Swedish agency Åkestam Holst, Adweek’s International Agency of the Year for 2017, has been killing it with the Ikea work in recent years. And it starts out 2018 with a splash by creating a magazine ad that women are encouraged to pee on.
Sounds a bit gross, and maybe it is—but there’s a fun twist. If you’re pregnant, peeing on the ad reveals a special discounted price on cribs, thanks to technology similar to that in pregnancy-test kits.
In order to make the interactive functions of this ad work in reality, we had to make several technical advancements. The pregnancy test strip was used as a starting point, which relies on antibodies that bind to the pregnancy hormone hCG, resulting in a color change.
For scaling up of this technique and adopting it to the physical format of a printed ad, Mercene Labs has used their experience in development of surface active materials for microfluidics and medical diagnostics.
Careful selection of materials, together with a controlled capillary flow have been crucial for the success of this project. Technical advancements made during the work with this campaign have the potential to improve medical diagnostics.
This is definitely the coolest pee-based advertising since Animal Planet put urine-scented ads at the bottom of lampposts to attract dogs - whose owners then saw a larger ad at their own eye level promoting a dog award show.
Ikea pee ad