Swedish agency Åkestam Holst has spent the past year using Ikea to explore family dynamics in all shades—from relationship longevity to divorce, and most recently, a troubled passage between a father and daughter.
But while those ads were fairly subtle, its latest effort minces no words. "Retail Therapy" puts Ikea's "Where Life Happens" campaign into blunt action with a website where products are renamed to match common Google searches in Sweden.
It's a cheeky SEO play, but these aren't just any queries. Each refers to a relationship problem and is tied to a product that can ostensibly solve it.
Some "Retail Therapy" solutions are witty: "My daughter is out all night" guides users to a disco ball, "My partner annoys me" to a double-desk separated by a cubby wall, and "The attraction is gone" points to magnets. One of our favorites is "My family doesn't respect me," which leads to a white queen costume—something we didn't even realize Ikea sells.
Others are befuddling. "My son plays too much computer games" drives users to ... a pair of scissors? It isn't clear whether the kid should take up scrapbooking, or stab himself in the eye when his console is taken away. Or cut the cord, perhaps.
Thankfully, the brand isn't asking us to take "Retail Therapy" all that seriously.
Conveniently, however, searches for terms like "He can't say he loves me" will lift Ikea's product ads to the top of the Google Adwords pile—a visibility coup so maniacally clever that it's hard to hold a grudge.
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