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IKEA’s Pee Strip Ad: Brilliant or Gross?

January 15, 2018 Digital Media Solutions

Looking at a Pregnancy TestApproximately 4.2 million moms were blogging in 2017, according to eMarketer data published by Punchbowl. From 2009 to 2012, the number of mom bloggers grew by 14%. But indicating a saturated market, the total volume of mom blogs has been static for the past five years. Perhaps that’s why IKEA decided to go bold in their recent mom-targeted campaign.

Running in the Swedish Amelia magazine, IKEA’s just-launched campaign leads with the headline, “Peeing on this ad may change your life.” The print ad includes a pregnancy test ― right on the ad. Pregnant women are rewarded with a discount on the pictured IKEA Sundvik crib.

In my opinion, this campaign is genius. It clearly hits on “what’s in it for me.” The ad is not about IKEA, the crib or the price. It brings the female reader to the center of the message.

IKEA has been rewarded with a slew of buzz for this bold campaign. I imagine they’re also anticipating earned media launched by the brave women who pee for their discounts. After all, a woman who just learned she’s pregnant via an IKEA ad is likely to tell her universe of followers. I can even picture a cutesy “we’re expecting” picture with the IKEA ad right in it.

For young couples in search of affordable furniture that will last through the early years of their partnership, IKEA is already a strong brand. I believe the IKEA pee campaign strengthens this connection, but it’s not a universal feeling. Below are the results from my in-office poll regarding the IKEA pee strip ad.

Reaction to IKEA pee strip ad from SINGLE MAN WITHOUT KIDS:

What??! That is wild. And there’s no way I’d trust it.

Reaction to IKEA pee strip ad from MARRIED MAN WITHOUT KIDS:

It’s gross, and I wouldn’t trust it.

Reaction to IKEA pee strip ad from MARRIED MAN WITH KIDS:

I’m all for it. It’s probably not the way we’ll find out we’re pregnant, but I can appreciate a good deal.

Reaction to IKEA pee strip ad from SINGLE WOMAN WITHOUT KIDS:

If I’m planning to get pregnant, I’m going to find out I’m pregnant the right way – with a real pregnancy test that I know I can trust. But if I already know I’m pregnant, I might just go hunting for that ad to get the deal.

Reaction to IKEA pee strip ad from MARRIED WOMAN WITHOUT KIDS:

That is horrifying. I don’t want to find out I’m pregnant from a furniture store ad.

Reaction to IKEA pee strip ad from MARRIED WOMAN WITH KIDS:

No. That’s too tacky to be true.


One final note. It has been confirmed by IKEA’s creative agency in Adweek, “You don’t have to bring an ad soaked in urine to IKEA to get the discount.” Phew.

Click here to see IKEA's more recent sock skating TV spot, a contestant in DMS Marketing Madness Round 3.

Do you need fresh ideas to make an impact with your target audience? Let DMS help. Fill out this form to have someone from Team DMS contact you.


About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Digital Media Solutions® (DMS), the largest single entry point for martech-enabled digital media distribution, deploys a robust database of consumer intelligence and leverages massive proprietary media distribution to provide customer acquisition campaigns that grow businesses, offer visibility into the customer experience and provide accountability for every media dollar spent. DMS continues to experience explosive year-over-year growth, with continuous recognition on the Inc. 5000 list, securing its sixth consecutive ranking in 2019, and the Entrepreneur magazine 360 list. Named one of America’s “Best Places to Work” by Inc. magazine and awarded the 2018 Excellence in Lead Generation Award by the LeadsCouncil, DMS brings together some of the industry’s most knowledgeable people, efficient processes and sophisticated technology across the digital marketing spectrum. For more information about DMS, visit Keep up with DMS news at and connect with us on LinkedIn at

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