Ikea Tidy Up French Advertising Campaign

Ikea‘s advertising campaign, “Tidy Up”, was first launched in France in September 2001. Five years on, the campaign continues to amuse. The five 30 second ads were designed to reach a new cohort of young adults who had grown up with IKEA and associated the furniture retailer with their parents’ generation. The campaign was translated from French to English and used throughout Europe. The super for each of the ads:
In English: “Tidy Up. (or Straighten Up) If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for others.” In French: “Rangez. Si vous ne le faites pas pour vous, faites le pour les autres.”

IKEA Vibrator in the hands of a boy playing with little cars

Intriguingly, the IKEA Tidy Up ads have been described as “Banned” and “Extreme” wherever they’ve been posted on YouTube and Google. I haven’t found any evidence that would back up these claims. Of course labelling something as contraband would increase the hit rate!

The Little Cars

The Little Cars, or “”Petites Voitures” as it was first introduced in France, features a young boy playing with his plastic toy traffic environment. He provides his own sound effects as he moves vehicles and animals around. The highlight of his play is the rocket (vibrator) that makes it own noise. He squeals with delight as it vibrates in his hand and on the floor. Also known as “Mom’s Special Toy”. Click on the image below to play the video.

The Fork

“La Fourchette” features a young man preparing for a romantic evening. He puts a disk in the CD player, opens the door to receive a kiss from his blonde girlfriend. He takes a couple of bottles from the fridge and joins the woman in a passionate embrace. When they fall on the couch she goes suddenly limp. To his distress he discovers a fork sticking into her back. Click on the image below to play the video.

Robot approaches the dog in IKEA TV ad

The Robot

A young man dressed only in a pair of shorts watches television while feeding his dog. As he walks through his messy house, he trips over a toy robot soldier. The robot is activated and starts shooting its two guns, walking towards the kitchen, finally reaching the posterior of the dog, which is occupied eating. In the bathroom we see the young man brushing his teeth, pausing as he hears the dog’s yelp. Click on the image below to play the video.

Couple share spaghetti in IKEA ad

The Spaghetti

A couple lie on the floor, lasciviously sharing a bowl of spaghetti. Each strand of spaghetti they share ends in a kiss. Until the woman discovers she’s sucking up a shoe lace from her boyfriend’s running shoe. Click on the image below to play the Spaghetti video.

Woman looks under bed in Under The Mess IKEA ad

Under The Mess

“Sous La Pagaille” opens with a young woman desperately searching through her house. Aerobics music plays as she looks under her bed, under cushions, behind a clothes horse, in the wardrobe. Finally she finds her baby in a basket in the laundry, covered by clothes. Click on the image below to play the video.

Tidy Up Credits

The IKEA Tidy Up campaign was developed at newly established Paris office of Leagas Delaney, by creative director Pascale Grégoire, art director Sylvain Thirache, copywriter Aude Mee, and agency producer Marie Massis. The Paris agency has since been closed. Pascale Grégoire moved to CLM BBDO but resigned in March 2006 to form La Chose.

Filming was directed by Brian Beletic via Propaganda Films and Les Telecreateurs, with director of photography Joaquin Baca-Asay and producer Eric Liekefet. Beletic is now represented by Smuggler.

Editor was Katz at Cosmo Street, Santa Monica. Colorist was Beau Leon, then at R!OT, Santa Monica, now at The Syndicate. Inferno visiual effects were done by Phil Brennen at Asylum, Santa Monica.

Audio was mixed by Loren Silber, then at Pop Sound, now at Lime, Santa Monica. Sound was designed by Sam Londe, Reinhard Denke and Gus Koven at Stimmung!. Moving parts for the robot were done at Cinnabar, Los Angeles. Music was composed by Chez Jean.


The IKEA Tidy Up campaign won several awards in 2001 and 2002, including Epica, Festival de la Publicité de Méribel, The New York Festivals, The Cresta Awards, and YoungGuns International Advertising Award.

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