Cannes Lions

IKEA 'Silence the Critics'

MOTHER, London / IKEA / 2020

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IKEA needed to stem seasonal decline in top of mind awareness and sales by making its first mark on the Christmas season.

IKEA used its unique Christmas offering of hosting - not gifting - to rip the cultural, consumer and advertising tropes up and start again.

The saccharine, cry and buy melee of Christmas advertising was IKEA’s opportunity to achieve stand out and drive top of mind awareness and fame for the brand.

Put it simply, we wanted IKEA to be the most talked about Christmas advert of 2019.


In this advert we see a couple’s insecurities about their home put under the spotlight as a motley crew of household ornaments come to life and mock them on the state of their abode. The gang of knick knacks, including a porcelain panda and a disgruntled dinosaur, taunt the couple by performing a scathing diss track - a staple of the grime genre, itself a popular form of UK rap. Fortunately the quick witted couple soon realise that IKEA has everything they need to turn their home into a festive hangout, allowing them to “Silence the Critics” once and for all. The track was performed and co-written by legendary grime MC, D Double E. A hugely influential figure on the grime scene, dubbed by many as the “godfather of grime”.


Something strange happens to Christmas advertising insights. Life becomes very idealised and people become unbridled in their generous gift giving.

But when it comes to hosting however, it turns out the many people (IKEA’s target audience) actually approach the season with the seasonal pressure of hosting weighing heavily on their minds.

We called this home shame: the voices in your head that - unfairly - tell you your home isn’t good enough to host.

Our strategy was to defy home shame. Because hosting perfection is artificial, unrealistic and nonsense.

And the truth of the matter is that no matter the shape or size or location of your home - every home is worthy of a get together.




Where to start… Silence the Critics trended on Twitter on the day of launch, hit national headlines, organically rippled through influencer feeds (2.3million + instagram impressions that we didn’t have to pay for) and the full track was released on Greg James’ Radio 1 breakfast show.

We took the ambition of making it the most talked about advert of Christmas 2019 and knocked it out of the park in earned media.

Top of mind awareness and buzz built in the long-term too and continued into 2020.

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