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Venida Evans began appearing in a series of IKEA advertisements beginning in 2008 as an invisible, older woman known simply as “The Muse.”
The commercials were created by Deutsch New York, the ad agency which is responsible for IKEA’s advertisements in the United States.
While some television viewers thought that Evans was a ghost in the IKEA ad campaign, executives at Deutsch New York envisioned her character as a “muse.” Peter Nicholson, the chief creative officer of Deutsch New York, described the concept of the muse which Evans plays in the commercials saying, “She’s the voice of reason and support and your consciousness of why you made a good purchase of an Ikea product. She’s got this Mary Poppins quality to me.”
Critics and viewers have taken notice of both Evans and the IKEA ad campaign. The ads have variously been described as “surreal” and “creepy.” Philadelphia Daily News columnist Ellen Gray compared Evans’ IKEA “Muse” to Bruce Willis’ character in The Sixth Sense. Evans has said that she never intended for her character in the commercials to be creepy.
Evans’ other recent work has included a recurring role on the CBS soap opera, Guiding Light, where she plays a grandmother named Loretta. She has also stated that she will audition for a part in a future Adam Sandler film, noting that her career has accelerated since the launch of the IKEA commercials in 2008.