Ikea showrooms are often the epitome of what you wished your home looked like. Clean lines, innovative shelving and comfy couches are just some of things that come to mind when one thinks of the iconic Swedish brand.
Inside Ikea’s flagship store in Slependen, Norway, however, customers were surprised to find something different. An existing showroom was turned into a replica of a Syrian woman’s home found just outside of war-torn Damascus.
“25 square metres of Syria,” a campaign implemented by ad agency POL, was part of an initiative to promote Norway’s annual fundraising event, “TV-Aksjonen.” This year, all donations collected went to the Red Cross, specifically for those living in war and conflict zones.
The main point of the exhibition? To show customers the devastating reality of living in a war zone. Also included in the display were standard Ikea information tags—but instead of listing product specifications or prices—what was shared were stories of dire civilian living conditions, where food and water are scarce. More importantly, the tags presented customers with a call to action, giving shoppers the option to donate to the cause via text.
The 25m2 Syria exhibit ran from Oct 17 to 31. POL executive Maja Folgero told CNN that the model home gathered 40,000 weekly visitors, while raising 22 million euros ($31.7 million) for the Red Cross’ Syrian relief efforts.