Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

A bit of weekend fun! This is actually an IKEA ad from 3 years ago, but I just found it yesterday. It’s part of a ‘Storage Problems’ campaign. In this 15 second ad, they use the metaphor of a neatly arranged and precisely packed bento box to promote the idea of ‘solving storage problems’ - using IKEA items, of course.

I just love the metaphor, not to mention that really neatly arranged bento box!


[ETA]: A couple of people wanted to know what’s in this bento box. I am just guessing on a couple of things, but here is what I believe is in there.

Right side: a bed of rice with the following toppings on the right edge (from top to bottom): sakura denbu, a small crunchy umeboshi (also called ko-ume, small ume, or karikari-ume), and toasted ground white sesame seeds.

Left side, top row (left to right): blanched sugar snap peas turned vertically and horizontally; thinly sliced pork wrapped around blanched carrot and asparagus (called nikumaki usually), sliced - see a version that’s not so neat and square in the bento my sister made for her daughter (in the pink box).

Left side, middle row (left to right): pink and white kamaboko (fish cakes); either orange kamaboko or carrot slices; tamagoyaki.

Left side, bottom row (left to right): I’m not sure what the green and white round things are, but I am guessing some kind of vegetable wrapped around more kamaboko, or cheese, then sliced. The reddish round things are probably carrots again - there is a type of carrot that is that color. The pale yellow and white things are baby corn. The brown thin things with sesame seeds is probably kinpira gobo made with just burdock root, not carrots. I’m not sure what the green star-shaped things with pink centers are…could be okra with mentaiko or tarako (spicy or salty pollack roe) in the middle. And finally there are two little sausages.

Here’s another ad using a suitcase as the metaphor for neatly packed storage. This is great too, but I prefer the bento version.

Read more about the IKEA Storage Problems campaign, including the them song (warning: major earworm!) over here.

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Re: Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

The Japanese girls I traveled with absolutely amazed me with their packing. They could pack a week's worth of clothes in a carry-on that was the size of a laptop briefcase. Of course, my giajin clothes were twice the size of theirs (and still are), but it was still amazing.

Re: Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

I am from Japan, but I usually have at least two carry-ons for a two-night-stay. Then again, I am much taller (thus considered bigger) than most Japanese girls.....

Re: Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

BTW, I used to go to the Ikea in Yokohama. In fact, because of my Navy career, I just went to my first stateside Ikea a couple months ago! I'd been to the one in Dubai, one in Japan, and recently went to the one in Atlanta. Luckily, the meatballs were the same at all three!!

Re: Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

I have always thought that IKEA and bento boxes would be a perfect match. They should make them for the store, and also sell their lunches "to go" packed in their own bentos. It would be AWESOME!!!!

Re: Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

I totally support that idea! :O

Re: Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

Any chance we could figure out and maybe post the "Ikea Bento" recipe? That would be kind of cool to see.

Re: Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

ok, I second the above comment by Shawn. I can figure out some of that stuff above by just looking, but some of that stuff is so pretty and a westerner like me doesn't even know what it is...could anyone just give a road map to what all that is? I recognize the rice with furikake and umeboshi, the little sausages, and peapods, maybe green beans next to them, what is the rest? Just for fun.

Bento box contents

I've added a description of what I think is in the bento box to the post. I can't really see a couple of the items from the screenshot so I just took a guess. ^_^

Re: Bento box contents

Hurrah, thanks for adding that!

Re: Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

I wonder if the reddish round thing on the bottom is a sweet potato? It's yellow on the inside in the video "side view" as she slides the egg in. That view might give additional clues for the green thing - maybe cucumber with a dab of tarako?

Re: Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

You're probably right about the sweet potato. If that is cucumber, they're mightly small ones (though I guess cornichons are about that size too ^_^)

Re: Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

While I really like this IKEA commercial, my Americanized feminist mind says the ad was really stereotypical - a girl packing a Bento, a guy packing a travel case (presumably for a business trip). Hummm, I may have lived in the US too long.

Re: Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

I know it is not the main point of the post, but, watching the bento video, it seems like the yellow round things in the middle row of the left side of the bento are not tamagoyaki, but some kind of yellow cheese.

Just saying. :)

Re: Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

Nah that's definitely tamagoyaki. A very neat, yellow tamagoyaki for sure.

Re: Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

The yellow thing she is putting in looks like pineapple to me.

Re: Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

i think the red things next to the baby corn might actually be apple slices...

Re: Offbeat: Great bento-related IKEA TV ad

its amazing!

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