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David Perry

Celebrities help industry promote better sleep

David PerryDavid Perry- Executive Editor
Celebrities added their star power to the recent mattress market in Las Vegas. That was - and is - a good thing. Our category can use some help in getting its better sleep message out to the public.
     The celebrities included a doctor, an actor, an actress with an unusual gift, and a super-toned young lady. I had the opportunity to talk to each of them, and I can tell you that each has a message that will help our industry.
     Simmons had a breakthrough market with its two new product lines and the high-profile celebrities who are endorsing them.
      The night before the market's official start, Simmons hosted a dealer party at the Cleveland Clinic's Lou Ruvo facility, where Dr. Andrew Weil, a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, was the featured speaker. He talked about the importance a good mattress plays in getting a good night of sleep. While that sounds like a basic point, it's one that few doctors seem to understand. Too often, their strategy for improving sleep is writing a prescription for sleeping pills.
     Weil says sleeping pills actually make it harder for us to get good, restful sleep. He's endorsing the new ComforPedic iQ mattress, a self-adjusting mattress that Simmons launched in Las Vegas.
     But not stopping there, Simmons also brought Alist actor Patrick Dempsey, a star of TV's "Grey's Anatomy," to market. Beauty rest Black announced its sponsorship of Dempsey Racing, Patrick Dempsey's race team. The actor and his team will be sleeping on Beauty rest Black mattresses, and Dempsey will tout the technology and luxury the brand offers. He impressed me with his thoughtful, articulate answers to my questions about the importance of sleep in his life.
     The fact that Simmons brought high-profile figures like Weil and Dempsey to the same market shows that producer's strong commitment to drive sales for its dealers this year.
     The actress was Marilu Henner, well known for her role on "Taxi" some years back. She's now a public health advocate and the author of best-selling books on health topics, and she has testified before Congress a number of times on various health issues. She's also one of a handful of people in the world who can remember every day in her life.
     Henner was in the Spring Air space talking about her Spring Air Sleep Sense hybrid mattress, which is giving her great sleep, she says. And since she can literally remember every day in her life, she should know. Her lively personality will help her get that better sleep message out to consumers.
     The super-fit young lady was Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, a Cross Fit athlete named one of the fittest women in the world. She is endorsing Protect-A-Bed's new REM-Fit line of sleep accessories designed for consumers with active lifestyles. Good sleep is helping her achieve her fitness goals, she says.
     The mattress industry struggles to get its voice heard in the consumer marketplace. Weil, Dempsey, Henner and Leblanc-Bazinet can help the industry amplify its voice with consumers. Everyone wins when that happens.

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