Visit Sweden Invites Visitors to ‘Discover the Originals’ – Experience the Hidden Swedish Gems Behind Those Weird IKEA Product Names

Bolmen, Järvfjället, Skärhamn, Kallax, and Toftan. For years now the world has marveled at, and struggled to pronounce, IKEA product names. What most don’t realize is that the global furniture giant often names their wares for real places in Sweden. Now Sweden wants to invite the world to visit these fantastic locations. 

Every day people recline into the Ektorp couch, have “fika” by the Ingatorp table, and light a Hemsjö block candle to spread some coziness and cheer on a dark fall night. These at times funny-sounding Swedish names of well-known products did not come out of nowhere. There is an entire world behind them, or rather an entire country – Sweden.

With the campaign ”Discover the Originals” Sweden wants to ignite interest in the destinations behind the products, and, with a touch of humor, show “the originals,” the places behind some of IKEA’s better known product names.* 

-In Sweden, we are proud of IKEA. In a sense they have helped us make Swedish places world-famous through the names they borrowed for their products. Now we want to show the originals behind the product names and invite the world to discover the beautiful locations behind those names, says Nils Persson, Chief Marketing Officer, Visit Sweden.   

With its varied and spectacular natural environment, generous right to roam, rich culture, and long history, Sweden offers a smorgasbord of destinations and memorable experiences. The campaign presents 21 places where one can visit everything from viking monuments, to picturesque towns, castles and silver mines, with activities from white-water rafting, to dog-sledding, fly-fishing, and ice swimming. 

One such place is lake Bolmen, located in a scenic corner of the province of  Småland, not far from Agunnaryd where IKEA’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad, grew up. Here visitors have ample opportunity to enjoy the gorgeous natural surroundings, canoe, hike and bike on trails, or pick mushrooms and berries. As a part of this campaign, the destination of Bolmen is launching a new slogan: ”Bolmen – more than an IKEA toilet brush”. 

– We do appreciate that IKEA has named a product for our beautiful lake and that Visit Sweden is bringing global attention to this. But now we would like to show the world that Bolmen is so much more than an item with which you clean your toilet. It is an incredibly beautiful place, much loved by us locals. We would like to invite the whole world to spend time in our wonderful, unspoiled natural environment, showing the same care we do, and enjoy the crystal-clear water, says Magnus Gunnarsson, Chair of Smålands Sjörike and municipal council member in Ljungby. 

Other examples of places highlighted by this campaign include Järvfjället in Swedish Lapland, which offers grand outdoor experiences including hiking and cross-country-skiing on trails alongside Lapland’s unique fauna. The picturesque fishing village Skärhamn, on the island of Tjörn, where one can enjoy fresh-caught seafood and experience international art at Nordiska Akvarellmuseet. The coastal town of Kallax in Norrbotten, where visitors can cruise between thousands of small islands during summer nights lit by the midnight sun, as well as partake in one of Sweden’s more “aromatic” culinary traditions during the town’s annual fermented herring parties. Lake Toftan in Dalarna offers canoeing, and art enthusiasts can visit a lakeside house once owned by artists Karin and Carl Larsson, known for their impact on Swedish interior design. 

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*Ingvar Kamprad, who founded IKEA, also developed the system for how IKEA names their products. Different product categories are named according to different criteria. Bathroom items such as the Bolmen toilet brush are named for Swedish lakes. Chairs and couches – like Järvfjället and Ektorp – are named for Swedish towns and villages. 

About Visit Sweden  
Visit Sweden is the official national marketing company of Sweden as a tourist destination. The aim with our destination marketing is to sustainably increase travel to and within Sweden for holiday purposes. Visit Sweden, represented in six global markets, combines market leading insights and knowledge with unique PR and communications expertise. Our company vision is to make Sweden the world leader in sustainable destination marketing. Visit Sweden is owned by the Swedish government. 

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