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Leo Burnett Company, Limited
175 Bloor Street East, North Tower
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Toronto

Cannes Contenders: ‘IKEA: Cook This Page’

Leo Burnett Toronto’s campaign inspires creativity in the kitchen

In October 2016, Leo Burnett Toronto released a beautifully understated advertising campaign that started as an in-store promotion for IKEA Canada. The effort quickly generated conversation and praise from consumers and advertisers alike. As the buzz continues, we take a deeper look at the “Cook This Page” campaign as part of our Cannes Contenders series.

Swedish home-furnishings brand IKEA is known for its simple, modern design aesthetic, including its line of kitchenware products. One of the challenges was getting people comfortable with cooking. The solution? Turn them into efficiently modern home chefs.

Leo Burnett created “The Cook This Page Parchment Paper Recipe Series,” a collection of easy-to-make recipes printed on cookable parchment paper. With step-by-step instructions and a list of ingredients precisely illustrated on the parchment paper to match actual proportions, the only thing one had to do was add food, roll it all up and bake it. The recipes incorporated IKEA food items and brought attention to the company’s kitchen product lines.

IKEA Cook This Page - One Sheet

IKEA store managers created in-store events across Canada to show that cooking can be fun, simple and exploratory. The posters were also offered to customers to take home. All 12,500 parchment paper recipes available in 18 locations were snatched up within hours.

Leo Burnett Toronto’s group creative directors, Anthony Chelvanathan and Steve Persico, spoke to us about the campaign.

What inspired this idea?
IKEA is all about creating a better everyday life for people. Lately, the focus has been on the kitchen and everything that goes on inside that space. As part of a larger campaign, we were looking at all aspects of cooking and trying to make them better, easier and more creative. We realized trying new recipes is a little scary for people. We set out to make it better, easier and more creative by using creativity to reinvent the recipe. Plus, we love food and think about it all the time—so it was an idea that was close to our hearts.

This piece was one part of a larger campaign to make time in the kitchen more fun, easy and creative for people. It was an idea that existed in many forms: starting as dessert recipes printed on large peel-away posters, then evolving into recipes printed on different cooking materials, then eventually into the idea that was executed—fill-in-the-blank recipes printed on parchment paper. The more we worked on the idea, the better it got.

What was the hardest part about delivering on the idea?
In this case, thinking of the idea and getting the client on board was the easy part. The hard thing was execution. We needed a rare printing process, unique substrate (parchment) and food-safe ink. Our production team worked endlessly to find a supplier that could make it happen. It was an endless barrage of "No," but eventually a "Yes" that then turned out to be an "Ooops, we can't do that." Persistence paid off, and we found someone who could make it happen. When you have a great idea and it seems like it just might not be possible, it's frustrating and demotivating. But we found a way.

Three Leo Burnett creative directors also reflected on the campaign’s ingenuity at the 1Q17 Global Product Committee (GPC), when top creatives gathered to evaluate work from across the global network. Hear what Matt Fraracci, group creative director at Leo Burnett Toronto; Bechara Mouzannar, chief creative officer at Leo Burnett MENA; and Matthias Fickinger, executive creative director at Leo Burnett Frankfurt, have to say about “IKEA: Cook This Page.”

The interactive campaign took home top awards at the recent ADC, One Show, D&AD and ANDY Awards.