Ikea Canada’s New Ad Urges Us All to Do ‘One Little Thing’ to Help Save The Earth

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There’s nothing quite like a global crisis—climate change, for instance—to make everyday people feel powerless. 

Ikea Canada understands the temptation to throw up our hands in defeat when faced with rising sea levels and melting polar icecaps. But the retailer is asking each of us, instead, to enlist in the battle for a cleaner earth with its new campaign, titled “One Little Thing.”

The brand isn’t suggesting that a $3 Ryet LED light bulb will reverse the world’s dire environmental situation. But it’s a start, according to a lovely and optimistic 60-second commercial from the retailer’s longtime agency Rethink.

“One Little Thing” is a kindred spirit to the brand’s previous work, notably Lamp 2 and Stuff Monster. Those ads tout recycling and other eco-friendly practices as core values at the retail chain, which has shifted to more sustainable materials, phased out single-use plastic and introduced a sell-back program. It has also pledged to be a climate-positive business by 2030.

Using its ongoing tagline “Beautiful Possibilities,” the new ad packs in a host of trend-right activities that almost anyone can participate in, like composting, air drying laundry on outdoor clotheslines, biking, gardening and installing solar panels. 

The point is to let consumers know, in a tangible way, how they can chip away at a mountainous problem and jumpstart a “green recovery.” The concept behind the ad is to reframe sustainability “from a monumental undertaking to a series of small actions that every individual can take,” said Johanna Andren, Ikea Canada’s head of marketing.

Small changes add up

The ad, which was shot over four days in Sweden, was choreographed to capture the action in continuous takes. Additional material and people were added in postproduction. From director Adam Berg and cinematographer Linus Sandgren, the spot purposely takes Ikea’s products outside the store and into a forest setting to emphasize the back-to-nature vibe.

“One Little Thing” will air on TV in several countries and on digital and social platforms, with out of home that will focus on incremental changes like using energy-saving blinds, nurturing house plants and installing LED lights.

“We knew the challenge was going to be figuring out a way to visually show the power of the many, without making it a boring and typical vignette ad,” said Dhaval Bhatt, Rethink’s creative director. “So we went with a cinematic approach of a single take to seamlessly show the actions growing from the one to the many.”

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