How bed-in-a-box brand Tulo broke through in a competitive market

The inside story on Tulo's launch campaign and how it exceeded parent Mattress Firm's sales goals.

Company: Tulo
Campaign: One is not a choice
Agency mix: Havas Formula (PR, influencer marketing), Havas Worldwide (creative strategy, asset development), Havas Media (traditional/social media buying), and Havas New York
Duration: October - December 2017

Mattress Firm's new bed-in-a-box brand Tulo differentiated itself in a highly competitive market with a strong tagline and integrated campaign involving an experiential event, influencer marketing, a media tour, and video series.

Strategy
Tulo went from concept to market in just eight months. Campaign planning between Tulo and its PR agency partner, Havas Formula, ramped up three months before an October 2017 launch.

The goal for the campaign was to drive online conversation, engagement, and interest in the brand.

"While we believe in our product and the superior value it delivers, we’re entering a highly competitive market that needs a robust PR push behind it in order to capture consumers’ attention," explained Sunni Goodman, Mattress Firm’s SVP of communications and customer experience.

Launch campaign efforts would be guided by a tagline developed by Havas – "One is not a choice’ – to focus on three product categories and highlight the brand's delivery experience.

Tactics
The campaign began with a three-day New York City media tour of business and consumer media outlets the week of October 9. Editor briefings led to an online exclusive in Fast Company and print exclusive in the New York Post.

Tulo launched its branded social channels on October 12. That same night, the brand held an influencer and media launch event at The West Edge NYC, an industrial-style space in the Meatpacking District.

"The event concept illustrated three different rooms that featured nondescript but relevant elements, highlighting Tulo’s soft, medium and firm choice offerings, strategically positioning the bed as the hero in each scenario," said Goodman.

The event featured a GIF booth, where attendees could upload social posts, while also receiving a photo keepsake.

Following the launch event, the brand heightened the influencer marketing component of the campaign. Tulo tapped influencers to create branded content across verticals including health, wellness, fitness, beauty, design and décor, and lifestyle. Some key influencers were Eugenie Grey, a fashion blogger with 431,000 followers on Instagram; parent blogger Cara Loren; and Whitney Morris, who runs The Tiny Canal Cottage blog.

A video series was also included as part of the campaign to illustrate, through humorous scenarios, the importance of being able to choose your mattress comfort level - soft, medium, or firm. Havas New York created the brand film component of the campaign.

The films were "written to point out the absurdity of a world without choice – a world where bowl-cuts are the only haircut, sandpaper is the only type of paper, and sloths are the only pet," Goodman explained.

Bite-sized by design, the 15-second videos, along with GIFs and still-frames cut from the same content, ran on Facebook, Twitter, and Tulo’s YouTube page.  

Results
The influencer engagement and media launch event led directly to 21 media and social placements, as well as seven press interviews. In total, the brand landed more than 80 media placements from October to December.

Tulo also secured a feature article and a spot in Good Housekeeping as one of the best beds in a box, after Goodman did an interview with the publication’s editorial directors while they were lying on beds at a Manhattan Mattress Firm.

The brand's YouTube videos for the campaign, "One haircut" and "One paper," picked up 5.3 million views and 2.4 million views, respectively.

The campaign has been a strong driver of sales, with Tulo exceeding Mattress Firm's sales goals for launch. Tulo is on-track to hit an internal six-month sales target.

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