In the vanilla “mattress industry,” companies sound alike, products look the same, and largely, retailers’ consumer sales pitches stem from manufacturer incentives – not product benefits. When Simmons Company designed its Beautyrest 2000 mattress (the first non-flip bed), the company insisted that this product was “so revolutionary” that the better sleep received on it “would change people’s lives.”  Still the company knew it faced immense skepticism from retailers and their influencers (especially media).

Ketchum sought to develop a platform that would emphasize the true life-changing effects of the bed. “Prove the bed will enhance people’s lives,” the agency urged Simmons. Enter the Beautyrest of Your Life Campaign – a program that underscored to Simmons’ retailers the “better sleep benefits” of the Beautyrestâ 2000. It helped Simmons achieve dramatic sales results and increased market share.


Hired consumer trend-scanner Britt Beemer to explore connections between sleep habits and retail sales

Used clinical sleep research to position the bed as a true better sleep tool

Examined prior media relations efforts – considered reporter mattress-interest levels


• Generate retail sales of the Beautyrestâ 2000
• Support Simmons’ sales force pitches with effective material

• Prove Beautyrestâ 2000’s ability to give real-life couples a better night’s sleep, and to enhance their lives
• Package stories for sales environment
• Generate publicity in plant markets (sales team bases); overcome media skepticism, and give sales force “meat” to “merchandise” their audiences

Resources:            c. $500,000

• Created Beautyrest of Your Life study:
• Chose 75 real-life couples (marking Beautyrestâ 75th anniversary) in Sleepy Hollow, NY
• Screened couples for sleep habits, productiveness and moods
• Motivated area plant to produce and deliver beds to couples quickly
• Surveyed couples after two weeks and gathered daily logs of experiences/stories for media, study repeated after six months showed significant results
• Nearly all reported improved sleep, and ¾ said their life quality improved outright, but also in terms of productivity, mood and energy
• Generated publicity campaign for trade and business press:
• Highlighted couples’ stories and images for press materials and pitches
• Countered media doubts with survey results
• Created sales video:
• Captured couples’ enthusiasm for product benefits


Objective 1

Beautyrest of Your Life program was sole marketing tool used until May 2000:

Within the first two months of product availability, sales increases averaged 25 percent

Second quarter sales for Simmons Company increased 24 percent over the previous year

Objective 2

Study inspired retail POP – newsletters and brochures focused on the results and stories generated by the study and by the media

Media, swayed by results, wrote about the mattress and gave sales force ammunition for pitches – especially in the local markets:  

Campaign generated 80 million impressions

Mattress-focused business features appeared in 17 of 18 plant markets (sales force hubs) enabling localized impact

Prominent trade media stories cited the new bed’s innovation

Video depicting survey respondents shown at kick-off sales meeting motivated audiences – multiple copies were requested by retailers for showroom viewing/sales presentations

Simmons to use study concepts as benchmark for all future product introductions