Mattress Firm Reviews As Predicted
Steve’s breakdown: Mattress Firm is the final case of Ratti Report getting another prediction on the nose! Check those Account Review Predictions every day.
HOUSTON, TX: Goodbye dark diners and Liev Schreiber, hello R/GA and a more mirthful Mattress Firm.
After putting its account up for review for five months—changing the scope as it went along—Mattress Firm whittled a field of seven top creative and advertising agencies down to two (the brand declined to name which agencies competed in the review). It eventually selected R/GA as its national creative and production agency of record.
Both review and selection were managed in-house by Mattress Firm, which chose R/GA to shore up its digital presence throughout the next year.
COMvergence estimates Mattress Firm’s traditional media spend from July 2021 to June 2022 at $132 million, while the estimated digital spend is $100 million over the same time frame.
“We had done a great job of telling our story in upper funnel—especially TV and video—but we weren’t pulling that message through as thoroughly in digital channels,” said Mickey Mericle, Mattress Firm’s CMO. “With R/GA’s digital-first approach, they are challenging us to think beyond the video spot.”
Since 2021, Mattress Firm has established a strong voice through television spots featuring actor Liev Schreiber. The “Un-Junk Your Sleep” campaign took an often bleak view of inadequate rest, but turned somewhat rosier after Mericle’s hiring in April. Megan Trinidad—R/GA’s vp and executive creative director whose team of 10 ended a months-long vetting process with a two-week sprint to victory—said her agency plans to inch Mattress Firm’s brand toward the lighter side.
“There’s a sort of intentionally sardonic darkness to the [current] work that is part of Mattress Firm’s brand voice and not something we want to fully walk away from,” Trinidad said. “But in 2023, as we are reaching out of the last three years of our lives, how does that message evolve to feel like Mattress Firm is going to be a solution for an optimistic new future?”
R/GA will collaborate with Mattress Firm’s media agency (Spark Foundry), public relations agency (Golin Worldwide) and social media agency (Infinite) as it prepares its first work, planned for the first quarter of 2023.
Mattress Firm’s last agency of record—Droga5, which created the Schreiber ads—departed in September. Mericle noted that the company had “nothing but appreciation and admiration” for the work it did with Droga5, which “helped us move to a wonderful, provocative place with our messaging.”
Like Mattress Firm, though, R/GA spent 2022 undergoing significant changes. It ditched its office model for a practice-based approach that focused on five key areas: products and experiences; connected communications; brand design and consulting; media and connections; and brand relationship design.
That structure helped Mattress Firm address existential questions about its marketing approach. Last week, the agency promoted Shannon Washington to U.S. CCO.
“How does the stuff that’s happening right at the very top [of the funnel] speak to the work that’s happening for a Fourth of July sale, for example?” R/GA’s Trinidad said. “When they came to us, it was really about, ‘We’re sort of looking for a new perspective on how we are going to market. What are your thoughts on that?’”
Though Mattress Firm is exploring more diverse mediums, the core of its message isn’t changing. Quality sleep and its mental health benefits will remain a consistent part of the brand message as it targets aging consumers, growing families and new couples.
“We are always struggling with different factors involving our sleep; it’s not specific to a point in time,” Mericle said.
“The economy is not helping, obviously, but I think people are at the end of their desire to remain in that dark place,” Trinidad said. “We really want to harness that vibe that’s out in the world to evolve Mattress Firm and their disruptive attitude to meet the needs of the consumer today.”