IKEA introduces a stuff monster to promote sustainable efforts

IKEA Canada has teamed up with agency Rethink to create a campaign showing that dumped furniture somehow can get a second life in other people’s homes. 

The new ad is a part of IKEA’s programme striving to become more sustainable – and make their consumers have a sustainable and recyclable mindset when needing new furniture.

Anna Granath, a product developer at IKEA Sweden, points out that they: “Need to find alternatives for a circular system. Not only is it a model for a greener and healthier planet, but it’s also a mindset. And Ikea is embracing it.”


The ad follows the “stuff monster”; a creation made up of IKEA couches, cabinets, chairs, etc. as it walks through a neighbourhood dropping off gently used furniture that are picked up by grateful people. 

The Stuff Monster is a metaphor for the possessions that weigh people down, Joel Holtby, partner and creative director, at Rethink, says. 

“It was really important for us to create a character that the viewer could empathize and connect with,” he says. “The feeling of being weighed down and then the simple joy of seeing the very things weighing you down bringing happiness to someone else.”

During the short campaign film, the monster becomes lighter and happier as it sees its belongings getting a new life, before it’s finally revealed that it’s a human behind the monster when a woman sets out the last of her old furniture, accompanied by a “free” sign. The super reads what’s old can be new again.

IKEA has also introduced programmes such as Sell-Back, which gives their customers the oppurtunety to sell their gently used products back to IKEA in exchange for store credit, with IKEA giving the products a second life through resale or donation. The programme has generated more than 23.000 customer submissions since its debut.

IKEA Canada also phased out plastic straws in May, has committed to phasing out all single-use plastics by 2020, and is committed to achieving zero-emission home delivery by 2025.

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