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David Perry

Simmons sees strong sales from national ads

ATLANTA - Simmons' national advertising campaign is resonating with consumers and helping to spark sales increases for the company's Beautyrest and ComforPedic product lines, officials said.
     Assessing the performance of the ad campaign, the Simmons officials said the Beautyrest and ComforPedic commercials are breaking through the maze of commercial messages bombarding consumers these days and are making a strong impression.
     "The sales show that what we are doing is working," said Jeff Willard, executive vice president of marketing, who tweaked the Beautyrest commercials in his first few months with the company and oversaw the creation of the new ComforPedic commercials, the first national ads ever run to support that brand.

This scene from a Simmons BeautyrestThis scene from a Simmons Beautyrest ad pictures the consequences for a consumer who didn’t get a night of “recharged” sleep.

     Simmons describes the national ad campaign as the largest in its history. While officials have not disclosed the dollar amount of the ad spend, they have said the advertising, which runs on national network and cable television channels, is on pace to deliver more than 2.2 billion impressions and reach target consumers an average of 14 times.
     The advertising has helped fuel strong sales increases for Simmons, officials said. May, when the national TV spots launched, produced record sales for Simmons. And that followed a record-breaking sales month in April.
     "The growth we are seeing is validation that we're on the right track with our new product lines and advertising strategy," said Tony Smith, president of Simmons. "Our company transformation is well underway and gaining momentum. We believe that the record sales gains indicate that consumer preference is moving in our favor."
     The Beautyrest ad campaign, which pokes fun at the blunder-filled lives of "undercharged" consumers, got a boost with Willard's decision to introduce some well-known music into the campaign.
     Willard, who used music from star entertainers like Paul McCartney, Maroon 5, Jennifer Lopez, Quincy Jones and Tim McGraw when he managed all global marketing activities for Harman International, added the Eddie Money hit "We Should Be Sleeping" to a Beautyrest spot promoting the Simmons "Recharge" theme.
     Viewer involvement with that ad series has soared to 74%, according to testing done for Simmons. That is well above the 55% viewer involvement level of the Beautyrest campaign last year, and far above the home furnishings ad average of 39%, Willard said.
     Willard, who joined Simmons last year to fill the long-vacant marketing post, also put his stamp on the new ComforPedic commercials, which feature experts like ocean explorer Philippe Cousteau, mathematician Maria Chudnovsky and astronaut and physician Mae Jemison sleeping on Comfor-Pedic beds. The ads, narrated by Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, picture the kinds of dreams those experts might have on their ComforPedic beds.
     Reaction to those ads has been strong. More than 70% of consumers surveyed for Simmons agreed that the ads are different from other mattress ads, and 68% of consumers said they view the ComforPedic brand as more appealing after seeing the ads, Willard said.
     The ComforPedic ads position the brand as offering "the better memory foam."
    The digital element of the Beautyrest and ComforPedic campaigns runs throughout the year and will record almost 400 million impressions in the digital realm, the company said.
     The television ads air from May through September.
     Through June, Simmons had already generated almost 600 million impressions, officials said.

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