Spring Air sets direct-response ad introducing a television advertising campaign

Spring Air Co is introducing a television advertising campaign featuring the industry's first direct-response commercial. The ad, due to air in Apr 1994, will invite viewers to call a toll-free number to obtain a free six-minute marketing video. Customers can return the video to participating retailers in return for a glass vase and a purchasing incentive. Several versions of the commercial have been made, all featuring computer animation that demonstrates the benefits of the mattresses.

In a bedding industry first, Spring Air will launch a new national television commercial in April in which company spokeswoman Vanna White urges viewers to dial a toll-free phone number for a free, six-minute, informational-style video. Eastman House-Blue Bell pact: joint venture for King Koil licensee to distribute Eastman House mattresses in Northeast]

Don Pellegrini, president and chief executive, claimed the direct-response commercial, which will be introduced at the winter regional furniture markets, "is an uprecedented marketing move and invaluable sales tool that starts the sales process in the consumers' homes and sells through to the final purchase."

Jim Nation, vice president of national account sales, added, "We are going to educate mattress customers and drive them to the stores. The retailer will be able to close the sale since the customer has already been educated about the features and benefits of Back Supporters."

Here's how it works: Viewers who call the number will receive a video and a letter directing them to return the video to a participating retailer in their area for a free gift (a glass vase) and an "extra incentive" to buy now.

Pellegrini said in test markets last fall (the company used the now-defunct number 1-800-80-Vanna), retailers were "pleased" with its results.

He said the commercial, which shows Vanna in a bedroom at home and at a hotel on the road, also features "sophisticated computer animation to demonstrate the features and benefits of Spring Air Back Supporter mattresses in a non-technical, entertaining and persuasive manner."

He noted, "Video marketing is cost-effective and offers a visual message, sound, color, movement and a captive audience in front of a screen. It's a "moving brochure" which links our retailers and his customer with a proven in-home marketing opportunity."

Spring Air sets direct-response ad

The commercial will be aired on late-night programs, early evening and morning news, daytime programs, and prime cable. It will also be available to dealers for local use in three lengths [for adding eight, twelve, or fifteen second tags].

A four-minute version of the video will be introduced for use as an in-store point-of-sale aid. Among the point-of-purchase materials are new life-size and counter-size Vanna cardboard coutouts. twin size futon mattress see more

A 60-second radio spot [with room for a 30-second dealer tag] and twelve separately recorded "messages from Vanna" which dealers can insert into their own commercials are also available.

The promotion will also target the bridal market with a print advertisement listing the 800-number and a direct-response coupon for requesting the video in Modern Bride and Elegant Bride. It features two hotel-style Back Supporter beds [$599 and $799], the Congressional Back Supporter and the step-up Presidential model.

The video is a first from a mattress maker. However, a few retailers have developed "informational" videos. Gallery Furniture of Houston, Texas, recently developed a mattress informerical which it is broadcasting within its market and marketing to other retailers. R.C. Willey of Salt Lake City, Utah, last year sent out a direct-mail furniture video.

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Evelyn Coursey
 

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