“Peeing On This Ad May Change Your Life”, Says IKEA

Ritwika Gupta, January 11, 2018

IKEA’s new print ad is whacky, unconventional and rather interactive!

Swedish furniture maker, IKEA has come up with a unique way to attract expectant parents. The brand’s first print advertisement of 2018 features a baby crib and also doubles up as a pregnancy test. It says, “Peeing on this ad may change your life”. Developed by Swedish advertising firm, Akestam Holst and biotech startup, Mercene Labs, the ad is made of paper which contains similar technology to detect antibodies that bind to the pregnancy hormone. The ad invites customers to pee on a specific marked area and if the result is positive, the colour changes and reveals a special family discount. Customers can subsequently purchase the new crib at a lower price.

The ad is whacky, unconventional and has gone beyond the traditional, static print advertisement. IKEA has cleverly used technology to merge the digital and physical world through a magazine ad and quite obviously, this has generated a lot of buzz. The video version of the ad starts off by saying, ‘IKEA makes products for your everyday life, for every life situation’ and then slowly reveals what the print ad is all about. The ad is intimate in nature and therefore has been effectively placed in a leading Swedish women’s magazine. In a crazy way, the ad helps by informing its female readers, if they are pregnant. It is a free of cost, pregnancy test. At the same time, the ad grabs attention and makes us remember the brand and the product.

In recent years, many brands have seen success with print ads that are interactive and engaging. In 2014, Nescafe took their ‘instant coffee’ ad to a whole new level by including two foldable paper mugs in newspapers with coffee powder in those cups. Readers could just add some hot water and enjoy their morning coffee.

The 2013 Motorola ad teamed up with Wired magazine to promote the Moto X’s customization. People could change the color of the phone by pushing button.

IKEA’s very own edible cookbook campaign had printed recipes on a parchment paper that you could toss right into the oven. Clearly, we are living in a digital world and this new ad by IKEA just proves that we cannot underestimate the power of print advertising, especially when combined with technology.

The question is – will people actually pee on just about anything to get a deal on baby furniture? Full marks for innovation but is this the best or the most hygienic way to give a furniture discount? Well, here’s hoping whoever is collecting the coupons at the store do not get ‘pissed’ off!