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At the end of last year, IKEA Japan launched their new ‘tiny homes campaign’, leasing a tiny 10 squared metre apartment for only 99 Yen (£0.64) a month… and of course fully fitted with Ikea furniture and products.

With the Greater Tokyo Area being the most populous metropolitan area in the world, Japan has become an expert in small space living, with micro homes becoming a common part of life in the space restricted city. The tiny IKEA apartment is located in the busy and highly desirable Shinjuku District and will be rented out on a short-term lease until January 2023. Applicants had to be IKEA Family Members and needed to submit their applications online or in the in-store IKEA estate agent offices” in Tokyo by December last year in order to have the chance to be the lucky tenant. Similarly sized one-room apartments in Tokyo generally cost hundreds of pounds a month, so at only £0.64 a month this apartment will very much be a great catch for the one lucky applicant.

In a clever attempt to promote the IKEA family and small space living, IKEA has used a life-size version of its highly popular toy shark, Blahaj, who personifies a very passionate estate agent as the cornerstone and protagonist of its campaign.

In a reality-style mini series, created by Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo, we follow Blahaj on his mission to find the perfect tenant for the tiny apartment in order to show how even the most “cumbersome and small room can be transformed into a happy room” (ikea.jp). This entertaining mini series also just happens to highlight how perfect IKEA furniture is at making small living spaces cosy, functional and an amazing place to live and work in.

Max Pilwat, creative director at Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo, highlights how the campaign has been able to combine Japan’s love for mascots with the real problem of space within urban areas, alongside a highly comical and gripping storyline, pushing people to tune into the adventures of Blahaj. Research shows storyline advertising works really well and this is a great campaign by IKEA to showcase their furniture through the medium of a funny narrative.