Somehow, at an important chapter in history when no one was paying much attention at all, the world came to a collective, tacit agreement: Those tiny plastic pieces that go on top of pizza to stop the cardboard from sticking to the cheese look like tiny tables.
This highly specific consensus has, at last, left a tangible mark on society: Ikea and Pizza Hut have teamed up to sell full-size pizza tables.
In a promotion coordinated by Oglivy in Hong Kong, customers can go into Ikea and buy a SÄVA table, which is a plastic end table with three legs and a round top. The table is even flat-packed into a special pizza box. Meanwhile, Pizza Hut is selling pizza topped with Ikea’s own Swedish meatballs. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say one of these two ideas is about 1,000 times better than the other one, but feel free to indulge in as much Italian-American-Swedish fusion fast food as you like!
Apparently, the mashup has been a success for Ikea, which sold 67% more SÄVA tables than anticipated in the first few days. And while it’s all a lot of silly fun, it does seem to tease an important, evolving component of Ikea’s business plan. Ikea has conjured viral moments from thin air through collaborations with famous designers like Virgil Abloh and Stella McCartney. But the impact of big brand mashups, like Ikea and Sonos last year, or even Ikea and Pizza Hut now, teases a future in which Ikea is in constant pursuit of the next Doritos Locos Taco or KFC Cheetos chicken sandwich (each of which was a partnership between Yum Brands and Frito Lay). As Jesper Brodin, the CEO of Ikea’s largest franchisee put it to Fast Company earlier this year, ” . . . our brand will thrive from meeting other brands. Sonos is one of the best examples and what happens when one plus one can become two.”
In a world owned by big brands, these multi-branded hyperbole products are irresistible. Let’s just hope they don’t give late stage consumerism its final heart attack.