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IKEA Advertising Stunt or Blunder?

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IKEA is a well-known brand as they sell furniture all around the world. Behind their success, lies Ikea’s brilliant digital marketing strategy. Companies can learn a lot from IKEA’s offline to online digital transformation.

In its early days, social media was considered to be a passing fad, a distraction to be avoided. But today, it’s almost an essential part of our daily lives. Each of the social media channels has a high potential for companies and businesses to meet consumers. It’s important to know which platforms your customers use and to be there at the right time for reaching and connecting with them. It makes your brand imperative and valuable through their eyes. You need to make good use of it. IKEA does it very well. They post discounts, promotions, giveaways, news, and events on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. They’re responsive to their followers and quickly return any customer for complaints.

IKEA is a master of advertising. Last year it even delivered a Christmas advert that managed to be touching without the sap. This time the brand has served up a pretty huge advertising gaffe on a giant billboard in the front of a flagship store. Found by a Twitter user in Bahrain, the mistake concerns a translation on an advert for an IKEA bed (see the picture below). The ad reads ‘Create your perfect night’s sleep’ in English, followed by (what should be) the Arabic translation. But, it seems it was the team translator who was feeling a bit bleary eyed, as the Arabic script actually says ‘Same text, but in Arabic’. Oops.

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Instead of redesigning the entire billboard immediately, IKEA riffed on the theme with a witty addition (see below), showing the confidence the brand has to respond in real time.

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IKEA came up with another idea of advertisement to attract parents-to-be. Their latest ad/coupon doubles as a pregnancy test. Swedish agency came up with a bizarre promotion, which encourages women to pee on it in order to reveal a discount code. “Peeing on this ad may change your life,” reads the ad, which features Ikea’s Sundvik crib and a feature similar to that of a pregnancy test — but with a twist. If a woman who is pregnant pees on the paper ad, it will magically reveal the company’s family discount for the crib.

Ikea’s response when asked about this strange piece of advertising: “IKEA products are inspired by life itself, and are all a big part of everyday life at home. Life contains those magical, life-changing moments, and IKEA wants to be right there when they happen. This ad was created as part of the ‘where life happens’ campaign for the Swedish market only and has been published in a limited edition of the Swedish magazine Amelia.”

One thing the ad has done is gone viral on Twitter. But almost no one can get past the fact that women are being asked to pee on a coupon. “Has no one at Ikea seen a pregnant woman before? They’re pretty easy to spot without having them pee all over everything,” someone tweeted.

“Sure, there are lots of ads you’d love to pee on. But in this case, Ikea actually wants you to do it,” someone else added. This promotion, however, will create publicity for Ikea, no doubt about that.