Ikea wants you to pee on their latest ad... and if you are pregnant you get a discount
Ads definitely have to stand out in this day and age to make a difference and Ikea has most certainly hit it out of the park with this one.
In this day and age, marketing for the mega corporates has reached a zenith. It's understandable. You need to get as creative and as unique as possible to set yourself apart from your competitors and gain that slender advantage that, in the end, makes all the difference. Swedish furniture giant Ikea is not one to be left behind in that regard.
In its latest ad campaign, the company is aiming to attract mothers-to-be with coupons that double up as pregnancy tests. The brilliant idea was the brainchild of Swedish agency Åkestam Holst, which was also Ad Week's International Agency of the Year for 2017, and was created in collaboration with Mercene Labs.
Featuring in Amelia magazine, which the agency says is one of Sweden's most influential magazines for women, it encourages women to pee on it to reveal a discount code. The ad is for the company's Sundvik crib and reads 'Peeing on this ad may change your life.'
It was created with technology similar to that used by a pregnancy test stick and reveals the company's family discount for the crib if the woman who peed on it is pregnant. Mercene Labs says that it had to make 'several technological advancements' in order for the coupon to work and that it had the potential to improve medical diagnostics.
According to Ad Week, a statement released by the agency read: "In order to make the interactive functions of this ad work in reality, we had to make several technological advancements. The pregnancy test strip was used as a starting point, which relies on antibodies that bind to the pregnancy hormone hCG, resulting in a color change."
"For scaling up of this technique and adapting it to the physical format of a printed ad, Mercene Labs has used their experience in development of surface active materials for microfluidics and medical diagnostics. Careful selection of materials, together with a controlled capillary flow have been crucial for the success of this project," it continued.
While the idea is quite unique, to say the least, it does come with certain pitfalls. For example, wouldn't having to pee on the coupon to reveal the discount code mean that the couple/family would then have to take the same pee-soaked coupon to the store to redeem it? Would that not present a hygiene issue for the clerks tasked with collecting them?
Furthermore, while this could present a cheaper option to expecting moms — the cost of pregnancy tests can add up reasonably quick — the test has not yet been endorsed by medical professional and will probably not be for the foreseeable future.
Once the ad went viral, it became the talk of the town on Twitter. Some praised the ad's creativity, but unsurprisingly, many pointed out that it was quite unpractical. One tweet went 'Has no one at Ikea seen a pregnant woman before? They're pretty easy to spot without having them pee all over everything,' with another one reading 'Ikea wants women to pee on its ad, and then bring it to the store.'
Here are a few of the best reactions from Twitter:
The state of American healthcare: @Ikea is marketing pregnancy test. In order to reveal the hidden discounted price, females are being asked to urinate on the ad #WhenLifeHappensCampain https://t.co/xCzRHxcsog— jteore (@jteore) 9 January 2018
I don't know what the world is coming too.. A free pregnancy test? With an IKEA advert? 😭 pic.twitter.com/9PqUiwrjVW— RAV.®️ (@sparkyouridea) 10 January 2018
Uhhh OK. Idk why a pregnant can't just show them her pregnancy test to get the crib. Unless this is part of some crypto urine fetish someone at IKEA has— Kushy🇻🇦 (@CryptoKushy) 9 January 2018
Personally, I think they should have called it the "Ürinstik." https://t.co/35MTAFEB8B— Keiko Zoll (@KeikoZoll) 9 January 2018
Åkestam Holst also previously created a brilliant ad for Ikea that addressed a taboo issue for such lifestyle companies: divorce. The tagline for the ad went 'Where life happens,' with the agency saying that it dramatized various aspects of the company's presence in peoples' everyday lives.
A statement by the agency read: "Through this constant interaction, Ikea continuously learns about how people live and what they need. Their lifestyle sparks the inspiration to develop products and solutions that fit with everyday life in an even better way."
"Ikea is right there where life happens, whatever happens—and is not afraid to show it like it is. Living in two homes with divorced parents is a reality for many children in Sweden. Ikea can ease this situation and perhaps also ease some bad conscience among single parents and help acknowledge the children," it added.
Here is the ad in question for those who want to watch it:
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