one another, we are a community—constantly, profoundly affecting each other. And there is no opting out of that.
Alongside the launch of "Pero a tu lado," Ikea and McCann have orchestrated a campaign under the hashtag #ArrimarElHombro (stand shoulder to shoulder), which they hope people will use to share stories of helping others.
"The lyrics of the song are, in itself, a statement of intent that reflects the importance of helping others," says Ikea's marketing director, Laura Durán. "It leaves an indelible impact on our lives, whether it's us helping others or vice versa."
Creative piece: Music Video 2'46"
Title: 'Shoulder to shoulder'
Advertising Agency: McCann Madrid
Product: House and retail services
IKEA contact: Laura Durán
Creative team: Monica Moro, Raquel Martinez, Hector Losa, Mara Vidal
Account Teams: Javier Pascual, Elena Rodríguez, Alejandra Sierra, Claudia Solano, Andrea Cabezudo
Strategic planning: Juan Manuel Ramirez, Maria Goñi
Production Team: Paloma Adrien, Martin Beilin
Media Agency: Ymedia
PR Agency: TINKLE
Public Affairs agency: LLYC
Social Media Agency: GOOD REBELS
Content Agency: 3Dots
CRM Agency: MRM
Production Company: Blur
Director: Karin Huu Do
DOP: Oriol Barcelona
Post production company: La Metropolitana
Digital Post production: Craft
Sound Design: OEO
Music: 'Pero a tu lado', featuring Sandra Delaporte