An eco-conscious polar bear is taking a wasteful family to task in a cosy campaign for IKEA in the Middle East. She’s surprisingly passive aggressive as she nudges the family to eat less meat, switch to energy saving lightbulbs and swap car journeys for bike rides. It’s a playfully deadpan affair, with an oh-so-human performance from the giant ursine star, that switches from passive aggressive grumping to affection and back again.
The campaign was created by Memac Ogilvy and directed by Amr El Hadad, with production from Truffle Film
. In the spot, the polar bear represents an environmentally-aware mother who is taking the lead on adopting a more sustainable lifestyle.
The bear was brought to life using a combination of animatronics, performance and sound design. “The most interesting aspect of the production was, without any doubt, the animatronic polar bear,” says executive producer Cynthia Chammas. “Understanding how the suit works, what actions are easily performed and what other actions are more challenging." This suit is worn by a performer and comes with two puppeteers who operate the animatronic head and neck.
IKEA - Mama Bear from Truffle.Film on Vimeo.
The team was determined to bring nuance to this gentle giant’s character: firm, gentle, a little bit intimidating but driven by love. “Through body language and facial expressions the animatronic polar bear can convey many emotions: this on one hand and the sound design on the other hand, helped building the mama bear's strong but loving character,” says Cynthia, who has clearly developed an affection for grizzly mama bear herself. “She is an eco-conscious mom whose aim is to show her family how to follow an eco-friendly lifestyle for sustainable living.”
The campaign was developed for IKEA in the Middle East. The franchise for IKEA is held by Al-Futtaim Group across UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Oman.