If IKEA could be summed up by a single item, it would be their $1 hot dog.
Pre-made materials (sausage and bun) provided to the consumers at the lowest price point. Consumers then assemble said item remotely (at the sauce counter) to their needs.
It is so awful and awesome at the same time.
Even after spending 4 hours manoeuvring through a maze of product design propaganda, dropping a few hundred dollars while learning new foreign words like SKANKA (seriously, that’s the name they decided to go with for a kitchen series), they will not give up the opportunity to extract an extra $1 from us. It’s like the home stretch of a capitalism marathon: Come on! 1 more dollar! Just 1 more!
And many do spend that extra dollar. In fact, I love the IKEA hotdog because it has all the characteristics of street food. It is sold at the cheapest price the vendor can get away with. We honestly do not care if it’s made from sawdusts (we let horse meat slide). It’s kind of fun (don’t pretend you didn’t try to make the ketchup & mustard swirl pattern like the poster). It isn’t fancy, yet invokes nostalgia.
They honestly shouldn’t have, as I doubt that extra $1 will make or break the IKEA empire. But you see, they are doing it for our own good. We need to be reminded that just because we bought some Scandinavian furniture and had some philosophical realisation about ‘storage solutions’, it doesn’t make us any different from before we walked through the entrance.
It is the raison d'être of the IKEA hotdog: to remind us that in the end, we are NOT creative; we are just cheap.
That’s why we were there in the first place.