Marketing ain’t easy, I’m just sayin’.
Seriously give this some thought: To oversimplify it, you have to take the product you are trying to sell, determine what makes it better than what everyone else has, find the right audience, and find the right communications tool to speak to that audience (which now means selecting one of 1,000 different television/radio stations, direct mail, a million different web portals, SEO, SMO, PPC, should I go on?). On top of that you have to find a snazzy creative approach to tell your story in a way that delivers on the business objective, so you had better be a hybrid of creative genius and salesperson all in one. All of that to say, I think Serta has it figured out with their new campaign (videos below).
Andrew Gross, the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Serta, has been hard at work with the new spots for iComfort and I really think they nailed it.
Here are five reasons I think the Serta approach is going to find the sweet spot with the consumer:
- Comfort is the #1 most important criteria when a consumer chooses their new mattress and Serta makes that topic the focal point of its new ads. The storyline for each of the new spots shows a Neanderthal man chasing some new thing in his life that makes no sense, and his very chill wife gives her approval without a shred of concern, stating, “I’m comfortable with that.” The implication is that she is so dang comfortable on that iComfort bed that he could get away with just about anything as long as he asks permission when his wife is relaxing on that new mattress. (Side note: if that were me I could think of several more meaningful requests I would make if such a bed were real!)
- The commercials are emotional because they are FUNNY! Funny isn’t easy to accomplish either, because we all have our own version of what we think is humorous. When you are looking at scripts, it is very tough to land on something with a wide range of appeal. After talking to Andrew Gross, I know they had many versions of these commercials to shoot, but had to decide on just a few and I think they picked some good ones.
- People are going to relate to the characters. I know my wife thinks I am a moron of the highest order on some days and would probably point to several things I have suggested to her that Serta could have included in this series. They also cast the actors well by not going all HOLLYWOOD beautiful but with more of a “people next door” look.
- They entertained us, educated us on why their product is relevant, and delivered a strong call to action at the end. When companies just do something in the “brand-building space,” it frustrates me because I think you can do that and drive people to your products. This campaign does it all.
- They pass my criteria of being shareable content. In other words, after you watch them, are they entertaining enough that you would suggest them to someone else?
In addition to these commercials, Serta produced a series called “Fall in Love with iComfort” in which they went into people’s homes, had them try out a new iComfort, and then chronicled what happened next. You heard the couples say things like, “I look better, my husband isn’t as crabby as he used to be, I don’t sleep hot like I used to, and I am not in pain anymore.” Not much new here, but Serta gets a lot of credit for the way these were shot and for keeping emotion in the message. EMOTION drives a purchase, NOT LOGIC. Price and promotion are certainly important, but it should not start and stop there like what happens with so many retailers. I especially like how they all end, which I will let you discover on your own.
Take a look and be the judge. Did Serta get it right? Did you crack a smile or relate in some way?
Roy & Betsy