In December 2017, Ikea released a new print advertising in a Swedish magazine with an unusual invitation to customers: pee on this ad.
What looked like typical advertising for a baby crib at first turned out to be a pregnancy test. When a pregnant woman applied a small amount of urine to the marked area, the ad would change to present a new offer with a special discount.
The creative (and a little disgusting) approach generated 33% of awareness in Sweden, 1,700 articles republished the ad, 4,3 billion of global impressions, and $12 million in earn media. And the crib sold out.
Ikea’s content strategy bet on the originality of the ad to grab attention from the media and the public. It also used the different stages of the customer journey to its favor. The pregnancy test offered an opportunity for a private connection between the customer and the brand, raising immediate awareness. Then it invited the customer to move to the interest phase with the pregnancy test. Finally, it offered a substantial discount to take them through the purchase state.
The strategy shows why brands and marketers need to create content tailored to the customer journey — even if that means someone will have to pee on it.