This Short Film From Ikea Shows That Everyone Deserves a Lovely Home—Even Trolls

New work from Rethink continues the brand's penchant for whimsy

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The state of your home can have a powerful impact on your everyday mood and general well-being. The latest work from Ikea explores this notion with a modern-day fantasy that shows all creatures are deserving of a home that makes them feel good.

Made in collaboration with agency Rethink and directed by Nick Ball, “The Troll” is a short film that adds a human touch to the classic bridge troll tale. The two-minute spot follows a young boy who, with his family, encounters the creature as he glumly collects tolls at the bridge. Curious, the young boy returns to the troll’s cave under the bridge, where he arrives with gifted furniture from Ikea. Starting with a modest lamp, the boy and the troll turn the humble cave into a cozy abode, which in turn uplifts the troll’s mood—a winning development for him as well as anyone that comes across his path.

Ikea Canada / Rethink

“We wanted to use the character of the troll to show the ways that our homes reflect our energy, and in turn, perpetuate how we feel. With our busy lives, I think a lot of people can relate to getting home at the end of the day and feeling a bit troll-like,” said Robbie Percy, partner and creative director at Rethink, in a statement. “But when you come home to a place that feels right, you notice the difference. It helps you feel a lot better, too.”

“The Troll” is a continuation of the brand’s Bring Home to Life platform, which launched in 2022. Johanna Andren, Ikea Canada’s head of marketing, also states that the work was based on the brand’s extensive Life at Home research, which explores the relationship between people and their homes.

“The story of the troll, while fantastical, is also grounded in a human truth that we can all relate to,” said Andren. “Through the relationship between the caring boy and the grumpy troll, we see that with a little meaningful attention, we can transform our space, and our lives.”

Ikea Canada / Rethink

Live the fantasy

“The Troll” was shot in Slovenia, both on location at an actual bridge and in studio. Additionally, the troll was constructed by Czech puppet maker Martin Pec and brought to life with animatronics.

With Ball’s direction, the work continues the brand’s proclivity for whimsical storytelling, as seen in previous works like “Every Home Should Be a Haven” and “Changed a Bit for the Good.”

“Nick is such a talented world-builder,” added Percy. “From the toll booth to the design of the troll to creating his little home under the bridge, every detail was crafted and considered to create a stunning world and story that was both believable and beautiful.”

The campaign will run in Canada and Australia alongside OOH, in-store and social and digital elements.

Title: The Troll
Client: IKEA
Global Chief Creative Officer: Aaron Starkman
Chief Creative Officer: Mike Dubrick
Creative Director: Caroline Friesen, Robbie Percy
Copywriter: Robbie Percy
Art Director: Caroline Friesen
Chief Strategy Officer: Sean McDonald
Strategy Director: Jay Fleming
Group Account Director: Kiara Wilson
Account Director: Megan Christopher
Account Supervisor: Erica Francis
Director of Broadcast Production: Shelby Spigelman, Nadya MacNeil
Senior Producer: Andrew Schulze, Chantel Brinkman
Senior Integrated Producer: Jessica Luong, Terri Winter
Date of First Appearance: January 9, 2023

Production House: OPC/ Division Films – Ljubljana, Slovenia
Director: Nick Ball
Producer (OPC): Harland Weiss, Max Brook

Director of Photography: Daniel Voldheim
Production Designer: Marco Puig
Interior Design: Donna Irvine
Post Production House: Nimiopere
Editor (Nimiopere): Graham Chisholm
Executive Producer (Nimiopere): Julie Axell
VFX House: House of Parliament
VFX Producer: Lexi Stearn & Emma Hertz
VFX Supervisor: Peter Smith
Colourist: Alex Bickel – Color Collective
Executive Producer: Claudia Guevara
Audio House: Vapor Music
Music Director: Ted Rosnick
Audio Producer: Kat Stewart
Photography Production Company: Photoby – Wunderkamera
Photographer: Ernest Winczyk
Executive Producer: Krzysztof Wiecek
Rethink 360 Studio Credits: Justin Chan, Stephanie Sherwood, Brad Kumar
Troll Builder: Martin Pec

Troll Design: Aaron McBride
Integrated Production Consultant: William Cranor

Johanna Andrén, Head of Marketing, IKEA Canada
Claudia Mayne, Director of Brand Marketing, IKEA Canada
Jacqueline Wark, Cluster Marketing Communications Leader, IKEA Canada
Nadia Kassam, Marketing Communications Specialist, IKEA Canada
Lindsay Marsh, Interior Design Leader, IKEA Canada
Marissa Fischer, Integrated Media Leader, IKEA Canada
Lisa Huie, Public Relations Leader, IKEA Canada
Rethink – French Adaptations:
Karine Doucet, Associate Creative Director
Annick D’Auteuil, Freelance Broadcast Producer
Catherine Blouin-Mainville, Account Director
Gabrielle Bergeron , Account Manager
Rethink – Brand Narrative Team:
Meredith Montgomery , Public Relations Lead
Lianne George , Editorial Lead

Other Credits:
Media – Carat Canada:
Karen Hrstic, Vice President
Tracey Cronin, Account Director
Christine Ma, Media Supervisor
Kevin Martins, Digital Manager
Sherlaine Verdes, Senior Digital Planner

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