Meet IKEA’s “Motivational Mirror” — a wall accessory whose only job is to deliver effusive, 100% genuine compliments like “Magnificent beard!” and “Your eyes are mesmerizing!” and “Darling, your dress looks amazing!” (Even though it kind of looks like a shirt… but it’s the thought that counts.)
The Swedish furniture retailer put the promotional mirror in a British store last week, “bestowing personalised compliments to provide the nation with a much needed morale boost,” according to a statement.
IKEA-commissioned research found 44% of people in the UK are critical of their appearance and 26% say they feel uncomfortable looking in a mirror. BUT 26% also said that “a kind word” makes them like themselves more. And thus, a Dove-esque empowerment stunt was born.
Except, instead of having consumers come to the conclusion that they are really more beautiful than they think they are on their own, IKEA has a far more reliable source — a mirror programmed with audio — do it for them.
Sure, compliments can be nice, but it is a tad on the creepy side — particularly when a man in a blue button down, showing just enough chest hair, is stopped by the mirror … whistling at him.
(Yes, that is an animation of a cat calling wolf).
It’s an odd choice to make unsolicited whistling — street harassment is a very real issue women face on a daily basis— look cutesy, but at least the customer doesn’t seem to mind.
“It was great for me because I never get compliments,” the man recalls, wistfully. “I could have stood there all day, to be honest.”
Still, maybe IKEA should stick to its specialty: flat-pack furniture, ball pits and Swedish meatballs.