We uncovered the scary face of an invisible social issue

We uncovered the scary face of an invisible social issue

Our campaign IKEA not only started discussion regarding domestic violence around the globe but also opened dialogue with Czech and Slovak Governments.

In Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary there is a high proportion of domestic violence, which, moreover, is not systematically solved even though the fact that 47 % of women has experienced some form of domestic violence. Despite the alarming percentage this problem seems invisible to society.

IKEA’s mission is to create a better everyday life for all. That's why IKEA decided to act and started a partnership with local NGOs confronting this issue. By the end of 2022, IKEA wants to ensure that, for most people in the region, 'home' will be perceived as a safe place.

That's why we came up with a campaign in which we showed that living with a bully is like living in a haunted house.


Domestic violence victims say that the constant fear and psychological abuse is much worse than the injuries. Moreover, showing the bruises and other marks of domestic violence in campaigns appear not to work anymore.

Horror tropes were employed across media for audiences to understand that living with a bully is like living in a house of horrors. This is because “domestic abuse is real, even if it’s not visible”. The idea probes the veneer of a seemingly perfect IKEA household dripping with sleek Scandinavian style in order to reveal the reality of living in fear at home. A woman’s unseen aggressor turns out to be a less spiritual, but no less sinister being – her partner.

Directed by Marek Partyš, Bistro Films

60 %

organic reach


more interactions than usual


shares on social media

Our campaign was mentioned all over the world: Austria, Germany, Poland, United Kingdom, USA, Brazil, India and Australia. 

International creative magazines and advertising sites like Muse by Clio, Source Creative and Shots wrote about us. 

The work was recognized and shortlisted at Cannes Lions: The International Festival of Creativity in the category: Sustainable Development Goals.

We have used the horror theme across formats. In the key visual we have shown typical bully threats as a spooky writing on a mirror. 

Campaign key visual
Campaign key visual

Because IKEA sells mirrors, we took the idea of the key visual and applied it on real mirrors in the shops.

Campaign mirror in a IKEA store
Campaign mirror in a IKEA store

You can’t see psychological domestic violence, but you can hear it. That is why we came up with a special wall in the IKEA shop. Customers could listen to a demonstration of domestic violence that they could stop by picking up the phone. This is how we have shown them, that they should not be passive towards the problem, but have to take some action.

Campaign wall in a store

Bullies will find every time an excuse to abuse their victims. It can be literally anything. Even a simple thing as listening to radio. So we came up with a special audio format. 

In the morning on the way to work by car the listeners got bullied just for listening to the radio too loud. 

Radio (Czech only)

With a strong 360 degree communication, we reached 50-70 % of the population in all three countries (Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary).

During the campaign, Google registered a 500% increase (Google Search Relative Lift) in the search of domestic abuse topics. NGO website visitation grew 4 times versus last year, and the number of calls for help doubled.

However, what is most important is that the society has begun to shift:

  • The Slovak president, Zuzana Čaputová, noticed our campaign, and IKEA became part of a national action plan. 
  • IKEA helped to create Academy against domestic abuse together with Avon and Vodafone foundation.
  • In the Czech Republic, together with NGO aliance NeNa we helped to change the law that now recognizes victims of sexual and domestic violence as particularly vulnerable victims of crimes. For 20 years there have been various efforts to change the Czech law to protect the victims. When IKEA stepped in, things started to move and the amendment was finally adopted.

Because of this change, which will come into effect on July 1st, victims are legally protected from the beginning of the court process and there are also clearer steps how to proceed when it comes to the processing bias that can be fatal. The victims now have more rights, such as the right for a free lawyer, the right for preventing contact with the perpetrator, the right for free expert help, the right for protection and special treatment during interrogation.

This is a great achievement not only for us, but especially for those who need this change the most. Even if it is not immediately visible, the change in society is real. And there is still a lot of work to be done.

With this campaign, we managed to open a discussion on domestic violence against women in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. People have shown us with their reactions and comments that there is still little talk about this topic, but we will try to change it together with IKEA in the next two years.

Because home should be a safe place.

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