‘Declare Peace’: 5 Questions With Serta VP of Marketing Greg Butz

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Serta Declare Peace #SertaPeace

Consumers are being bombarded with messages they need more sleep, so it’s a perfect time for Serta—a brand whose mattresses are synonymous with slumber—to up its game.

With a new campaign bearing the tagline “Declare Peace,” Serta is encouraging people to sleep more—on its products, of course. The new campaign cites a study “with nearly half of Americans claiming they spend less than one hour per day feeling at peace and relaxed,” pointing out there’s no better place than resting in the bedroom to make the world go away.

“It’s no surprise that we are busier and more stressed out than ever before—and our ability to sleep is suffering as a result,” Andrew Gross, Serta’s EVP of marketing, stated in a press release.

“We’re passionate about ‘Declare Peace’ because the bedroom is the calmest place around, and the mattress is at the heart of it. At Serta, we work to bring technology and comfort together, so everyone can find a mattress that’s just right for them to create a bedroom sanctuary of their own.”

As the $1.7 billion Serta brand notes in its campaign kick-off press release, “Earlier this year, Serta reinvented its most popular mattress collections, offering a variety of models for everyone’s comfort preference and price point.” And the stakes are high as it needs to innovate and fend off the likes of Casper, reportedly now part-owned by Target.

To kick off the trademarked “Declare Peace” campaign (which supports but doesn’t replace its counting sheep or its “Always Comfortable” tagline), Serta teamed with actress and mom Jamie-Lynn Sigler (known for playing Meadow on The Sopranos), who greeted New Yorkers at the Serta Comfort Corner pop-up in Manhattan, showing off the facility’s relaxing bedroom setting amid the concrete canyons outside.

The campaign is running across US broadcast and digital networks including select Spotify channels, and content will run on Serta’s social channels, where a sweepstakes contest (hashtag: #SertaPeace) is offering a grand prize bedroom makeover in return for sharing how you want to “reclaim” your bedroom.

brandchannel spoke with Greg Butz, the VP of  marketing communications for Serta Simmons Bedding, about waking up consumers to the importance of sleep.

bc: How important is “Declare Peace” for Serta in terms of your overall marketing and past campaigns?

Greg Butz VP of marketing SertaGreg Butz: This is a very big deal for Serta. We’re the biggest mattress manufacturer in the US. This campaign is very different than our past campaigns. Normally we’ve been very product- and sales-focused. This time we better understand people’s feelings about comfort and so the campaign is more relevant in a modern way.

Our target (customer) is looking for brands they can relate to for an emotional connection. There’s also a timeliness to this campaign. People are experiencing record-level tension and discomfort and have a need for peace in their lives.

bc: What’s the significance of some of the individual “Declare Peace” campaign elements?

Butz: We have new TV ads, the (NYC) pop-up and a sweepstakes program. The pop-up was an activation that we did for two days. In the city that never sleeps we wanted to give consmers a chance to chill out on our  new mattresses. Fans were invited to share how they take time out to declare peace and got the opportunity to win prizes.

DeclarePeace.com is our campaign hub. We include video, editorial information and a  lot of talk about National Sleep Foundatiion and tips and tricks. [Sigler] is a busy mom and knows about how busy life can get and the importance of winding down in the bedroom. She also makes health and wellness a daily priority.

bc: What is the new competition from the mattress-in-a-box companies, and all the new delivery forms and brands like Casper, doing to the industry and market?

Butz: It’s really distilled the process down to something very simple. But they don’t really take into consideration sleep preferences or customization options. Because it’s the only mattress to choose from with these places, consumers can get overwhelmed as to what to actually purchase.

We continue to modernize our offerings with new technology as well as our approach to communicating. We’re connected to consumers in a new way and giving them a reason to rethink their mattresses and identify the right one for them. We’re always exploring new opportunities and looking into [Serta’s own mattress-in-a-box] as well.

bc: Are consumers actually trying to sleep more or are they just stressed about not being able to sleep more?

Butz: Both. There are record levels of stress. People are having a hard time putting themselves to sleep and there are folks who can’t get the sleep they’re looking for, and that’s what we’re helping with.

bc: Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, recently showed up promoting a mattress manufacturing company called Mattress Firm, and also Serta’s latest mattresses. What was that about?

Butz: He introduced a new campaign for Mattress Firm with the CEO of Mattress Firm and featured two of our products, and iComfort was one of the [Serta] beds demonstrated there. Our iComfort TempTouch product is one of the new features we have as part of a five-year partnership with Mattress Firm. We’re a long-time supplier but this is a new engagement that is much more robust and active than ever before. We’re doing a lot of co-marketing and we were involved in this promotion with Wozniak.


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