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May 9, 2011 / Nick

IKEA ‘Peace, Love & Storage’ advert


It’s funny. This advertisement has been on for a few weeks now and I think it makes me even MORE apoplectic with rage every time I see it.

This is weird, because usually when I see a terrible advert I eventually come around to how terrible it is and simply put it in the back of my mind.
The whole Halifax Radio campaign is almost like an occasional invitation by the TV to give my brain to a 30 second break from activity. It’s my body’s protection mechanism, you see. Should my mind ever become responsive enough to sense that the advert is on, I could in an instant reflex become so filled with bilious hate that there’s a very real and dangerous possibility that I might violently yell a vital organ out in the direction of the screen.

The strangest thing in this extended version is when Fake Rhod Gilbert says the terrible ‘joke’:

When the government abolished hanging in 1969, they didn’t mean clothes, ladies.

the laughter from the audience is barely more than a titter. It’s as if the maker of the ad thought ‘Well, that’s quite obviously not a very funny joke so we’ll get the sound guy to give it less laughs than the ‘A material’ gags’.

The most annoying part is that we completely lose track of what the advert is even for. You don’t know it’s an ad for IKEA until the very end. Even if you did know, the whole stand-up element is so bloody distracting that with all the urge-to-kill rising in you, you’d hardly stop to notice any of the close-ups of various modular furnishings.

It’s really hard to know how we’ve come to this.
We have in front of us a petty squabble in which no conclusion or even the vaguest hint at compromise is reached.
I mean, I can’t speak for all 3 billion men out there but I’d hazard a guess that men are messier than women, but probably only by a tiny margin.

But regardless of whether that judgement is true or not, it’s such a crap and simplistic approach to our existence on this earth to separate the human species into tidy (and untidy) binary compartments.

The messiest man is probably not a lot more or less untidy than the messiest woman. The tidiest man is probably not a lot more or less unmessy than the tidiest woman.

I suspect that if you put us all on a global scale of messiness, a house-proud man living in a very well-kept Sao Paolo favela would be some way behind a flighty and frivolous woman living in a Stockholm loft apartment ‘between housekeepers’.
The accident of birth that is our sex is as much a solution for how tidy we are as the accident of birth that is where on the planet we happened to be spat out.

So you see, far from the message of ‘Peace, Love & Storage’, this ad actually makes you think of the ways in which society puts us all into divisions whether we want to be there or not. IKEA have had so many great, genuinely funny adverts in the past that I don’t see how this cringefest slipped through the net.

Review: Ideally, all copies of this ad should be kept locked in an EFFEKTIV never to be seen again.
1/10

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