By Kendra Clark | Senior Reporter

July 21, 2021 | 5 min read

The classic mattress retailer has enlisted Ray Donovan actor Liev Schreiber and Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas in a new national ad campaign urging Americans to ditch their poor sleeping habits.

Mattress Firm, the retailer that has been promising Americans a better night’s sleep for 90 years, today debuted a new national ad campaign headlined by actor, director and producer Liev Schreiber. Debuting just two days before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games, the spot also stars Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas. In the new spot, Mattress Firm takes on ‘junk sleep’, which it equates with ‘junk food’ – the poor quality of sleep that makes you feel more tired rather than well-rested.

“We’re launching the ‘Junk Sleep’ campaign to help Americans address their poor sleep habits,” the brand’s chief marketer Ramin Eivaz tells The Drum. “More than two-thirds of adults are resting less than the recommended seven hours per night, which is taking a significant toll on their wellbeing. Hopefully this campaign serves as a wake-up call for those deprioritizing sleep so that they can begin to live happier and healthier lives.”

The campaign debuts just weeks after the brand took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal outlining the impacts of poor sleep and the scale of America’s worsening sleep problem.

Created by Droga5, the campaign’s hero film opens with a spooky scene of Schreiber sitting upright, book in hand, in a bed hurtling down a dark street at night. “We’ve got a problem, America,” he intones sternly. “Junk sleep. It’s what you get from a bed that isn’t right for you.” The viewer catches glimpses of zombie-like, pajama-clad passers-by shuffling past with pillows in hand. Schreiber goes on to give viewers more insight into the undesirable effects of junk sleep: forgetfulness, clouded thinking and low energy among them. “Keep calling Kevin ‘Keith’? Junk sleep,” he says. “Left your laptop on the bus? Junk sleep. Can’t straight think? Slunk jeep.”

Man mowing lawn in pajamas with pillow stuck to his head

In a statement released today, Schreiber said that he “literally laughed out loud” upon first reading the script for the ad. “The other highlight for me is that it brings awareness to an issue very close to my heart. Lack of sleep! Hopefully, this campaign serves as a wake-up call for the millions of workaholics, night-owls and over-thinkers who are deprioritizing sleep. The message is pretty simple: it’s difficult to live a healthy life if you aren’t sleeping well.”

And Mattress Firm might be on to something. A recent Consumer Reports study found that 27% of Americans have trouble falling or staying asleep most nights – and nearly 70% struggle to sleep at least one night a week. And according to Mattress Firm’s strategic partner SleepScore Labs, Americans’ poor sleeping patterns equate to a loss of some 74bn hours of sleep a year – not to mention the health effects of poor sleep, which are well-documented. Not only does poor sleep impair mood, judgement and memory, but consistently poor sleep can also elevate the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

“Branding subpar sleep as ‘junk sleep’ is a powerful way to call attention to a nationwide issue and frame it in a way that everyone can understand,” says Droga5’s executive creative director Scott Bell. “And it’s a problem that Mattress Firm ... is uniquely positioned to solve. I can sleep easy knowing a great idea like this has finally made its way into the world.”

Mattress Firm, which closed hundreds of stores after filing for bankruptcy in 2018, appears to have suffered from the rise in trendy direct-to-consumer mattress and bedding brands such as Casper and Purple. It is likely aiming for a comeback – especially as brick-and-mortar retailers across the country begin reopening their doors in light of loosened Covid restrictions.

The campaign’s hero film will debut during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics this Friday on NBC. An extended 90-second version will be made available on Mattress Firm’s YouTube channel.

The spot’s debut during NBC’s coverage of the Tokyo Games is not the brand’s only dabblings in sports marketing. With the aim of emphasizing how good sleep aids health and improves athletic performance, the mattress retailer has also teamed up with Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas. As a brand ambassador, Douglas will share personal advice and tips for how she gets a good night’s rest and promote healthier, more consistent sleep. Furthermore, Mattress Firm will sponsor MLB’s Field of Dreams game on August 12, where fans will be able to visit the Un-Junk Your Sleep truck to try out different mattresses at the new field in Dyersville, Iowa.

As part of this creative brand marketing campaign, Mattress Firm is kicking off the ‘Un-junk Your Sleep Tour’. Kicking off July 26 and running until the end of August, the Un-Junk Your Sleep truck will stop at sleep-deprived Americans’ homes in New York City, Detroit and Houston to help them find a better mattress. Consumers can enter to win by following Mattress Firm in an image of their less-than-ideal current mattress on Instagram or Twitter alongside a description of why they’re experiencing junk sleep and the #UnJunkYourSleepGiveaway hashtag as well as a hashtag representing their city of residence (#NYC, #Det or #Hou). Winners will not only receive a visit from the Mattress Firm truck, but will take home either a Beautyrest Beyond 15.25" Plush Pillow Top Mattress, a Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Medium Hybrid Mattress or a Sleepys Hybrid with Gel Matrix® Firm Mattress.

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