Arvind Hickman
Dec 2, 2021

Visit Sweden wants to reclaim Ikea product names

Did you know the Ikea loo brush is named after a beautiful lake?

The Ikea toilet brush Bolmen is named after this lake.
The Ikea toilet brush Bolmen is named after this lake.

Adland is used to clever Ikea ads, but what happens when it is the Swedish retailer that becomes the butt of the joke?

That is the premise of the latest Visit Sweden ad by Forsman & Bodenfors.

Those who don’t speak Swedish may think Ikea products are just the Swedish words for an item but, in fact, its sofas, coffee tables, bookshelves, media storage, doorknobs and other items are named after places in Sweden.

And, this doesn’t always do the beautiful Scandinavian country justice.

In this spot, a Swedish tourism official bemoans how an Ikea toilet brush, named Bolmen, is actually a beautiful lake in the south west region of Småland.

“For us who work in tourism, this is a bit problematic,” she says. “We want people to think about the clear water and beautiful surroundings...not a water closet in need of cleansing.”

Other examples mentioned in the spot include the sofa Ektorp (a beautiful spot in the Stockholm archipelago that this reviewer can highly recommend), the gaming chair Järfjället (think snow-capped peaks) and the dustbin Toftan (stunning village by a lake).

The creative cleverly and humorously illustrates how one of Sweden's great exports, Ikea, has actually hijacked the names of many beautiful destinations, and wants to reclaim these to encourage people to visit the country.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Ikea endorsed this campaign and if there weren't further collaborations in the future. Could you imagine in-store visuals of beautiful lakes in the toilet brush section? Hint: they probably have.

But, for now, next time you clean your loo with a Bolmen – imagine paddle-boarding in a serene lake setting.


Brand Visit Sweden
Title "Discover the originals"
Agency Forsman & Bodenfors
Director Torbjorn Martin
Production company B-Reel Films

Campaign UK

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