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Company: IKEA International
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: IKEA
Ad Title: Dining Room Table
Business Category: Retail
Media Outlets: Television
Country: United States
Region: North America, US Regional
Agency: Deutsch
Year: 1994
Target: Mainstream
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Theme(s)

Same-Sex Affection

Same-Sex Couples/Families

Theme Breakdown

AdRespect Score: 
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This groundbreaking, famous spot for Swedish furniture maker IKEA made news around the world, though it was rarely seen. It features a male couple shopping for a dining room table together. The two middle-aged guys, who finish each other's sentences, say "a leaf means commitment." At the end, one says, "We've got another leaf waiting for when we REALLY start getting along" -- perhaps implying having children.

The ad was part of a larger campaign that dealt with non-traditional families and was the first time an advertiser dealt with a gay relationship frankly in the US. (It was not the first, however. One year earlier, a remarkable Danish commercial for Politiken newspaper was the first to depict a male couple together, with a passionate kiss.)

Although IKEA accepted the ad, the retailer still had some reservations, perhaps justifiably so. The spot ran only ONCE in New York City and Washington, D.C. after 9:30 in deference to children, before it was pulled following bomb threats to stores.

Many wrongly assumed the commercial was meant to target gay buyers, but the campaign was about "non-traditional" families, including a mixed race couple and a single mom with an adopted child.

The commercial's director told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that it was not important to be the first company to show a gay couple together and "Actually I was surprised when we first started looking at this" that no one had done it before.

Late-night showings remain somewhat familiar terrain for advertisers with gay themes, including a 2000 ad for a Brazilian portal web site and a British commercial from the now-defunct Rubberstuffers organization.

The IKEA ad disappeared only a few weeks after it began when the retailer got a bomb threat at a store from conservatives, along with calls for a boycott.

Nonetheless, the commercial was well-liked by the gay community. The gay stereotype of being fashion-oriented and tastemaker was leveraged in the ads, giving a sort of "Gay Housekeeping Seal of Approval" on IKEA. One of the two actors also is openly gay, though he said that was not known when he was cast for the part.

IKEA has revisited gay and transgender themes a number of times in its commercials over the years.

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George , Long Beach, CA
One of my favorite ads.

TJ , PA, USA
Very well done and still relevant. With all the different media outlets from 1994 would love to see this run again.

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"Luem Aeb" ("Forget to Keep Hidden")
Company: IKEA International
Brand: IKEA
Country: Thailand
Region: Asia
Year: 2013

AdRespect Score:


A Festa
Company: IKEA International
Brand: IKEA
Country: Portugal
Region: Europe
Year: 2011

AdRespect Score:


A Woman or Nearly
Company: IKEA International
Brand: IKEA
Country: France
Region: Europe
Year: 2002

AdRespect Score:


Bedroom
Company: IKEA International
Brand: IKEA
Country: United Kingdom
Region: Europe
Year: 2005

AdRespect Score:


Bedside Cabinet
Company: IKEA International
Brand: IKEA
Country: United Kingdom
Region: Europe
Year: 2005

AdRespect Score:


Closet
Company: IKEA International
Brand: IKEA
Country: Netherlands
Region: Europe
Year: 2002



Fortune Cookie
Company: IKEA International
Brand: IKEA
Country: United States
Region: North America
Year: 2001

AdRespect Score:


Get Organized
Company: IKEA International
Brand: IKEA
Country: Australia
Region: Australia/New Zealand
Year: 2002, 2003

AdRespect Score:


Get Organized, Part 2
Company: IKEA International
Brand: IKEA
Country: Australia
Region: Australia/New Zealand
Year: 2003, 2002

AdRespect Score:


I Don't Judge
Company: IKEA International
Brand: IKEA
Country: United States
Region: North America
Year: 2008

AdRespect Score:

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