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When I first moved to Washington, DC in 1988, IKEA ads touting their high product-testing standards were on TV a lot. My roommate and I loved one with a scientist jumping up and down on a bed chanting, “You’re gonna get hurt! You’re gonna get hurt! You’re gonna get hurt!”

That’s how I remembered it, anyway. We especially loved that ad after we’d been drinking all night at Ireland’s Four Provinces (aka The 4Ps) so, um, do with that what you will.

Over the years, I’ve quizzed marketing experts about this ad campaign. I’ve made phone calls. I’ve searched for this ad on youtube. All to no avail. Samer almost had me convinced that I’d imagined it. Almost.

Recently, I began to wonder if I was perhaps remembering the ads themselves properly, but had the company wrong. I commenced googling, and the first hit led me to a detailed dissection of the whole campaign!

It was real! And it was an IKEA campaign! And it was, indeed, almost exactly as I remembered it!

Thank you so much, Adland! There’s no video, but the picture pretty much says it all, and they break down the ad.

TITLE CARD: IKEA LOGO VO ANNCR: Ikea, Swedish for common sense.

In the closing scene, the male tester is jumping up and down on a bed. …Like a kid.
FEMALE TESTER: You’re gonna get hurt.
SFX: BELL
FEMALE TESTER: You’re gonna get hurt.
SFX: BELL
FEMALE TESTER: You’re gonna get hurt.
SFX: BELL

The post is a discussion of a number of ad campaigns and I’m not familiar with, but the IKEA part vindicates my memory. Lots of Gen X creatives read this site, though, so some of you will probably find it interesting if you remember this ad, or some later ads for other companies that were apparently suspiciously similar.

I loved this note at the bottom of the post, a 2005 update to the 1998 post:

A visitor lets us know that IKEA tv spot in the Badland section was definitely done at Goldberg Marchdesano in D.C. Joe Moscati was the Art Director…he was at the One Show to accept award on behalf of Goldberg, and has the pencil with his name on it to prove it. Wow, this makes the ‘original’ ad an olden goldie, 1988 is a long time ago for a commercial.

I’m glad the website broke down all of the ads in the campaign – they were all funny.

I uploaded their image and put it at the top of this post because this post has been in my draft file for a while and I’ve had trouble loading the adland page a few times and I’m afraid they might disappear. I’m going to drop them a line to make sure it’s okay I’m using it. And to thank them for documenting this ad campaign!

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