A new magazine ad, which can be used as a pregnancy test, has led to new advances in surface materials.
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Swedish homeware giant Ikea has come up with a new way to get prospective parents through the door to buy baby furnishings – an ad that doubles as a pregnancy test. The ad, which appears in Sweden’s Amelia magazine, was designed by Swedish agency Åkestam Holst and med tech company Mercene Labs. Featuring Ikea’s Sundvik crib, the ad encourages readers to pee on a small strip at the bottom of the page. If the test is positive, a hidden discount code appears, reflecting the discount offered to those in Ikea’s Family Club.
The ad required Mercene to scale up the strip found inside pregnancy tests, which reacts to the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to cause a change in colour. The company is hoping that their experience developing a new surface active material for the ad will help them to develop new advances in fluid dynamics, and new business opportunities in medical diagnostics.
Ikea is not the first company to promote a product with pee – in 2001 Animal Planet used urine-scented ads placed on lampposts to attract dogs, combined with a larger ad for a dog show at the eye level of their owners, and Captive Media has designed a urine-controlled gaming system for use in urinals. We have also seen several ads recently that use a tongue-in-cheek approach, such as a sporting goods ad which is only visible outdoors and an ad for fog masks that offers a discount when pollution levels are high. Will the novelty of peeing on an ad help Ikea to drive sales?