Today's L.A. Times' biz section

touts a new and improbable addition to Burbank's media studios — the

IKEA store on San Fernando Road. After listing some odd and varied

appearances that IKEA made in the news during the past year from China to Scotland, writer Dan Neil looks at the role

of IKEA's Burbank location has played in the viral spread of company ads and Web


IKEA has shot its spoofy Web TV series Easy to Assemble featuring 

actress Illeana Douglas there; a key scene with Zooey Deschanel and

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays out in the same locale in the film (500) Days of  Summer, and the prankish video project, The Real World: IKEA,

was secretly shot at the Burbank store and featured “cast members

bickering screaming obscenities at one another” — until one actor

removes his clothes and the real-world police are called in. Neil

reports this project has earned more than 136,000 YouTube viewings.

An even edgier satire/IKEA homage taped at the Burbank store is IKEA

Heights, a multi-episode online soap opera that is also shot guerrilla-style

there without IKEA's okay. “Marketers who would capitalize on

user-generated content,” Neil points out, “must also be prepared to let

the inmates run the asylum.”

No word yet if there'll be any projects involving the character of IKEA's founder, Ingvar Kamprad,

Europe's richest man who, as a teenager during World War II, belonged

to a pro-Nazi Swedish group. Perhaps a playful mockumentary could be

called Achtung, IKEA Shoppers!

LA Weekly