Campaign: Research and girls give pillow sales a boost - Consumer

Campaign: National Pillow Week Client: Duvet and Pillow Association PR team: The LAB Timescale: February-April 2005 Budget: Undisclosed

National Pillow Week is the brainchild of the Duvet and Pillow Association, formed in 2003 by the UK's ten leading bedding manufacturers to push all things pillow related.

To ensure that this year's event, which ran from 18-24 April, was noticed by the national media, the association hired integrated marketing agency The LAB.

Objectives

To create a media splash and inform the public about National Pillow Week. To increase awareness of the importance of washing and changing pillows on a regular basis, and ultimately boost pillow sales.

Strategy and Plan

The LAB designed and distributed four eye-catching press releases, each tailored to business, family, women's and general media. These contained statistical research into sleeping habits and pillows, highlighting facts such as that after 18 months, ten per cent of a pillow's weight is made up of dust mites, sweat, mould and mildew.

'Relationship expert' Flic Everett supported the campaign with five 'pillow tips' for women's media. Oldham accountancy firm Edwards Veeder provided a case study on the link between quality sleep and workplace productivity for business journalists.

The campaign launched on 15 April with a photoshoot outside the Houses of Parliament where, to mark the approaching general election, Celebrity Wrestling star Leilani Dowding and former Miss UK Nikkie Theobald staged a pillow fight, wearing Tony Blair and Michael Howard masks.

Measurement and Evaluation

According to in-house evaluation, the campaign had the potential to reach 25 million people. Media coverage included the Daily Mirror, The Sunday Times' Style and the Financial Times. The Sun Online ran a story that featured one of the photoshoot images.

Regional media interest came from the Yorkshire Evening Post and The Belfast Telegraph, while 20 local BBC radio stations featured interviews with Duvet and Pillow Association chairman Bob Moryoussef.

Results

The PR team has not measured how the campaign changed awareness levels of National Pillow Week, but according to the Duvet and Pillow Association, sales of pillows increased by five per cent following the campaign, compared with the same period in the previous year.

'The PR team sent me a lovely pillow, which made the campaign really stick in the mind,' says Jane Common, editor of Sunday Star supplement Take 5. The magazine ran a feature on how bed linen affects one's sex life.

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