There’s an episode of 30 Rock where a major plot point is devoted to how visiting an Ikea store tests a couple’s relationship and often leads to its demise. “We are not using this table as a metaphor for our relationship,” Liz Lemon tells her boyfriend, Criss Chros. “That’s what Ikea wants us to do!”
While the salesperson in the episode delights in the chaos the maze-like store causes (“That’s why I get out of the Niederganger in the morning. It’s one of our cheaper beds,” he tells Liz after her fight with Criss), Ikea doesn’t actually want you to break up in its stores. Someone must have seen that episode and decided the less customers talk while inside its labyrinthine warehouses, the better. It’s the only explanation for why the furniture-maker decided to release a slew of emoticons aimed at “improving communication at home.” Plus, it’s not surprising that the makers of wordless instruction booklets is a fan of emoticons.
“Men and women have always found difficulty in communication,” Ikea claims. “In the home situation, misunderstandings occur most around clutter.” It calls its emoticons “a communication tool to ensure universal love and understanding in your home. All your
hints, desires and questions will be understood right away.”
In the accompanying video, most of the emoticon use does take place at home, but that doesn’t fool us. We’ve had one too many fights over whether another Regissör bookcase will fit in the living room to believe these emoticons aren’t meant to soothe tempers inside the stores as well. The emoticons are available for iPhone and Android.
In other news, according to the video, we’ve been mispronouncing Ikea this whole time.