Ikea's Big Catalog Secret? A Talented Furniture Impersonator

Film From Swiss Agency Wirz Reveals Why Yearly Tome Always Looks So 'Human'

By Ann-Christine Diaz. Published on Aug 23, 2016

Editor's Pick

Last year, Swiss agency Wirz Werbung Zurich gave us a new point of view on Ikea's catalog by getting famous German literary critic Hellmuth Karasek to review it. This year, to promote the 2016 edition, the agency lets us in on why the famous tome always manages to look so good -- and so "human" -- by revealing Ikea's big secret: a furniture impersonator.

The three-and-a-half minute film, directed by Bjorn Ruhmann, explores the life and processes of Torbjorn Lundberg, a 34-year-old method actor from Malmo, Sweden. Lundberg throws his heart and soul into literally becoming Ikea's various pieces so that the catalog's photographer can pre-plan the best looking pages.

He stands stiffly posing as a Billy bookcase, hangs from the rafters like Hektar pendant lighting and puckers his lips around a lightbulb as an Arstid table lamp. Throughout, he explains how intense the work is -- he even has to shrink himself down-- not just physically, but emotionally, when posing as smaller pieces.

It's a thankless job, as we see Lundberg sitting off meekly on the sidelines while the photographer takes official shots with the real Ikea pieces, giving the furniture, not the actor, all the love.

"We wanted to show the dedication and the passion that is the basis of the catalog, but we wanted to be a bit humorous and self-ironic," explained Wirz CCO Livio Dianese.

As for the casting, "We had this actor, Anders Back, who just was Torbjorn," he said. "When we found him, we changed the script, which before was more about a big-headed dude, to a script that showed a vulnerable guy doing his job with a lot of dedication."

We can't wait to see what's next for Torbjorn and Ikea. It seems like his moves would make for a quite innovative furniture-inspired yoga workout.

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Aug 23, 2016
Wirz Werbung Zürich
Chief Creative Officer:
Livio Dainese
Executive Creative Director:
Fernando Perez
Creative Director:
Caspar Heuss
Adrian Huwyler
Sascha Djabbari
Adrian Schräder
Antonia Frind
Sebahat Derdiyok
Art Buying:
Bettina Faessler
Frank Siegel
Weibke Feit
Bigfish Film Production Berlin
Feit Film Zurich
Björn Rühmann
Director of Photography:
Kolja Brandt
Alexander Jurkat
Post Production:
Color Grading:
Toby Tomkins
Color Company:
Sound Director:
Jingle Jungle Tonstudios
German Wahnsinn, Hamburg
Marketing Manager:
Mikael Pilblad
External Communications Manager:
Simon Wirth
Project Leader:
Fabian von Rechenberg
Communications Manager:
Aurel Hosennen
PR Manager:
Alexander Gligorijevic
Social Media Manager:
Christoph Widmer

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