There's no wrong way to have a family, and IKEA's latest ad totally gets it.

Breaking news everyone: Divorce happens.

While divorce rates in the U.S. are dropping (we can thank feminism, marriage equality, and true love for that), divorce is still a pretty common occurrence for couples and families around the world.

We're starting to talk about it more, too — at the dinner table, in stories about celebrity breakups and conscious uncouplings online, and in scripted and reality shows on every TV network, like Sarah Jessica Parker's new HBO show which is simply titled "Divorce."


Parker and Thomas Haden Church speak about their new show, "Divorce." Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.

This is important because marriages don't always make it, and it's a fact of life.

But real talk about divorce is still missing in one key arena: advertising.

Heartbroken dogs, death, and raising families are fair game. However, for most brands, divorce is just a bridge too far. But, luckily for us, and all families navigating this tricky transition, that's changing.

Enter Swedish furniture and meatball giant IKEA, who tackled the issue of divorce recently in a moving spot titled, "Every Other Week."

The ad shows a young boy packing his things to spend some time at his dad's place for the first time.

GIF via IKEA/Vimeo.

He grabs his belongings and travels across town to his dad's apartment.

GIF via IKEA/Vimeo.

And thanks to IKEA, we see that his room at his dad's apartment is just like his room at his mom's.

GIF via IKEA/Vimeo.

Showing separation and divorce in ads can really be this simple. It doesn't mean this child or every child of divorce has an easy or carefree life, but this ad works because it doesn't make divorce a sob-fest either. Commercials like this normalize what life is like for millions of families around the globe.

IKEA isn't the only company featuring a perfectly-imperfect family in their advertising.

Nabisco's Honey Maid brand dipped a toe in the water in 2014 with their documentary-like spots celebrating "the changing face of American families." (Upworthy gave them a shoutout for their LGBT ad from the same campaign.)

The two-minute commercial showcased Isaac, a real child talking about his big beautiful blended family ... and eating graham crackers. (After all, they're still trying to sell products.)

The onscreen caption reads, "No matter how families change, what makes them wholesome never will." Here, here! Pass the marshmallows.

This representation matters because these families aren't necessarily broken, and they're not damaged either. They're just families.

With the divorce rate in the U.S. still hovering around 50% and 4 in 10 marriages being remarriages for one or both lovebirds, it's high time we see more families like these on the big screen.

Because families now look different from how they did 50, 20, or even five years ago. Families are going through divorce, or they're blended, or led by grandparents, foster parents, gay couples, or single people. And brands and companies should celebrate this positive shift, not shy away from it.

Watch IKEA's heartwarming "Every Other Week," in its entirety.

It's the first video in a series of nine for their "Where Life Happens" campaign.

More
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular