Ikea Had a Fun Response to the Sale of the World’s Most Expensive Painting

An ad about somewhat more affordable prices

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Ikea continues its playful responses to news about very expensive things with a fun take on Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvatore Mundi painting, which sold last week at auction for a staggering $450 million.

Check out the Ikea ad below, which the Swedish brand’s in-house Creative Hub whipped up for a social post, with help from ad agency Acne:

The amusing focus on affordability is something Ikea also played around with in its famous response to Balenciaga’s pricey version of Ikea’s iconic blue bag.

In a press release, Ikea noted that you could buy 15 million Billy Bookcases for the price of one Salvatore Mundi.

“At Ikea, we believe anyone should have the possibility to decorate their home without spending their life savings,” says Morten Kjaer, creative director at Ikea Creative Hub. “That’s why Ikea offers a range of frames that work with any photo, print or painting you want to show off, even those from the 1490s.”

“We reacted to the Christie’s sale in a way people have come to expect from Ikea—a clever post on social media that throws a friendly punch at the art world by highlighting Ikea’s affordable prices,” adds Acne creative director Johan Bello.

A brilliant marketing campaign for the Salvatore Mundi is credited, at least in part, with driving up the price. It included the intriguing ad below by Droga5, which showed people’s reactions to the painting, but not the painting itself.

Oh, and frame humor has been trendy around the artwork, too.

Agency: Ikea Creative Hub / Acne
Client: Ikea
Creative Director Ikea Creative Hub: Morten Kjær
Creative Director Acne: Johan Bello
Creatives Acne: Tiago Pinho, Isaac Bonnier, Joel Lindblad
Producer Acne: Maria Widemar
Producer Acne: Niclas Bergström
Project Leader Acne: Lovisa Friman Bendz
Photographer Acne: Anders Kylberg
Social media manager Acne: Rebecka Hoffmann
Assignment Leader Ikea Creative Hub: Louice Alvarsson
Client Ikea: Jeroen Hubert, Jovana Basrak Keric, Sanne Esseveld

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.