Name: Alison Walsh, account supervisor, Zeno Group (New York)
Placement: The Ellen DeGeneres Show, April 22, 2010
Timeline: Two weeks
Who is your client and what are its media goals?
Walsh: Sleepy's is a well-known mattress retailer in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. The company was looking to create national awareness for its Sleepys.com e-commerce site, as well as raise its overall brand profile. It turned to us to generate buzz in the media around some of the causes in which Sleepy's is currently involved.Ellen DeGeneres is a national figure, but what made her show a good target? How did you pitch its producers?
Walsh: The program is watched by a lot of heads of household and the light-hearted format of Ellen's show fits very well with Sleepy's messages.
For the Earth Day show, Ellen's producers contacted us noting they had organic sheets they were highlighting, but were looking for a green bed as well. We called Sleepy's, who it turns out was preparing to launch a new eco-friendly soy mattress from its supplier Spaldin Sleep Systems. The timing worked out perfectly and the company was immediately on board, especially as this wasn't a pay-for-play placement.This segment ended up as a live mattress giveaway for the entire audience. Did that present any challenges?
Walsh: Yes, especially since the Spaldin manufacturer is based in Spain and the volcano in Iceland erupted the week before the segment.
Despite that, we were able to work with Sleepy's to ensure we had two mattresses for the set, as well as coupons so audience members could get their own green beds. We also worked with producers to provide signage and script the segment, so Sleepy's eco-friendly messages were delivered by Ellen in a fun way.What was the hit's impact?
Walsh: It was a huge on-air success. In addition, Ellen tweeted about the mattress giveaway and featured it on her Facebook page.
Sleepy's achieved a rise in traffic to both its Facebook page and Sleepys.com. It even noted that in-store customers were commenting on the segment, so it was thrilled with our work.