This Bizarre Wayfair Ad Is Most Definitely Real—And It’s Confusing Social Media Users

The story behind the sauna

The sauna Wayfair ad is now a meme on the internet. Sources: Twitter, Wayfair
Headshot of Ann-Marie Alcántara

Over the past week on the internet, a seemingly random Wayfair ad started showing up for people, advertising a one-person sauna. But, some of the ads were out of context and just showed a woman in what looked like a grey box.

The ad made many users question what they were looking up to warrant such an ad. Why does this woman look so happy while appearing to be trapped in a box? Why does it cost $185.99 to trap yourself in a box? Is this something someone actually needs?

The product is a Salem 1 Person FAR Infrared sauna, with 4.5 stars and numerous reviews detailing how it’s a great personal sauna. According to a Wayfair spokesperson, there’s not much of a story; it’s just one of the thousands of products that’s being promoted on Facebook and Instagram.

“It just stands out a bit more than the traditional items we sell on site,” the Wayfair spokesperson said. The company declined to comment any further on their ad becoming an internet meme.

The ads however are slightly targeted. On Facebook, it’s a carousel ad using dynamic ads. In other words, it’s a gallery ad that surfaces products to people who have visited the store’s website or app. On Instagram, it’s a dynamic ad showcasing different products to people who have either looked at an item, put it in their shopping cart or bought other items on the company’s website or app.

So, if someone’s seeing the ad, it’s not totally out of the blue. They were most likely looking at furniture on Wayfair and the company decided they needed to remember they were on the site.

For what it’s worth, the product once had an appearance on the Today show in 2015 (and a similar item is being promoted by Overstock as well).  It’s not anything new—except to the internet wondering what they were searching to warrant such an ad.

@itstheannmarie Ann-Marie Alcántara is a tech reporter for Adweek, focusing on direct-to-consumer brands and ecommerce.