The genius of IKEA ‘Silence the critics’ an advert review

Every once in awhile there’s an advert released — which is really and truly memorable. It’s the ad that every young creative wants to work on and any agency hopes to create. It’s like the one hit single that artists spend years trying to record — the one that they hope takes the airwaves (or internet) by storm. The creative agency Mother are renowned for their superb adverts, but for me, the latest Ikea ad ‘Silence the critics’ has really struck a chord.

When I started hearing some murmurs of grime artists being involved I was naturally curious and excited; The chatter that would follow had many to believe a parody or meme-esque video would grace the internet but what followed was both surprising, genius and perfectly executed.

Why it’s so good

Creatively, the concept is brilliant. The idea that having tatty everyday objects around your house can breed insecurities is very relatable, but to personify the objects through rap music in a comedic way elevates the concept to another level.

Mother said, “We tried to find things that people weren’t necessarily used to seeing come to life as that would make for the most surprising visual and music pairing.” This was delivered through an unexpected line-up of quirky ornaments that would torment the couple, from a novelty teapot and ceramic panda to a lucky cat and dinosaur toy.

The 3D animation was executed excellently by the talented folks at VFX studio Electric Theatre Collective where they 3D scanned each object, rigged and textured the items to star in the music video.

The hardest part?

The music. Getting the music right in any type of video content be it a vlog, TV program or an advert, is a challenge. It’s crucial. It can make or break a video, and even more so in this instance as it needed to be authentic and true to the culture behind the music.

It can go two both ways, the wrong alignment for an artist can spell disaster for their music credibility, and selecting the wrong artist for a brand can cause havoc. It’s a tough gig. Mother, the agency responsible for the ads creative rightly aligned rap as the right direction. This is no small genre of music and they had a vast array of artists to choose from. What they needed to get this right was to find an unfiltered artist who could perfectly communicate the comedic narrative, in a way that didn’t compromise the artists' style.

There could have been only a handful of hundreds of artists to have successfully achieved this, and only one would have come with the organic authenticity and rap credibility, and that was D Double E. Hats off to Star One on the production of this — as every part of the composition captures the spirit and energy of the grime genre as it’s known and loved for. This is a testament to music supervisors Theodore music and the team there for this fantastic job. it hasn't gone unnoticed either, industry heavyweights have rejoiced at the ad for the same reasons.


In all my years documenting grime and underground music, I never thought I’d see the day that an MC as true to his sound and stylistic flair as D Double E would front a campaign for a brand like Ikea.
- Grime journalist JP Patterson

Connecting on a personal level #MarketingWithAttitude

‘Silence the critics’ resonates with me personally on multiple levels. I’ve been in the creative industry and involved in the grime music scene for many years. When I started my agency Disrupt in 2015, getting any “mainstream” brand to even consider the grime genre was impossible. At this time we found that only a few brands such as KA Drinks had the courage to seize the opportunity to do something different and push boundaries with us.

Working at the intersection of culture and the internet for the last decade, I have witnessed first-hand the power of music working together for brands and people.

What we set out to do with artists and personalities back when the agency started would later become a booming industry now referred to as influencer marketing. Our mantra was to work with an influencer rather than for them to just feature and we really believed that authentic collaborations were the key to success. We called this “Marketing with Influence” not influencer marketing. This tied into our overarching approach called “Marketing With Attitude” This brilliant Ikea advert is a perfect demonstration of exactly that.

Marketing with attitude is about daring to be different and connecting with people on a human level through their passions. It’s about being clear on who you are as a brand and how to communicate in a truly authentic way. We are putting this approach in action for our new business Reboxed, and if you want to stay up to date with how to really push your brand to the next level consider signing up to my newsletter

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