IKEA goes a wee bit kooky with its ad campaign targeting new mums

IKEA goes a wee bit kooky with its ad campaign targeting new mums

Monday, January 15, 2018
Nicole Waller

Opinion is likely to be very divided over IKEA’s new magazine promotion, which offers discounted cribs to expecting mums. The only catch is that the woman must pee on the ad, and if they are pregnant, the promo code will be revealed!

The ad, which is running in Amelia, one of Sweden’s most widely-read women’s magazines, is supported by the strapline ‘Peeing on this ad may change your life’. It is certainly quite ‘out there’, but there’s little doubt it will grab attention and steal a few headlines.  The ad instructions advise women to “pee on the marked area and wait a moment. If you are expecting, you will get a surprise right here.”

The campaign has been created by Swedish ad agency Åkestam Holst (Adweek’s International Agency of the Year for 2017) in collaboration with Mercene Labs. It uses the fundamental science of pregnancy test kits, which detects whether urine contains a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), a reliable indicator of pregnancy; but to make the ad interactive, the agency claims it needed to make several technical advancements. It explains: “The pregnancy test strip was used as a starting point, which relies on antibodies that bind to the pregnancy hormone hCG, resulting in a colour 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.”

A full overview of the ad is detailed within this short video below:

[iframe src=” https://player.vimeo.com/video/250248401?rel=0″ width=”560″ height=”315″]


While there are no plans to bring the ad to the UK, our personal view is that we love the creativity and science behind the campaign, and it’s great to begin a new year with a touch of playfulness. Within press interviews, IKEA marketing manager Patrik Nygren-Bonnier has talked of the brand’s desire to be a part of everyday life at home and “to show life as it is for as many of us as we can” and be a part of those “magical, life-changing moments” where possible. There’s no doubt that for some pregnant couples, once they get over the weirdness of peeing on a magazine ad, the ad will serve to pull on their heartstrings and trigger some emotional engagement with the brand. It will be interesting to see the impact this has upon crib sales!

Secretly, we also wonder how many women will be using the ad as a pregnancy test!