Where were your parents when you were conceived? Some families will share what city or country they were in when they became pregnant. An ad by IKEA, done in the style of a family tree, answers that question in an amusing way. The ad shows the type of IKEA bed that a couple was in when they conceived a child. It may be an “overshare” but it does bring up a very interesting concept.
Advertisement is meant to grab people’s attention. The goal is to make people talk about whatever it was they saw in the ad. Ideally, (for the company that paid for that ad) all that talk will translate into profit as people head into the store to buy whatever was shown in the exciting, interesting, or controversial ad.
It isn’t a surprise to learn that IKEA had an ad that showed some of their beds (and other furniture). The original (and perhaps controversial) aspect is in how the furniture was placed in the ad. In short, the beds aren’t exactly being recommended because they are comfortable to sleep on.
There are a few different versions of the IKEA ad, and each shows several family trees. In the first line, you have a couple (connected to each other by a line). Underneath the couple is another line that would generally link to their offspring. Instead, there is a photo of a bed. Below that (connected to the bed) is the child or children that the couple conceived on the bed in the previous photo. In some cases, the bed is replaced by a table, a bathroom sink, or a washing machine.
The inspiration for the ad came from a fact discovered by the German ad agency that created the advertisement. They found that 10% of Europeans were conceived on one of IKEA’s beds. The result is a series of very unconventional family trees.
Genealogists spend a lot of time searching for birth records, but not very much time questioning their relatives about where they conceived their children. If your family is rather open minded, you might want to ask them about their story. The ads from IKEA provide the perfect conversation starter.
People put together baby books with tons of information about each of their children. Some mothers will write a pregnancy journal that includes their thoughts and emotions at each stage of their pregnancy. They might also include vivid details of their personal biology as their body changes and the baby grows. Many of our ancestors would consider it normal to have several relatives around while a woman was going through childbirth.
So, why not discover where your relatives and ancestors were conceived? It might be fun hear stories about honeymoons that resulted in first born children. People who go on vacations often take photos of the bed in the hotel room that they stayed in. You could put together your family’s version of the IKEA ad.
Image by Hakan Dahlstrom on Flickr.
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