IKEA inspires little acts that have a big environmental impact

Climate change is intimidating, so the furniture retailer is showing how things from lightbulbs to food containers can be a huge help.

IKEA-campaign image

IKEA is focusing on the big, planet-wide improvements small sustainable actions can have as it continues to inspire and facilitate its customers’ own environmentally friendly behaviours.

“One Little Thing” builds on the idea that even the smallest efforts to live more sustainability can add up to a big impact, showing in a single take, people riding bikes and drying laundry outdoors, as well as using other reusable and sustainable products. It ends with a female camper turning off one of many lights to appear through the spot, which heroes IKEA’s LED fixtures.

ikea-sustainable“One Little Thing” messaging is reinforced with a series of hyper-targeted digital OOH ads, social and digital units that call out their impact (alongside the price), like how buying a reusable food container can keep food fresh and cut down on waste.

IKEA has made sustainability a major brand pillar in recent years. It has committed to cutting back on single-use plastics in its restaurants and the use of new plastics in its products, and this week, announced that it will phase out all non-rechargeable alkaline batteries from its home furnishing range by October 2021.

But a major focus, especially on the marketing front, has been on encouraging customers to reuse and recycle their IKEA products as part of a more “circular economy” that cuts down on waste. That has been backed up with things like designing products with reusability in mind, or a buy-back program where consumers can get store credit for bringing in gently-used IKEA products that it will then reuse or donate.

Now, IKEA has shifted its focus slightly to the smaller items in its catalogue. The driving insight behind the current work comes from the idea that sustainability is a massive issue that requires the participation of many. While that can be intimidating and anxiety-inducing for some, inspiring people to do individual actions – even those that seem insignificant – can have an outsized impact, according to according to Johanna Andrén, head of marketing for IKEA Canada.

“We are still really empowered by the sustainability message,” Andrén says “As one of Canada’s largest home furnishing retailers, we really believe we have the responsibility to inspire people to do small little actions.”

Andrén believes that consumers are appreciating the macro environmental benefits arising from not driving a car everyday as they work remotely and many consumers have seen pandemic recovery as an opportunity to keep the planet top of mind.

That’s why “natural beauty” is the setting for the spot, Andrén says, with several of IKEA’s iconic products set against this backdrop.

The spot, directed by Cannes Lions Film Grand Prix winner Adam Berg, is airing nationally starting Oct. 1, and the Canadian creative is also being exported to air in Australia, Serbia, Romania and Croatia. Rethink handled the creative, Carat the Canadian media buy, and Wunderman worked on its IKEA Family loyalty program, which is the hub for the brand’s sell back program and sustainable product offers for IKEA Family members.