In celebration of the spooky season, IKEA has launched a new Halloween campaign based on the common childhood fear of monsters lurking in the dark. The "Monsters Not Included" campaign comprises a series of playful videos that spotlight the safety of IKEA's iconic furnishings, which the brand ensures are completely free from frightful spare parts.
Playing on the power of an overactive imagination, the short ads create a sense of fear with common horror movie tropes, only to end the nightmare with the flick of a switch – illuminating IKEA as the safe choice for a spook-free slumber. (If you're after more creative campaigns, check out the best print adverts for some inspiration).
Teaming up with design agencies Ogilvy Germany and Ogilvy UK, the clever campaigns play on the universal fear of the unknown, taking us right back to our childhoods. While the ads certainly have a creepy quality, they reinforce the idea that IKEA's trustworthy products have families at the centre of its creative design, offering parents a (literal) light in the dark.
With creepy nursery rhyme chanting, psyco-esque strings and undulating bass notes, the sound design of the ads alone, is enough to send a shiver down your spine. Teasing at something hiding under the bed, tucked away in the closet or lurking behind the curtains, the ads break the spooky spell by flooding the room with a comforting golden light, immediately busting any potential ghosts.
In light of the Halloween season, IKEA's playful subversion of scary movie tropes is a simple yet effective use of clever misdirection, proving that Halloween-themed advertising doesn't always have to be nightmare fuel. The creepy ad campaign debuted this October in the UK and Germany and will be supported by a number of OOH and print advertisements.
IKEA's recent campaigns have been equally weird and wonderful. Check out its Big Blue Bag marketing ploy that expertly uses AR technology, or take a look at this IKEA marketing stunt made out of scaffolding.