Ikea launches pregnancy test ad, Diet Coke gets a revamp in the US: International round-up

Plus Oreo launches a new campaign in Belgium and France with the help of actor Owen Wilson and Airbnb faces a further crackdown in Amsterdam.

Ikea asks women to pee on its ad – to check if they’re pregnant

Is it April Fool’s yet? You might think this is the case looking at Ikea’s latest magazine ad. The advert, which ran in Sweden, has a weird twist – it also functions as a pregnancy test.

Swedish agency Åkestam Holst’s first ad of the year for the retailer is an advertisement for cribs. If you happen to be in the market for a crib (read: you’re pregnant), then you can get a discount on your purchase by peeing on the ad to reveal a coupon.

The bottom of the ad uses a similar technology to your standard pregnancy test, except rather than seeing a simple “yes” message when it detects your pregnancy, the page will offer you a deal, according to AdWeek.

A slightly gross (and not an insignificant) detail: women who use the test and are pregnant, will assumedly have to bring in the urine-soaked coupon to their local Ikea to redeem it. The in-store employees will undoubtedly be thrilled.

READ MORE: Ikea wants women to pee on its ad, and then bring it into the store

Coca-Cola overhauls Diet Coke to stop sales slump

Diet Coke sales have been steadily falling in the US. In October, Coca-Cola reported the brand’s sales by volume declined in the mid-single digits last quarter. Publication Beverage Digest, meanwhile, reported Diet Coke US sales dropped 1.9% in 2016.

As a result, Coca-Cola has decided to roll out a “modernised” Diet Coke, with new packaging and an ad campaign, as well as new flavours.

The classic Diet Coke will remain unchanged, but it will be joined by four new flavours: Ginger Lime, Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange, and Twisted Mango. Coca-Cola said in a press release it spent two years developing the new flavours and bottles, testing more than 30 new Diet Coke variants.

Despite being a zero-calorie drink, Diet Coke has struggled to win over many health-conscious shoppers. Since 2005, diet soft drink sales have dropped by more than a third (34%) in the US.

READ MORE: Coca-Cola is making massive changes to Diet Coke

Oreo looks to ‘reconquer’ France and Belgium with new campaign

Eager to convince more Europeans to try the famous American biscuit, Oreo has called in the help of actor Owen Wilson.

In a number of videos, he attempts to explain what Oreos are by speaking his best French. Things keep going slightly awry, however, leading to some humorous results.

The ‘Do you speak Oreo’ campaign was developed by independent creative agency Buzzman, and will run in Belgium and France on both TV and online platforms.

Earlier this week, Oreo owner Mondelez unveiled its plans to turn it into a $1bn brand.

“As a company, we have taken a big bet to build a billion dollar business online in snacking by 2020. A third of that would come from Asian, the Middle Eastern and African regions and India will really be a key market for us. By 2020, online business will get to about 5% of our overall sales in India from less than 1% now,” said Ganesh Kashyap, head of e-commerce AMEA at the company.

Airbnb faces further crackdown in Amsterdam

City councillors in Amsterdam have decided to cut the number of nights Airbnb hosts can rent out their apartments in the city in half by imposing a cap of 30 nights per year. The new limit will go into force in 2019.

Responding to the move in a statement, Bo de Koning, Airbnb’s public policy manager for the Netherlands and Scandinavia, expressed disappointment and claimed the typical Amsterdam landlord on Airbnb earns less than €4,000 per year, sharing their home for an average of less than three days per month.

“The Airbnb community — consisting of 19,000 Amsterdam landlords — is disappointed in your intention to have large hotels prevail over Amsterdam families who occasionally share their homes and punish them for the shortcomings of other platforms to promote responsible holiday rentals,” she said.

The Dutch capital isn’t the only European city to crack down on the peer-to-peer rental service.

Paris — Airbnb’s biggest market in the region — now requires hosts on platforms to register their apartments with the city so it can better track compliance. Meanwhile in Germany, Berlin city officials have used a change to housing law to effectively block anyone from renting out an entire apartment to tourists on Airbnb without a permit. And there are further plans to reform housing law to protect local housing stock.

READ MORE: Amsterdam to halve Airbnb-style tourist rentals to 30 nights a year per host

Saint Laurent enters Chinese online market to tap into luxury demand

French fashion label Saint Laurent has unveiled plans to start selling its wares online in China, which has a strong consumer appetite for luxury goods.

It will be partnering with Toplife, a platform launched last October by commerce company JD.com, which aims to woo luxury buyers with same-day deliveries and premium services.

It rivals Luxury Pavilion, a similar portal launched in August, which is backed by Alibaba and features products from fashion groups such as Burberry.

The move makes sense: Chinese shoppers made up 32% of the worldwide luxury market in 2017, more than any other nationality, consultancy Bain & Co said. KPMG has projected, meanwhile, that half of China’s domestic luxury consumption could come from web sales by 2020.

READ MORE: Saint Laurent ventures online in China as luxury portals take off

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