Watching cameos from the likes of Jane Lynch and Jeff Goldblum, it's easy to forget that the breakout Web series Easy to Assemble is, at its core, one giant Ikea commercial. And what a commercial it's been: Season two of the series has earned more than 13 million views. The kudos belong to creator Illeana, who also stars as--meta alert!--an actress who works at Ikea Burbank. Season three debuts this fall on MyDamnChannel.com, and Douglas recently chatted with us about what to expect in the new season, Swedish meatballs, and how one Web show can help revitalize an entire brand.
Fast Company: When Easy to Assemble premiered, it was one of the only branded shows on the Internet. Why did Ikea approach you to make it happen?
Illeana Douglas: That first year, people thought of Ikea as dorm furniture. And they wanted to take a new, hip approach to their brand. Ikea contacted me after watching one of my pilots, "Supermarket" [about working in a supermarket], on YouTube. We bounced around a couple different ideas, but [show producer] Magnus Gustafson kept coming back to, "But I really loved what you wrote with 'Supermarket.' Would you be able to do a show like that but set in an Ikea?" So I said, "Oh my god, great."