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Vegas bedding banners reflect aggressive marketing campaigns

David Perry Executive editorDavid Perry Executive editor
I'm still catching my breath from a hectic week of visiting mattress and sleep accessory showrooms at the Las Vegas Market. There is so much to ponder that we will use the next couple of columns to sort everything out.
     We begin with a macro view of the bedding market. Yes, we're talking about those bedding banners that hung from the side of the parking deck next to the World Market Center. Bedding companies (Serta, Simmons, Sealy and Vivon) accounted for four of the eight banners, an indication of bedding's premier standing in Las Vegas, and of the aggressive approach leading producers are taking to get their messages out.
     Serta raised the bar on bedding banners last market with its "cheap rear-end knockoff" (loosely translated) jibe at its many gel memory foam competitors. That was the talk of the January market.
     This market Serta stood out again with a strong leadership statement: "America's No. 1 Mattress Company." That bold headline was just beneath the Serta logo. "We owe our success to our retailer partners," the banner continued. "Thank you for your support."
     That ad celebrated Serta's rise to the top of the U.S. sales charts last year. Serta was smart to salute its retailers for their support. This company is making many smart moves these days.
     Simmons also stood out with its banner, which featured the company's Recharge marketing campaign and the new Beautyrest logo, unveiled earlier this year. The main messages: "Driving traffic. Creating customers. Recharging business."
     The Beautyrest logo was accompanied with its tag line: Living Life Fully Charged. The Recharge campaign is a powerful one that should help Simmons maintain its growing ways.
     Bedding importer Vivon joined bedding's big boys in the banner derby. It pictured a cute little girl bouncing on a bed. "Put the bounce back in bed time," the banner said. It was a clever presentation.
     The Sealy banner was at the right end of the parking deck. I heard plenty of comments about the banner, which carried this headline: "They may have started it, but we're going to finish it."
     The banner pictured one of Sealy's gel memory foam Optimum beds. The copy block said: "The most advanced gel memory foam mattress on the market supported by an unprecedented national media campaign."
     Sealy's competitors panned the banner for everything from its acknowledgement that Sealy is a follower in the gel memory foam arena to what the competitors said was a weak visual presentation. On the positive side: The banner did get noticed. And it's a plus for Sealy that it is taking more aggressive steps to tell its story.
     Bedding stands out in Las Vegas in many ways. Those banners told retailers that new bedding lines and programs were worth a look in mattress showrooms. And they were.

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