In recent years, the direct-to-consumer, "bed-in-a-box" category has exploded, disrupting traditional mattress buying behavior, and stealing share from traditional brick & mortars. Mattress Firm, the country's leading mattress retailer, recognized the opportunity, and decided to launch a standalone brand. With over 30 brands in the BiaB space alone, the task for Havas was to name, position, and create awareness for a new brand in a crowded category.
At the time of launch, "one perfect mattress for all" was the prevailing pitch. And this is all that our competitors offered – one mattress for all. It turns out that it's much easier from a logistical standpoint to sell one mattress model, and so came the spin. Our competitors waged a campaign against choice, claiming that most people really only need one level of mattress comfort. On top of this, none of the competition had storefronts, a shortcoming that gave rise to claims that you can't really tell whether or not a mattress is right for you by lying down on it, and that you can only truly tell once you've slept on it in your home (at which point, of course, you've already bought the mattress). Remarkably, consumers ate it all up. Somehow, common sense was taking a back seat to the allure of slick marketing.
Our goal with tulo was to reaffirm two tenets of mattress shopping – that we all have our own preferences when it comes to mattress comfort, and that there's no substitute for giving your mattress a test run, even if it's only for a few minutes. tulo was the only bed-in-a-box that offered consumers choice – soft, medium, or firm, and the option to try them out in store if you wanted to.
Our campaign was built around a series of :15 videos written to point out the absurdity of a world without choice – a world where bowl-cuts are the only haircut, sandpaper is the only type of paper, and sloths are the only pet. Bite-sized by design, these videos, along with GIFs and still-frames cut from the same content, ran on Facebook, Twitter, and OLV. Knowing that our campaign also extended into digital OOH, we captured additional video content that was just as at home in social feeds as it was on the sides of buildings. Visual, and seasonally relevant, these video loops gave consumers a glimpse into a world where flippers are the only footwear, and pumpkin-spice the only flavoring.
Our "one is not a choice" rallying cry extended across media channels. On Twitter, we ran multiple choice polls-without-choice, on Facebook we ran direct response carousels and link ads, and on Instagram we enlisted influencers to build credibility around the brand. In traditional OOH, we adapted our creative for local relevance (e.g. in Atlanta, Peachtree as the only street), and, in radio, we made use of the medium by dramatizing a world in which "Brenda" is the only name (among other scenarios).
From an art direction standpoint, with tulo we consciously chose a color palette that distinguished us from our competitors. Contrasting with the cool blues of most of the space, tulo occupied warmer oranges, maroons, and magentas, colors that lent personality to the brand's social presence, and served to enhance a series of "what if" style questions we posed on Instagram and Twitter (e.g. "what if Papyrus was the only font?").
The videos were a hit, with completion rates of up to 74%, and strong engagement on Facebook. The campaign has served over 1.5B impressions, and created a strong name for the tulo brand, earning a featured spot in Good Housekeeping as one of the best beds in a box. Most important, the campaign has been a strong driver of sales, exceeding Mattress Firm sales goals for Q4 2017, and on-pace to hit their 6-month target.
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