The designers at Balenciaga must be big Ikea fans, because the French fashion house just unveiled a fancy new leather bag that looks strikingly like Ikea’s famous blue tote—though the price tag looks a whole lot different.
Balenciaga’s goes for $2,145. Ikea’s is just 99 cents.
This was too much comedy for Ikea to process silently. In Sweden, at the urging of its agency partner Acne, Ikea (via in-house shop Ikea Creative Shop) whipped up a print ad and a social post comically explaining to readers how to tell the difference between Balenciaga’s bag and Ikea’s.
The print ad reads:
How to identify an original Ikea Frakta bag
1) Shake it. If it rustles, it’s the real deal.
2) Multifunctional. It can carry hockey gear, bricks, and even water.
3) Throw it in the dirt. A true Frakta is simply rinsed off with a garden hose when dirty.
4) Fold it. Are you able to fold it to the size of a small purse? If the answer is yes, congratulations.
5) Look inside. The original has an authentic Ikea tag.
6) Price tag. Only $0.99.
Johan Holmgren, creative director at Acne, tells AdFreak that the response ad came together very quickly.
“I wanted to act fast, so I called Morten Kjaer from Ikea Creative Hub. He loved the idea,” Holmgren says. “The day after the Balenciaga bag was launched, I said, ‘We’ll have the creative work ready within two hours.’ We then went to one of our fashion photographers, Anders Kylberg, and shot the bag in his studio, with that same feeling and lighting as the Balenciaga bag. That same day, we sent the finished work to all markets.”
Balenciaga has yet to confirm its bag was an Ikea tribute, though it’s hard to believe it wasn’t. Holmgren calls Balenciaga’s move “unexpected and brilliant. I liked the flirt. And I thought, why not flirt back? And we did.”
Meanwhile, a rep for Ikea told Today: “We are deeply flattered that the Balenciaga tote bag resembles the Ikea iconic sustainable blue bag for 99 cents. Nothing beats the versatility of a great big blue bag!”