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Ikea print ad uses pee-responsive paper

Ikea ad showing a crib

We've seen some weird and wonderful print ads (opens in new tab) on Creative Bloq over the years, but none of them are quite like this latest offering from Ikea. In an innovative move, the retailer has published a print advert for a crib that doubles up as a pregnancy test thanks to its pee-responsive paper. Seriously. Mums-to-be are rewarded for their troubles with a half-price saving on the crib. For more innovative (although less... er... interactive uses of paper, take a look at our roundup of awesome paper art (opens in new tab)).

Appearing in Swedish women's magazine Amelia, the print ad is the creation of agency Åkestam Holst (opens in new tab) in partnership with material technology company Mercene Labs (opens in new tab). On the surface it looks like any ordinary ad. There's an image of the crib in question front and centre, with the price listed alongside. It's the tagline that draws you in though, which reads: "Peeing on this ad may change your life."

That's because when the pregnancy test strip at the bottom of the page is splashed with... you know what... containing the pregnancy hormone hCG, the paper changes colour to reveal a reduced price. Watch the add in action below (don't worry, the pee is applied with a pipette).

A few things struck us while watching this advert. First of all, kudos to the filmmakers for using a pee-coloured fluid instead of the usual cobalt blue liquid that's at the heart of the problem with period product branding (opens in new tab) and other sanitary ads.

Secondly, they should really tell you to remove the ad from the magazine before trying it out. Also, we pity the poor store clerk who has to redeem these vouchers. Their till's going to stink by the end of their shift.

Joking aside, it's a really neat ad. And what makes it even better is that the technical advancements made by Åkestam Holst and Mercene Labs during this campaign have the potential to improve medical diagnostics.

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Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.