IKEA has opened the flood gates with its newest DIY accessory. Instead of assembling a piece of furniture, the store is asking pregnant women to pee on their newest ad in order to receive a discount code. Easier? Yes. Grosser? Double yes.
The add, currently running in Sweden, reads “Peeing on this ad may change your life” and when an expectant mother urinates on it, a discount code for a crib is revealed. It’s the free pregnancy test nobody wanted.
There's a lot of things marketers would like you to do with their ads, generally 'pee on it' isn't one of them, but that's exactly what Ikea wants pregnant women to do – in exchange for a free crib. The women's magazine promotion, devised by @akestamholst, employs colour changing technology as used on pregnancy test kits to reveal a hidden discount code. Definitely one way to rack up the headlines. ???
Many think the add, which makes moms-to-be go the extra mile by “proving” they’re pregnant in order to get a discount, is sexist. Not only that, but isn’t handling pee-soaked paperwork insensitive to the poor cashiers who have to process it? Contrary to popular belief, the ad is not a coupon; you don’t need to bring it into the store with you to receive the discount. In fact, it’s discouraged.
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We have worked on the ad for almost a year, believe it or not, and our client, IKEA Sweden, has been really supportive during this process. Publishing an ad that is a pregnancy test, and reminding consumers about the fact that you can get a better price with the IKEA Family discount in a creative and unusual way, isn’t really that controversial, when you think about it.
He says the reaction to the ad has been mostly positive in Sweden and all of Europe. And that it fits nicely into IKEA’s “Where Life Happens” brand.
“Where life happens” is all about life’s everyday situations, and being pregnant is definitely one of those. We try to make every single [ad] under the concept of ‘Where life happens’ as relevant and creative as possible in every type of media, and this time we got the chance to explore print. Could it be more than just an ordinary ad for a baby crib stating a price? Could it prosper outside the boundaries of a magazine and go viral? Yes, it most certainly could.
By the way, the crib discount is pretty significant: $500.