Sixteen years ago, Spike Jonze directed a quirky little ad for Ikea that quickly became a classic of modern advertising. “Lamp” was also a product of its time. Created by then creative hot shop Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the ad went on to win every industry award possible, including a Cannes Lions Film Gran Prix and a Grand Clio.
The genius was in how it so quickly was able to establish an emotional connection between you and a lamp, then hilariously douse it all, with actor Jonas Fornander dropping a Swedish-accented truth bomb, “Many of you feel bad for this lamp. This is because you’re crazy. This lamp has no feelings. And the new one is much better.”
Ikea Canada decided to resurrect the story for a sequel, putting a modern twist on the sad little lamp’s end. Made with agency Rethink Canada and directed by Mark Zibert, “Lamp 2” picks up where the original left off, but instead of the landfill, we get a serving of responsible consumerism when a little girl finds another use for our hero.
Earnest optimism replaces the original wisecrack, but we still get Fornander dropping back in, this time to remind us that it’s not crazy to reuse things. The change in tone and message reflects how our attitudes and behavior have evolved over the last decade and a half. Responsible consumerism has gone beyond Patagonia to major corporations like P&G, Unilever, and yes, Ikea talking more about waste. This focus on smart consumption is moving from the fringes to a more significant part of how brands and people think about their ongoing relationships with stuff.
All that, and the little red lamp finally got a happy ending.