Welcome to Simmons County. Your guide is BBDO South.
Simmons County is the dreamy fictional spot where "Things are nicer. The sky is bluer. Everybody's a little friendlier . . . because they sleep on Simmons mattresses," said BBDO South executive creative director Art Mellor.
A pair of humorous television commercials, which break this week on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and the season finale of Frasier, introduce Simmons County and its happy inhabitants.
"Gossip" shows residents as they banter and backbite (in a pleasant way, of course) about a sneaky neighbor bringing home a new Beautyrest 2000 in the middle of the night.
The other spot, "Flopper," chronicles citizens who sheepishly admit they toss and turn while sleeping, keeping their partners awake.
The TV work is supported by print ads depicting Simmons County residents so devoted to the client's mattresses that they take them wherever they go. One ad shows a woman scaling a sheer cliff with the mattress tied to her belt. Another loyal user brings her favorite Simmons to a swank hotel in a big city.
"We wanted to not only come up with advertising ideas, we wanted to come up with marketing ideas," Mellor said. "Simmons County is that. We've introduced characters, we've created a sense of place, and as the campaign goes on, you can focus on individuals and their stories . . . We have the potential to create something that's bigger than advertising."
Mellor said the Atlanta agency's strategy for its local client's product differentiates it in the bedding industry. BBDO's approach focuses on the benefits of sleeping on a Simmons mattress versus the physical features of the product.