Sealy “Gold Digger”

Commercials often combine a practical appeal with a more emotional appeal. A new campaign for Sealy mattresses (by Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago) combines the two elements in an unusual (not to say odd) way. The practical message is that Americans average just six hours of sleep a night, so they need a mattress that helps them get really good sleep – hence the theme line, “Get a better six.” The gut-level message half-jokingly taps into populist resentment of the idle rich, who can doze the whole day away if they please. Featuring a gold-digging wife in this spot, as well as a doltish heir and a spoiled heiress in other executions, the campaign pursues its mock-the-sleeping-rich theme with such gusto that it somewhat upstages the more utilitarian sales pitch. What does it matter to the weary viewer if the rich are sleeping all day? In any case, the stereotype of the idle rich seems out of date. These days, the spot’s viewers are more likely to feel tormented by the all-too-industrious rich – the ones despoiling the environment, downsizing their companies, etc. The campaign is entertaining. I just don’t quite see why a lampoon of fictitious rich folks should make me more eager to catch some high-quality ZZZs. But maybe that’s just because I didn’t get enough sleep last night.  -Mark Dolliver