MVBMS Offers Rest for the Weary

NEW YORK — Select Comfort is increasing its ad spending by a third to highlight “sleep problems” in an estimated $50 million campaign that breaks on Nov. 22.

Five new spots created by Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners in New York for the Minneapolis-based mattress marketer comically pinpoint and solve specific problems, such as that of a pregnant woman who’s sleeping for three — herself, the child she’s carrying and her overweight husband.

Another spot features a man with a bad back, who thinks the only remedy would be a barefoot masseuse walking all over him, until he gets a Select Comfort mattress. In the end, his wife offers her large foot to massage his back, at which point he decides to stick with Select Comfort.

The advertiser’s new effort continues to tout its “sleep number,” a remote-control with settings between 0 and 100 that regulate firmness for either side of a bed. The tagline is, “Holds the key to a perfect night’s sleep.”

Select Comfort’s last campaign, backed by about $35 million in spending, featured pillow talk from happy couples about how each partner prefers a different sleep number.

“The key has been to play up the sleep number,” a concept MVBMS first developed for the client in 1997, said Phil Silvestri, partner and creative director.

The shift to showing how the sleep number solves problems came about because of concerns that the concept might be viewed as a gimmick, said Noel Schenker, client svp for marketing. That issue is dealt with head-on in one of the new commercials, “Rant,” in which a goateed man sitting up in bed at night vents about how sick he is of hearing about everyone’s sleep number, while contentedly rhapsodizing about his own until his wife orders him to go to sleep.

“The humor in the spots has more than balanced out any fears,” Schenker said.

The work will run in 20 markets mainly on prime-time network television. Cable is also part of the mix.

Competitors such as Sealy and Serta, the Nos. 1 and 2 brands in industry sales, respectively, sell through thousands of shops in North America. Select Comfort is relatively small, with fewer than 350 retail stores in 46 states. The company has sought to address its market position through advertising: Sealy and Serta each spend about $20 million annually on ads, according to CMR.