- Ikea created a digital card game for Instagram Stories that addresses gender inequality in household work, an issue exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, according to an announcement.
- Developed with relationship expert Jennie Miller, FiftyFifty is designed to inspire honest conversations between couples, housemates, friends and co-workers ahead of International Women's Day (IWD) on March 8. The game's concept stems from findings that women are doing up to three times as much unpaid care and domestic duties as men amid the health crisis.
- Ikea is promoting the launch through a partnership with Swedish singer and activist Zara Larsson, who appears in a YouTube video explaining FiftyFifty. The effort tries to make a pressing, thorny social issue more accessible through social media gamification.
Ikea aims to tackle serious subject matter in a fun way with the launch of FiftyFifty, a digital card game centered on resolving domestic work inequality. Questions posed by the Instagram Stories activation are simple, asking participants to do things like name their favorite and least favorite household chores and how many hours a week they spend on domestic duties.
The home goods retailer is positioning FiftyFifty as "a pause button to help us all, regardless of gender," but a launch ahead of IWD reinforces that Ikea is spotlighting the undue burden put on women and how that imbalance has been amplified during the pandemic. Less than one-third of surveyed parents agree that child care is split evenly, per Urban Sitter findings. Nearly 3 million women have dropped out of the U.S. labor force in the past year as they struggle to balance work life with demands at home, according to a report in CBS News.
In a promotional video, Larsson says the game should spark "open and relaxed conversation" about domestic work inequality. The artist will put on a livestreamed gig from her YouTube channel on IWD to support the message, performing on a set supplied by Ikea.
Ikea and parent company Ingka have made achieving gender equality a bigger priority in recent years. In fiscal 2020, Ikea introduced digital unconscious bias training to try and mitigate prejudice internally, including in its interview process. The brand is shooting for an even gender split across its operations by 2022.
Other marketers are taking a similar approach to gender equality. In February, Procter & Gamble launched a campaign, "Come Clean to Close the Chore Gap," for its Dawn dish soap and Swiffer cleaning products that urged consumers to share household chores more equally via website and TV ads.
In the absence of in-person events, brands have had to retool their outreach strategies around cultural moments like IDW. Ikea is pushing FiftyFitfy on Instagram Stories in the hopes that it will engage homebound consumers who are spending more time scrolling through their phones. Mobile gaming has become a bigger part of Ikea's playbook as it looks to keep people entertained. The brand recently launched an augmented reality (AR) game on Snapchat that challenges players to declutter a virtual room.