Mother London Gets Sentimental About Its ‘Wonderful Life’ for IKEA

By Erik Oster 

Mother London launched a new campaign for IKEA based around an emotional and sentimental spot entitled “Wonderful Life” as the latest in its ongoing “Wonderful Everyday” effort.

“Wonderful Life,” which was directed by Independent’s Gary Freedman, tells the story of what initially appears to be a rather remarkable couple. They are shown painting in the studio as young artists, driving in a Grand Prix, winning a doubles tennis tournament, building a log cabin with their bare hands and dancing as an elderly couple on a Broadway stage, to a standing ovation. It’s gradually revealed that these are all exaggerated versions of real life events (tennis in the backyard, dancing at an anniversary party, putting together a bookshelf, etc.), given the more glamorous embellishments to show their emotional importance, as the voiceover implores viewers to “Enjoy the little things in life. Maybe, they are really the big things.”

“A Wonderful Life” is a definite shift in tone for the brand from more humorous efforts to a decidedly emotional effort, including a gut punch of a reveal near its conclusion. It’s also a good piece of storytelling, with the exaggerated life events an interesting device that hits home once its purpose is revealed. While you could argue the message is only tangentially related to the brand, it’s also likely an ad which will stick with audiences long after they see it and it works as an unexpected but impactful exploration of the “Wonderful Everyday” tagline.

Of course, in real life, as 30 Rock reminded us, IKEA is more often a force that destroys all but the most committed and resilient of couples.

The spot makes its debut in the U.K. and Ireland this Saturday, with a 90-second version (above) running online and in cinemas and a 60-second version running on broadcast, along with two 20-second ads. Print, digital and OOH efforts will then roll out on Monday, supported by social, PR and CRM initiatives.

“The ‘Wonderful Life’ TVC is a new emotional direction for IKEA. In this film we want to bring to life the sentiment of the Wonderful Everyday through the eyes of someone who has lived a long and fulfilling life made up of small personal moments that add wonder to our everyday lives at home,” said recently appointed IKEA U.K. and Ireland marketing manager Laurent Tiersen. “This really is a celebration of how the little things are the big things. We firmly believe that this is one of the most inspirational and affecting ad campaigns we have launched to date.”

Director: Gary Freedman – Glue Society
Production Company: Independent
Production Company Producer: Jason Kemp
Director of Photography: Franz Lustig
Editing: The Playroom / Editor: Adam Spivey
Post House: MPC / VFX Supervisor – Dan Sanders
Sound House: 750mph / Sound Engineer – Sam Ashwell
Music Track: ‘You and Me’ Penny and the Quarters through Major Tom