IKEA's 2021 furniture catalog has an adorable second edition out now, recreating the original using screenshots from Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Swedish furniture manufacturer IKEA has created a version of its 2021 furniture catalog rendered in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, featuring characters from the game. The furniture brand is something of a cultural icon due its distinctly massive stores, intentionally disorienting layout, and bizarre social media presence. This isn't the first time the furniture merchant has linked itself to the video game industry, either. In 2016, the company launched the IKEA VR Experience, a fully interactive virtual kitchen simulator that can be downloaded from Steam for free right now.
IKEA is far from the first brand to jump on the Animal Crossing: New Horizons bandwagon. The cheery, peaceful reprieve the game gives players from the stressful circumstances of everyday life made it an overnight sensation. To date, it has sold over 22 million copies and it's currently listed as the second-best-selling Nintendo Switch game of all time. With such an impact, it's unsurprising to see third parties pick up on the game's success as well and try to get a piece of the pie. Hong Kong-based food brand Yummy House, for instance, made the news a few months ago for hiring Animal Crossing experts to design branded islands for players to visit in a bold new marketing strategy. Numerous celebrities have been engaging with fans through mutual enjoyment of the game, and screenwriter Gary Whitta even started up a talk show inside Animal Crossing to fill the gap left by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, IKEA wants in, too. IKEA Taiwan recently posted its 2021 furniture catalog on Facebook, as spotted by GoNintendo, and, amusingly enough, it posted an Animal Crossing version as well. Every image in the catalog is rendered in New Horizons' style, with the game's iconic animal villagers and adorable player characters standing in for the catalog's human models. The catalog recreates its real-life counterpart surprisingly faithfully, right down to the clothing the characters are wearing. While there is no official IKEA furniture inside Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the catalog still does an admirable job of getting as close to the real furniture on display as possible, borrowing liberally from Animal Crossing's already impressive furniture collection. Liberties have of course been taken, especially concerning one page where the Animal Crossing page tries to sell viewers a dinosaur skull to replicate a stuffed T-Rex being sold by the real thing.
Many players take issue with brands exploiting trends like this to turn a profit, and they do have a very valid point. The advertising industry can be a very insidious thing sometimes, and can even serve as a platform to spread disinformation and hate. As cute and relatable as companies can appear on social media, they will always be more interested in moving products. Still, if a company like IKEA puts in the effort to make something genuinely charming like its Animal Crossing catalog, it's hard to find fault.
Wherever one stands on advertising, the time that went into building this catalog can't be denied. A crossover between a furniture brand like IKEA and a game like Animal Crossing, which has a huge furniture and interior design component, does make a lot of sense. Animal Crossing: New Horizons provides a great platform for creative output of all kinds, and regardless of what the message is, IKEA's catalog is an adorable creation that fits the tone of the game perfectly.
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