Die ,schwedische‘ Lösung : Eine kultursemiotisch orientierte Untersuchung der audiovisuellen Werbespots von IKEA in Deutschland
Sammanfattning: The Swedish furniture company IKEA is famous worldwide for its successful advertising and communication strategies. In the years 1997–2007, the company attained a very prominent status in Germany through audiovisual advertisements in the mass media of television and the Internet, including YouTube. A striking example of this phenomenon is the campaign launched by IKEA on St. Knut’s Day, the date that traditionally ends the Christmas holidays in Sweden. In its advertising, IKEA invented a Swedish tradition of throwing out the Christmas tree through the window in order to create more space for IKEA furniture at home.The present study examines the process of establishing IKEA as a Swedish brand in Germany through audiovisual advertising. This is done within an interdisciplinary framework of primarily cultural semiotics, communication theory and advertising research. The theoretical concepts of Ego and Alter cultures are employed in order to grasp the interaction between the Swedish company and the German consumer culture. IKEA constructs a model of itself and enters into a dialogue with the German market.The analysis of 48 audiovisual advertisements, published by IKEA during the period 1997–2007 for a German target audience, shows that the company very consciously draws on various notions of ‘Swedishness’ and Nordic stereotypes. In the last few years, however, the advertising has also included typical German topics that concern domestic, everyday life themes, including equality issues such as parental leave after the birth of a child, women’s careers, and wealthy men being interested in home styling. Over the years, the messages have moved from being indirect and humorous/self-ironic to becoming more serious and direct. The in-depth analyses of six selected audiovisual advertisements explore in detail how IKEA’s presentation of itself as a Swedish company on the German furniture market functions.
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