Dan Schecter, VP of sales and marketing for the consumer products division of Carpenter Co., said, "We always look for ways to communicate the need for sleep and the benefits of sleep and we decided this year to focus on children." When it comes to the goals of the campaign, he added, "we're more interested in the messaging, in the importance of sleep," rather than selling bedding products.
The campaign is "pure-play" PR, said Joe Slay, founder of Slay Communications, the AOR for Carpenter Co. and will include traditional and social media elements. It launched today with the release of a survey about the best bedtime stories. The agency also subcontracted The Hodges Partnership to help with PR for the partnership with White.
"We're going to start a social media viral campaign where we are asking moms and dads and aunts and uncles and grandparents and anybody to submit to the SleepBetter.org website bedtimes stories that they've made up and told to their kids," Slay explained.
Carpenter Co.'s website SleepBetter.org will host an event in Los Angeles on May 26 where White will read Goodnight Moon, the most popular bedtime story according to their survey, as well as excerpts and samples of stories from the online contest launched today. Several winning stories will also be illustrated by Bill Nelson.
The campaign is also using Facebook, Twitter, and outreach to mommy bloggers to promote the event, contest, and partnership with White. White will be discussing the campaign in media appearances, and the campaign will target entertainment publications, Los Angeles-based outlets, and parenting publications with the event on May 26.
White will also take SleepBetter's Zzzz Score test, which diagnoses sleep problems and offers products and tips to have better sleep, and post her results on SleepBetter.org.
"At first we were thinking of young celebrities who had recently had babies, but someone suggested Betty White," Slay said, adding that the team reached out to White prior to her successful Super Bowl commercial. "She's so cool and like a member of everybody's family. We could just envision her reading stories."