Cannes Lions winner: Ikea wins Health innovation award for “ThisAbles”

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Ikea has taken the top prize in the Health category at this year’s Cannes Lions festival for “ThisAbles,” a suite of product adaptors that make the company's furniture and goods accessible to those with disabilities.

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Case study summary

• IKEA expanded its products with new features for people with special needs.
• Video campaign stars Eldar, a 32-year-old man who has cerebral palsy and how Ikea's "ThisAbles" s solve’s problems with a range of free add ons
• Attachments are created using a 3D printer in Ikea stores, but can also be printed by anyone, anywhere, by going online.
• Product range was so successful it expanded from Israel to 127 countries

The challenge

The ThisAbles project was conceived to allow people with special needs to enjoy the quality of life provided by IKEA products.

As part of IKEA’s vision to “create a better everyday life for as many people as possible”, Ikea joined forces with the non-profit organizations Milbat and Access Israel, that specialises in creating special solutions for populations with special needs and disabilities, and developed a new and revolutionary line of products that bridge some of the gaps between existing IKEA products and the special needs of people belonging to these populations.

The solution

The campaign, created out of McCann Tel Aviv and produced by Craft London, centred around a series of videos showing people benefiting from the new furniture.

The film stars Eldar, a 32-year-old man who has cerebral palsy and thus, has difficulties getting off his couch at home, for example. “I do everything I can to conduct myself like everyone else,” he says in the minute-and-a-half video. “But in my own home, of all places, I’m surrounded with furniture crying out, ‘cripple.’”

Ikea's "ThisAbles" helps solve such problems with a range of free add ons, such as pegs that attach to the feet of a sofa so it’s easier for people like Eldar to get off. The attachments are created using a 3D printer in Ikea stores, but can also be printed by anyone, anywhere, by going online.

The results

The product line and accompanying video ad campaign took home the Grand Prix for Health and Wellness at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Although the offering was initially available for Ikea retail outlets in Israel, they are now accessible worldwide in 127 countries.

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