The Power of Emotional Marketing - IKEA

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

Author: Ananya Garg

No matter how much you like to think of yourself as a rational, logical person – human beings are slaves to emotion.

Today’s brands understand that Positive Emotions = Long Term ROI

IKEA through its campaign Where Life Happens used emotional marketing to manifest the idea that the brand (IKEA) can be a part of very big and small life situation. The campaign showcased that IKEA's products can help to solve or improve all kinds of emotional everyday problems by being a part of various aspects of human everyday lives. Through this integrated campaign, brand created ads from fully functional and innovative pregnancy test to promote baby cribs to sensitive issues like adoption, dementia and hardships of a single parenting. Each media portrayed that life itself is the biggest source of inspiration for the brand for developing the new products to make our lives easier.


IKEA happens to focus on primarily two insights:

  • Instead of showing the functional benefits of its products (which are so integral to our lives), the brand focused on showing the emotional needs those same products could fulfill, thereby increasing the perceived value of the products.

  • For the people who already own the IKEA products, the campaign acted as a reminder to them about the worth of the products and how those products play an important role in our everyday lives and experiences.

The campaign used various medium to bring across their message.

Print Ad: “Peeing on this ad may change your life”

IKEA created a magazine ad in one of the most influential women magazines called Amelia in 2018. The ad displayed a baby crib with its price tag. Readers were encouraged to pee on a strip shown at the bottom of the ad which acted like a pregnancy test. A discounted price was revealed (initially invisible) for the pregnant readers, once the test result came as positive.

The ad cleverly strikes a chord with the to-be-mothers, leaving an impression of caring brand, who understands the needs of its customers by providing discount to the most important product during the situation. A simple baby crib ad with a price tag might not have captured the readers desirable attention, but the incorporation of the pregnancy test strip definitely did. The use of words “you will get a surprise” will even pushes a non-pregnant woman to test if she can understand the surprise factor.

Video Ad from IKEA - Where Life Happens