Inspiration really can come from the most curious places. When it strikes me, it’s typically from some semi obscure find, or the inspiration itself will be far removed from what it is I’ve been moved by. It’s the sort of feeling that catches me by surprise, and makes me think or murmur, “Of all the gin joints in all the world…” Ikea, isn’t usually a beacon for this sort of inspiration. Sure, with their pleasing blend of Swedish sensibility and Dutch design, it’s hard not to marvel, but their latest commercial is probably the best creative design piece from the company to date.
The strapline is ‘There’s No Bed Like Home,’ and it’s a minute and a half long film that really makes you feel it. It begins with a tidy brunette in a sleeping gown on a bed among the cirrus clouds, with a view normally reserved for trans-Atlantic airliners and the Gods. With her feet dangling and with only minor hesitation, she lets herself fall from bed to bed. Each fall seems slightly more terrifying than the last, but she is dissuaded from the quest of…arriving in her own bed, with a satisfying, soft crash. It’s entirely beautiful.
What will no doubt have you, a visual enthusiast, focusing on, is just how well shot it was. It looks incredibly convincing that she is falling through the sky, and near a building etc. This is probably because she was. The VFX geniuses at MPC and Mother London did mixes of CGI and green screens, though it appears, from the behind the scenes video (see foot of article) that much was actually shot in-camera. According to Creative Review, the actress actually did all the shots herself from falling from buildings, and cranes, and even a plane. It’s all really well done.
The whole thing is narrated to a passage from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and how befitting a passage. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, I’ll say that there’s a lot of visual magic used by the leading character, and the passage used (IVi.148-158) is that character speaking about how his illusions and theatrics were to end, and there would be nothing left of them. That they will fade without leaving a trace, as a dream, “…and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” (full passage below) Oh, and in typical fashion of the Shakespearean days, there’s even a bit with a dog.
I write this at 4am as I suffer from insomnia, and this commercial is actually making me long for my bed. I should note that there are literally hundreds of dollars of pillows scattered around my bed that I’ve accumulated on my quest for a good night’s sleep, and it’s strange that the cheapest I have, is from Ikea, and it’s the one I use most. This commercial is actually to be paired with a website that offers an interactive A-Z tips list on getting a good night’s sleep. Bonus.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve;
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. (IV.i.148–158)
Source: Creative Review