Meet Antoinette Ribas, a creative at OgilvySocialLab in Belgium, and one of the creatives behind IKEA’s ‘The Ice Skaters’.


What was the insight/strategy behind the campaign?

We had to show that the living room is a multi-purpose room and that, thanks to IKEA, it adapts to your desires.

What were the particular challenges of bringing this idea to life?

To show something human and plausible, but at the same time inspiring.

What did you learn from working on this campaign?

A lot of things. That it is not always necessary to have an idea, but that you can create an emotion with a beautiful story. That you don’t necessarily have to show the people you’re talking to – just because you cast old people, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t touch young people. And once again the crucial role of music in telling a story.

In what way, if any, does a female lens on the work tend to differ from a male one?

My male copywriter and I came up with this spot. He’s very sensitive –  a personality trait that I often encounter in creative people. I think I brought a bit of elegance, where the script could have slipped towards a slightly humorous interpretation, which could have made  the characters look a little ridiculous. I was very attentive to the set and visuals, and I insisted on having an unusual and typical painting (the powdered pink) to also sublimate the (green) sofa hero at the end of the film.

What can agencies do to not only attract but retain more female creative talent?

It’s a complex subject. Management needs to be convinced of the added value of a diverse team. We need to reflect the world in which we evolve, at the risk of being disconnected from the people we are dealing with. I also think that we’ve gone down the wrong path in thinking that we need to be ‘like’ men. Today, I am convinced that we are not the same and that this is an opportunity. But we have the same value. And that has to be officially recognised, in terms of salary of course, but also in terms of positions.

I still hear of training courses to ‘help women have as many chances to climb the ladder as men’. For me, it is only the proof by example that allows us to go deeper. Hire as many women as men. Full stop.

What can be complicated is that women tend to ask themselves more questions about whether they should or shouldn’t accept a higher position (hours, children, skills) whereas men tend to be more go-getting and ‘see what happens next’. I think that we move less naturally towards managerial/leadership positions. This is a pity, hence the importance of an open, encouraging management that is convinced of the interest of all to hire as many women as men in key positions.

Finally, I would say to women that we are often seen as we see ourselves, which is why good education that promotes empathy and self-confidence is crucial.