IKEA Wants You to Do What...

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IKEA Wants You to Do What...

Since the beginning of time shock value has been an objective for some attention-seeking marketers-- and there certainly hasn’t been a shortage of controversial ads in the last 20+ years. Recently, IKEA Sweden debuted a new campaign to bring awareness to the IKEA Family program, which is available to any IKEA customer.

Right from the IKEA Family website:

“IKEA FAMILY is a loyalty program designed for people just like you! People who are passionate about their homes and workplaces and who love to shop at IKEA. We offer our IKEA FAMILY members exclusive product discounts, special offers, ideas and inspirations and so much more. Best of all…it’s free to join.”

What’s the big deal, right?

See what’s causing the commotion below:


But is it really all that controversial?

My Ah-Ha! moment came when I realized it’s NOT a coupon - it’s an awareness campaign. First, how many potentially pregnant women are going to shun traditional pregnancy determination methods to relieve herself on a magazine? I would imagine the sheer mechanics of such feat would be fairly difficult - that is if one were trying to keep things… neat.  Secondly, I don’t think IKEA employees would take too well to handling urine soaked coupons at the cash register with a smile.

In all seriousness, the IKEA Family program discount is available to any of its members regardless of pregnancy status -- so it’s really not a coupon.  

Swedish ad agency Åkestam Holst gets credit for the idea and worked closely with IKEA and materials innovation company, Mercene Labs, to develop and test the ad which took roughly a year to complete.

It’s seems that their goal was to make you aware of IKEA’s family rewards program, NOT to inform you of your pregnancy. In some ways, the buzz generated online is more valuable than the actual ad placement itself. In other words, it’s likely that more people discover the family rewards program due to the internet buzz surrounding this ad than will actually see the ad in print.

Are we to the point where the story behind the ad IS the ad? Whoa…