Sweden wants to reclaim the names behind Ikea’s toilet brushes and tra

Ikea could also be Sweden’s best export, associating the Scandinavian kingdom with ingenious and inexpensive house design. However it has additionally created severe website positioning issues for the nation.

Anybody who’s shopped at Ikea is aware of that the model’s gimmick is to identify merchandise with quintessentially Swedish, hard-to-pronounce names like Ektorp and Kallax. Typically, these phrases are borrowed from the names of cities and cities round the nation. In observe, given the retailer’s monumental attain on-line, because of this when somebody searches for the time period Bolmen on Google, they see Ikea’s toilet brush relatively than a surprising lake in Småland.

The Swedish Tourism Board has had sufficient. In a brand new marketing campaign referred to as “Uncover the Originals,” it asserts that Ikea has created lots of misunderstanding, inflicting folks round the world to affiliate these names with its merchandise, relatively than with locations in Sweden. The marketing campaign invitations guests to Sweden to discover the thrilling locations that impressed the names. It’s a intelligent, tongue-in-cheek method to getting folks round the world interested by lesser-known locations in Sweden.


As well as to the video, the Tourism Board launched a brand new slogan for Lake Bolmen: “Greater than an Ikea brush.” Final week, native officers held a ceremony the place they unveiled a brand new signal to an viewers, together with a bunch who take chilly dips in the lake in the winter. The board can also be highlighting 21 thrilling vacationer locations named for Ikea merchandise. It contains Norberg, the web site of a silver mine, castles, and ski slopes (which individuals know as an Ikea folding desk), and Mästerby, the web site of a medieval battlefield (which Ikea consumers know as a step stool).

To create this marketing campaign, the Tourism Board introduced on the Swedish promoting company Forsman & Bodenfors. To Marcus Hägglöf and Johanna Hofman-Bang, who labored on the marketing campaign, Ikea’s dominance as a model is a blessing and a curse. They each stay minutes away from Ektorp, which is positioned in Stockholm County, but it surely occurred to them that even they consider sofas once they hear the phrase. “Even in Sweden, these names are sometimes extra hooked up to merchandise than locations,” Hägglöf says. “I can’t think about any Swede naming their baby Billy, as a result of the identify is now so related to Ikea bookshelves.”

On-line, the state of affairs is much more dire. “While you Google Ektorp and Järvfjället, all you discover is sofas and gaming chairs,” Hägglöf says. “Ikea is so highly effective that they’ve pushed these locations off the web.”

However Hofman-Bang factors out that widespread consciousness about Ikea in common tradition is also an asset to the Tourism Board. “If it weren’t for Ikea, these locations we’ve highlighted wouldn’t be fascinating in the first place,” she says. “In a manner, we’re hijacking these names again from Ikea. What are you able to do whenever you’re speaking about less-well-known locations internationally? Ikea is our manner in.”

For Forsman & Bodenfors, it was essential to nail the tone of the marketing campaign. The Swedish Tourism Board is invested in conserving a superb relationship with Ikea, since it’s one among the nation’s best-known exports. However at the identical time, it needed to throw some shade at the model—simply sufficient to make the level that the real-life locations are extra thrilling than the merchandise. To verify they weren’t crossing the line, Forsman & Bodenfors invited some Ikea executives to take a sneak peek at the video. They thought it was good enjoyable. “We needed it to be edgy,” Hägglöf says. “However with heat.”