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Syncbubble Dubbles: RSA’s Kai-Lu Hsiung & Great Guns' Laura Gregory Revamp Ikea ‘Lamp’


Production titans redub spooky Spike Jonze-directed spot in musical experiment

Syncbubble Dubbles: RSA’s Kai-Lu Hsiung & Great Guns' Laura Gregory Revamp Ikea ‘Lamp’

This week Great Guns founder and EP Laura Gregory and RSA Films’ London MD Kai-Lu Hsiung shine a new light on the Spike Jonze-directed Ikea spot ‘Lamp’.

The spot from Cripin Porter + Bogusky was the eighth most awarded commercial of 2003 and even beat Honda Cog to the Cannes Lions Film Grand Prix that year. It’s a tale of rejection, loss and Scandinavian pragmatism and a slice of subtle storytelling that lends itself perfectly to the ongoing Syncbubble Dubble experiment.

Find out how Laura and Kai got on below. And don’t forget, if you want to have a go, you can join in by heading to Check back next week to see if your new version of Lamp has made our showcase.


Kai-Lu Hsiung

Check out Kai's selection here.

Ikea "Lamp" - to be honest, I don't know, recognise or remember the track that this commercial used. Do you? I presume it may have been a deliberate decision to not make this "all about the music", but more about the surprise at the end. The pathos and sadness though is something that I thought could have been enhanced, so I started with listening to a lot of very heart wrenching tunes to see how they worked. Dave Trott said it last week – "a track has to have immediate impact" - so with this in mind I picked The Betty et Zorg track from the film Betty Blue. It immediately creates a great atmosphere as well as being a real tear jerker. Another very sad piece of music is Arvo Part's Spiegel and Spiegel. I also put this track on as I know Mr Part has absolutely refused to have his music used for advertising purposes so to have the luxury of trying anything seemed like an opportunity not to be missed. And then I had to try a few that did nod to the humour of the commercial and Willie Nelson’s Always on My Mind just made me smile. Whether it would have made a more memorable ad or not is a good question, though?


Laura Gregory


Listen to Laura's choices here.

My first choice was My Conviction – the operatic swell brings comedy and an uplifting nature to the spot, giving a juxtaposition to the sadness of the video.  And the words are interesting too; ‘conviction’ makes the viewer think the lamp has done something criminal perhaps. 

Second up is Black Keys’ Never Gonna Give You Up. I like the idea that the lamp and girl are intertwined as if in a relationship and she is now broken up with him (the lamp) and seeing she with the next lamp.


Thirdly it’s Cypress Hill. The lamp is on the streets, there’s a ghetto vibe now he is outside and wants to kill the new lamp that has taken his home. The lyrics, after all, are ‘I just want to kill a man’ …


And finally I chose the Blind Willie Johnson’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine – it conjures up the idea that the lamp has done something wrong and it is all his fault. 


The Verdict

In the words of Anchorman’s Brick Tamland, “I love lamp”. This week’s spot gave Kai and Laura lots to play with. So far in the Syncbubble Dubble experiment, we’ve re-dubbed ads which already featured high profile and iconic tracks whereas Lamp doesn’t come with a particularly memorable track. So this time around the  wannabe music supervisors had more of a blank slate. As a result Kai and Laura have come up with a starkly different set of tracks – Kai has gone for an exploration of sadness whereas Laura has changed up the story with a more gritty, contemporary selection.

For LBB editor, Laura Swinton, both selections have a lot to say about the role of music in advertising. “I think they’re both really interesting – they show how important a role music plays in storytelling and creating a character. Ultimately the main character is an inanimate object and you can project all sorts of motivations and personalities onto him just by tweaking the music. On the one hand Laura’s been really playful and shown how music can be used to completely transform a film and give new insights. On the other hand Kai has really built on the spirit of the original and explored how more refined choices can further enhance the emotion.”

Meanwhile Syncbubble’s Simon Elms reckons that both women have enhanced the original ad. “This is advertising at its best - informative and funny. Great idea, well executed. Having said that I think all of Kai's and Laura's suggestion actually bring more to the spot than the original track which sort of suggests that they may have missed a trick when they thought about the music. I'm really interested to see what our other 'Dubbers' come up with over the next week.

And with that – it’s over to you!

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LBB Editorial, Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:17:47 GMT