Best of 2017 Integrated/Interactive--No. 6: Ikea Responds to Balenciaga's Copycat Move

The Swedish Retailer Helps You Distinguish an Original From the Fakes

Published On
Apr 24, 2017

Editor's Pick

Through New Year's, we'll be counting down the best work of the year in TV/Film/Branded Content, Print/Outdoor/Design and Interactive/Integrated (IX) as our picks of the day.

At No. 6 in Interactive /Integrated are Ikea's quick-thinking social responses to various cultural events throughout the year. Its various agencies around the world demonstrated nimble thinking and hilarious humor in jumping on relevant stories: such as a post, seen here, following fashion house Balenciaga's launch of a large blue tote that many compared to Ikea's Frakta take-home bags. There were also instructions that showed people how to design their own "Game of Thrones" cape after it was revealed the capes worn by the Westeros Night Watch were made from Ikea furry rugs. Meanwhile, the Swedish retailer also responded to the $450 million art sale of the "Last DaVinci" with a cheeky ad for one of its own picture frames.

Original story:

Last week, luxe fashion house Balenciaga came out with a massive bright blue tote that looks unabashedly like Ikea's Frakta take-home bags consumers can buy for about a dollar at the Swedish retailer. But the Arena extra large shopper sports a price tag with more than a 2,000% markup -- at about $2,145.

This week, Ikea reasserted its own tote as the original, with a post that appears on its retail sites around the world and on its social channels. Created out of Swedish agency ACNE, the ad instructs consumers on how to distinguish an original Frakta from a fake: it rustles when it shakes, it can carry an array of things such as hockey gear, bricks and water, it cleans up easily with a dousing from a garden hose and it has a price tag of just 99 cents.

The post itself saw a super quick turnaround and was conceived nearly as soon as the Balenciaga bag came out. "I wanted to act fast, so we contacted our client the day after and I said, 'We'll have creative work ready within two hours," said ACNE Creative Director Johan Holgrem.

The agency then tapped its own fashion photographer, Anders Kylberg, to shoot the Frakta in studio with similar stylings as that used by Balenciaga. On the very same day, the work went out to Ikea's various markets around the globe.

On Holmgren's part, he wasn't offended by Balenciaga's creative co-opting. It's "unexpected and brilliant," he said. "I like the flirt, and I thought, 'Why not flirt back?' And we did."