• Clint Engel

New Art Van Super Bowl spot praises residents for Flint water donations

Michigan retailer scraps commercial promoting PureSleep business

WARREN, Mich. — Art Van Furniture has changed its Super Bowl 50 commercial plans, scratching a spot that promoted its PureSleep business in favor of one that thanks area residents for donating 400 tons of bottled water during the Flint, Mich., water crisis.

Crain’s Detroit Business reported The Top 100 retailer was set to run its first regionally-aired Super Bowl commercial during pregame, first half and postgame coverage in an effort to grow its PureSleep mattress chain.

Watch that PureSleep “Rise” spot here.

But Art Van Vice President of Corporate Communications Diane Charles said after a meeting with founder and Chairman Art Van Elslander, the retailer had a change of heart. Shortly after the meeting, a message with Art Van PureSleep President David Van Elslander was taped.

There’s no sales pitch in this new spot, she said. Instead Van Elslander “thanks all the people who have shown their support for the city of Flint,” she said. Here's the replacement spot:

Charles would not say how much money the retailer is paying for the spots.

On Jan. 12, Art Van began collecting bottled water from consumers at all of its stores in metro Detroit, Flint, Lansing and Grand Rapids, Mich., part of an initiative coordinated with a consumer investigative reporter for an area television station. Art Van is using delivery trucks to transport the tons of water to Flint weekly and said it will do so as long and the need exists.

Beginning Feb. 8, the retailer is expanding the donation area to all 100 of its stores throughout the Midwest, including locations in Chicagoland and Ohio. The water is being distributed to residents in need through Flint-based Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee counties, it said.

“The incredible outpouring of help and extraordinary generosity of our guests during the water crisis in our home state has inspired us to do even more to help the families in Flint,” Van Elslander said in a statement.

“We’ve been making daily water deliveries to the city for weeks, and want every viewer to know that together, we will continue to make a big difference in the lives of those in need.”

The water crisis was triggered after toxic levels of lead were discovered in the Flint’s water supply after the city switched its source for water to the Flint River.

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today

Please feel free to email or call me with all of your retail news and tips, including expansion news, successful merchandising and marketing strategies and anything else you would like to see covered by Furniture/Today.  Contact me directly at cengel@furnituretoday.com or 336-605-1129.

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