This is one of the craziest things I have ever seen. And I mean that. Ikea has come up with an idea to attract parents-to-be. Their latest ad/coupon doubles as a pregnancy test. I kid you not. Swedish agency Åkestam Holst came up with the bizarre promotion, which encourages women to pee on it in order to reveal a discount code. “Peeing on this ad may change your life,” reads the ad, which features Ikea’s Sundvik crib and a feature similar to that of a pregnancy test — but with a twist. If a woman who is expecting pees on the paper ad, it will magically reveal the company’s family discount for the crib.
Ad weeks says that the promotion was created in collaboration with Mercene Labs, which had to make ‘several technical advancements’ in order for the coupon to work. Yeah, ick. I don’t know about you, but I would not relish collecting my urine so I could use a dropper to put it on an ad to see if I can get a discount. A crib would not be worth it to me. “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,” the agency explained. But it’s still a major pain to do, not to mention unsanitary.
In the Ikea ad, if a woman has enough hCG, the page reveals that a black-brown Sundvik crib that costs 995 krona will be on sale for 495 krona. That’s about $122 without the discount and about $60 with the discount. (No, American bargain shoppers, this ad isn’t available in the United States.) Ikea’s emailed response when asked about this strange piece of advertising: “IKEA products are inspired by life itself, and are all a big part of the everyday life at home. Life contains those magical, life-changing moments, and IKEA wants to be right there when they happen. This ad was created as part of the ‘where life happens’ campaign for the Swedish market only and has been published in a limited edition of the Swedish magazine Amelia. There are no plans to place this ad in other markets, including the U.S.”
“In order to make the interactive functions of this ad work in reality, we had to make several technical 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 adopting 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. Technical advancements made during the work with this campaign have the potential to improve medical diagnostics.” I am still not impressed.
The ad can be found in the Swedish women’s magazine Amelia. It’s featured in that publication. After you go to all the trouble of peeing on the ad, you then have to bring it into the store. How embarrassing. I highly doubt many women would be willing to do this. I guess there are women out there that want a free pregnancy test… but you still have to buy the magazine. Not to mention that no medical professionals have endorsed this wacky promotion.
One thing the ad has done is gone viral on Twitter. Figures. But almost no one can get past the fact that women are being asked to pee on a coupon. “Has no one at Ikea seen a pregnant woman before? They’re pretty easy to spot without having them pee all over everything,” Dylan Speed tweeted.
“Sure, there are lots of ads you’d love to pee on. But in this case, Ikea actually wants you to do it,” someone else added. I remember being pregnant and I would not have been in the ‘mood’ to try something as silly as this.
This promotion, however, will create publicity for Ikea… no doubt about that. But I still think it’s gross. I’m sure I’m not alone on that point.
Ad Week killed it with this comment though: “This is definitely the coolest pee-based advertising since Animal Planet put urine-scented ads at the bottom of lampposts to attract dogs (whose owners then saw a larger ad at their own eye level promoting a dog award show).” People actually think this crap up. Somebody is being paid too much.
H/T: The Daily Mail