‘Got Sleep?’ has a nice ring to it | Sheila Long O’Mara

I am hearing a lot of talk from mattress manufacturers about the need for retailers to spend on advertising to help put mattresses top of mind with consumers. To help pull them into the stores and online to boost spending in the category.

How awesome would that be if everyone had a massive advertising budget to make that happen on the regular? Data has shown that when brands and retailers consistently push their messages out via the airwaves, social media and various digital platforms, consumers hear the call and buy.

Those missing consumers are needed right now in the category that, by all accounts, is in a recession. The latest figures from the International Sleep Products Assn. forecast sales to be flat in units and a 1.5% jump in dollars. Given the past two years, flat has become the new up, as many people have said.

The annual Super Bowl remains the coming out event for sometimes kitschy, sometimes humorous, sometimes heart-tugging commercials that stop all of the chatter at the rowdiest of watch parties.

Super Bowl LVIII just wrapped with the Kansas City Chiefs pulling out a rabbit in overtime to beat the San Francisco 49ers. The game, while it started out slow with the first quarter tied at nil, drew more than 120 million viewers, according to early estimates. That’s more than last year’s matchup between Brothers Kelce that drew a record viewership of 115.1 million people.

Let’s call it the Taylor-Travis Effect, which according to all the media coverage has pulled in a new audience of football watchers. Those Swifties are a fiercely loyal lot, and I’m seeing stories about fathers and daughters bonding over NFL football and pop music. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

But, back to this advertising thing.

Who doesn’t love a star-studded, funny Dunkin’ spot showing a self-deprecating Ben Affleck alongside JLo, Tom Brady and Matt Damon? Or who can resist releasing an “ah” after watching a young skater repeat her on-ice performance for a homebound grandfather on a frozen pond outside his window via the lights from a Kia EV9?

I don’t recall seeing a mattress commercial in the mix, nor a retail store that sells sleep products on the screen during the 74-minute, 57 second game, according to Yahoo Sports. Yes, they track such things, and no, that doesn’t count commercial time, the half-time show or time outs. Just the playing time.

At an estimated $7 million a pop for a 30-second spot, I didn’t really expect to see an industry-related commercial, but what an amazing surprise that would have been? The closest we came was ads from Temu, the U.S. offshoot of the Chinese e-commerce Pinduoduo that sells apparel, shoes, housewares and some home furnishings. The online app’s products flow from China and have nearly unbelievable prices.

Again, I really didn’t expect to see ads from our industry come across during gametime, but the biggies in the industry continue to spend on marketing: Tempur Sealy, Mattress Firm, Serta Simmons Bedding, to name a few. The traditional online brands — Casper, Purple, Avocado and others — continue to push their stories out with some eye-catching ads.

As Scott Thompson at TSI referenced in a recent earnings call, the company is “waving the flag” about the need and importance of advertising, and he said the team is asking others to invest to help rise the tide.

It’s not a bad idea. The dairy industry kicked in with the Got Milk campaign years back and fared pretty well. Maybe there’s a Got Sleep campaign in the future.

After the late-night game, we could likely all use an extra hour.

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