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Simmons prepares to launch brand-building campaign

 Rolf Sannes of Simmons points out a new mattress cutaway offered with some of the new Beautyrest models. The display will give consumers a look inside the bed.Rolf Sannes of Simmons points out a new mattress cutaway offered with some of the new Beautyrest models. The display will give consumers a look inside the bed.
 This Simmons banner at the World Market Center in Las Vegas called attention to the Recharge campaign for the Beautyrest line.This Simmons banner at the World Market Center in Las Vegas called attention to the Recharge campaign for the Beautyrest line.

ATLANTA — Simmons has revamped some of its key bedding lines and boosted its marketing firepower as it prepares to launch a brand-building campaign this year.

The bedding producer is going to have "a very good year," predicts CEO Gary Fazio.

At the recent Las Vegas Market, Simmons unveiled new features in almost 70% of its product offerings. The company introduced 28 new flagship Beautyrest models in two lines, and four new specialty ComforPedic models, one of the broadest product offerings by any bedding producer at the market.

Fazio said the sweeping product launch completes a process that began in 2011, the year after he joined the company.

"Simmons' transformation is now complete, and we are firmly moving forward fully charged," he said, echoing messages in the company's "Live Life Fully Charged" marketing campaign, introduced last year and touted to the trade in a banner ad that extended across several stories of the exterior of the World Market Center's A building in Las Vegas.

Fazio said the success of Simmons lines developed through the company's "commitment to consumer-driven innovation" have "reestablished Simmons as a leader in the premium bedding market - a success that we will continue to build on going forward."

Simmons says it will continue its investment in brand building, making a commitment to deliver two billion consumer impressions through national advertising this year. That would be almost twice the number of impressions the company generated last year, officials said. They did not reveal the dollar figure for the ad spend.

About 1.5 billion of those impressions will be part of the "Recharge" campaign launched last year that is focused on the Beautyrest line. And about half a billion will be generated by a new national ad campaign for the ComforPedic line, a first for the brand. The ComforPedic spots will tout that line as offering "The Better Memory Foam."

The new Beautyrest lines are the Recharge and Recharge World Class, featuring the conforming back support of Pocketed Coil technology combined with the cool sleeping comfort of Aircool foams, the company says.

Simmons asserts that it was "one of the first companies to challenge industry convention by incorporating memory foam and Pocketed Coils into one design with its TruEnergy line - a design that is now being mimicked by others in the industry."

The Beautyrest TruEnergy line was introduced last year.

Rolf Sannes, vice president of Beautyrest brand management, said the new Beautyrest beds build on what the company learned last year about combining Pocketed Coils and Aircool foams. Now, he added, "We're making this innovation available at even more accessible price points to reach a broader market. With 28 new models between our two collections, we're giving retailers a wide range of options that have been designed to deliver Recharging Sleep to consumers."

The Beautyrest Recharge models retail from $699 to $1,299 and will have a 20-year warranty. The Recharge World Class line retails from $1,399 to $1,999 and will have a 25-year warranty, as will other Beauty-rest and ComforPedic models. Beautyrest previously had a 10-year warranty.

Simmons officials said the longer warranties are a testament to "the complete confidence we have in these new lines."

The four new ComforPedic beds join four ComforPedic models launched at the fall High Point Market, the company said.

"The performance of the ComforPedic line we launched in October has exceeded our expectations, and we're excited to extend the collection with new high-end models that will continue to elevate ComforPedic's position in the industry," said Brad Hill, senior vice president and general manager of specialty products at Simmons.

The new marketing firepower at Simmons comes in the form of Jeff Willard, a consumer products marketer who was recently named executive vice president of marketing, a post that had been vacant for some time.

Willard said the new national advertising will roll out in waves from mid-May through September. The commercials will tell the company's story "in a more dramatic fashion" than in previous ads, and will use "high-end animation" and other techniques to stand out, he said.

The campaign "will elevate us and elevate the industry," Willard said.

"There has been a great deal of excitement among our dealers around the new campaigns and our increased investment," he said. "We expect that sentiment will only grow as our initiatives come to fruition in 2013."

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