This Much I Learned: Ikea’s Kemi Anthony on avoiding the obvious

In the latest episode of Marketing Week’s podcast series, Ikea and long-term creative partner Mother London discuss why ambition, honesty and accountability frees them from a fear of the obvious.

Any relationship which lasts a decade is good going, never mind one between a brand and its creative agency.

Retail giant Ikea and creative partner Mother London have surpassed this milestone during their more than 12-year relationship. From household objects taunting homeowners over their décor in the ‘Silence the Critics’ campaign to the development of “deceptively simple” brand platform ‘The Wonderful Everyday’, this is a creative partnership characterised by a desire for freshness.

Patience, honesty and a determination not to slip into the obvious has fuelled the partnership, explain Ikea marketing communications manager Kemi Anthony and Katie Mackay-Sinclair, partner at Mother London – the Marketing Week Masters 2021 Agency of the Year.

Anthony admits it has been a “rollercoaster” to get to the point where Mother understands the nuances of Ikea the “thinking brand”, while Mackay-Sinclair insists the rigour underpinning the creative process allows ideas to flow with full force.

In this podcast Anthony and Mackay-Sinclair explain why being polite wastes time, the importance of resisting complacency and why staying power is everything.

From opening up about mental health issues to closing the career confidence gap, you can listen to previous episodes of Marketing Week’s This Much I Learned podcast on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud and Spotify.

The deadline for entries to the 2022 Marketing Week Awards has been extended to 8 June. The Awards, sponsored by The Ozone Project, celebrate the most effective, creative and innovative work in the industry. Brands, agencies, PR firms and analytics and marketing technology companies are all invited to submit their work. Visit the website to download an entry pack.