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. Check the video out below.
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.
Each landing page ends with an array of related products, in this case labeled “Related relationship problems.”
Thankfully, the brand isn’t asking us to take “Retail Therapy” all that seriously.
The video concludes, “Whether it’s a snoring husband, a never-ending gaming son or any other relationship problem you have, Ikea can come to the rescue … or at least put a smile on your face while you keep Googling for an answer.”
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.
(The solution to that quandary, by the way? A magnetic writing board. Hopefully he’ll get the hint.)
Agency: Åkestam Holst
Creative Director: Magnus Jakobsson
Art Director: Caroline Andersson
Copywriter: Felicia Jensen
Digital Producer: Alex Picha
Digital Strategy: Anna Lundeborg
Planner: Karl Andersson
Project Manager: Kjell Mansson
Production Manager: Mimmi Morén
Web Developer: Kalle Peterz