Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Bold and the IKEA

IKEA Heights from DaveAOK on Vimeo.
Shot on the fly inside the Burbank IKEA store, this campy, guerilla-style series is taking user-generated content to a whole new level. Apparently, director David Seger was inspired by how IKEA stores were set up with faux rooms that looked like stage sets. To keep things humorous – price tags are displayed, pillows are deadly, and the melodramatic pauses are Telemundo perfection. Shows are filmed without the store's knowledge, permission would only ruin the stunt factor. The minute it feels like a viral video is trying to sell something, the virality is compromised. Seger does his best to become a tourist and captures candid responses from the show's curious or unwitting extras.

The LA Times compares this user-generated show to their recent company-produced show:

Brand-wise, "IKEA Heights" is absolutely harmless. In fact, Seger and his friends have essentially done for free what "Easy to Assemble" cost IKEA $50,000 to do. And done it better. As of Sept. 7, "IKEA Heights" had been downloaded 14,168 times.
Is this where advertising is going? Do we blindly hand brands over to the general public to maintain? Partially, yes. Allowing people to connect and share in the conversation keeps a brand relevant. Provide logical outlets for brand enthusiasts to do what they feel compelled to do. Steer things as you can, but know that part of being transparent is honestly dealing with an unpredictable little thing called free will.


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