kea is known for product names that sound to our untrained American ears like words Swedish people might utter if they dropped a coffee table on their toe mid-construction. (Florvåg! Snöstjärna! You get the idea) Or as a place where couples go to purchase furniture but end up having a relationship-ending meltdown trying to agree on the perfect particle board bed frame (we’ve all been there). But this week they are in the news for something entirely different: They want you to pee on their ad to see if you are or not pregnant and, stick with us to the end here, it might actually be kind of a cool moment in women’s liberation.
In a new ad campaign, Ikea has released an ad which features a home pregnancy test on an advertisement for a crib.
The ad shows a photo of their crib and the words “peeing on this ad may change your life”. Then they invite you to go ahead and pee on the page where they have embedded a strip of paper that acts as a home pregnancy test, and if your pee contains a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced only during pregnancy, the ad reveals a discount code you can use to purchase that new crib.
Is this the dystopian future? Maybe.
While you have to admit it’s kind of brilliant marketing (we are writing a story about it after all), the ad is a bit unsettling. Is it really Ikea’s business if your pregnant or not? Presumably if you were going to buy a crib from Ikea, you probably were already planning on having a baby to put it in, so is Ikea assuming people will actually be using this ad as the way they find out if they are pregnant? Is this the way we find out if we are pregnant now? By peeing on an ad which prompts us to immediately go out and purchase a crib? It feels very Black Mirror.
Believe it or not, this actually isn’t the first time a company has used pee in their advertising.
In 2001, Animal Planet put urine soaked ads at the bottoms of lamp posts so that dogs would stop to sniff them, the owners walking the dogs would have to stop and then they, too would see the ad.
Also, just to clear things up, the ad reveals a discount code, but you don’t have to bring in the pee-soaked ad to get the discount.
Although, we’re sure some people have tried. The promotion also applies to anyone who is starting a family, couples who are adopting a child or having a child through some other means where hCG-rich pee may not be readily available, like surrogacy, are also eligible.
When you think about it, having a home pregnancy test in a magazine is kind of amazing.
First of all: score, free pregnancy test. Those things cost like ten bucks a box. This is actually very on-brand for IKEA, which purposely makes affordable versions of products. The creator of the ad, Magnus Jakobsson, even acknowledged that this was IKEA’s aim in creating the promotion.