Mattresses and pizza seem like a pretty unlikely combination – and that’s exactly what Raymour and Flanigan is capitalizing on with a clever new promotion. The premise is simple but unexpected: the furniture and mattress retailer teamed up with Papa John’s to offer “a year of pizza” to anyone who bought a mattress costing $500 or more from its brick-and-mortar stores. Though their “year of pizza” actually includes just one large cheese pie per month (toppings at an additional cost), the roughly $180 in savings was not really the point of the campaign. By promoting this deal with the tagline, “Mattresses shouldn’t come in a box. Pizzas do,” Raymour and Flanigan is ultimately taking a cheeky jab at its boxed-bed rivals. With a marketing push that included a TV spot and social media posts, the campaign has generated a bit of buzz amongst industry and consumer publications alike. So while the final ROI for this campaign hasn’t been revealed, it definitely succeeded in drawing attention to the retail store chain. So what is it that made the offer so compelling? And what can retailers looking to make a similar splash learn from this campaign?
An Unanticipated Cross-Segment Marketing Partnership
First of all, R&F chose a slightly nonsensical cross-segment partnership to pursue as a way to get consumers to chew on the differences between mattresses and pizzas. Pizza is generally a food that people enjoy paying attention to (there are whole Instagram accounts devoted to photos of its cheesy goodness) and, because the two products don’t typically appear in the same sentence, the combination is unexpected and outside of the box.
Since mattresses and pizzas ARE very different products, why would they both come in a box? The goal of this concept is to help consumers decide that mattresses probably shouldn’t come in boxes and that the best way to buy a mattress is to head on over to R&F to try its unboxed beds. The pizza makes the offer unique and advertising clever while incentivizing the purchase of a new mattress.
When contemplating a cross-segment partnership, it can be challenging to predict how a particularly unexpected one will be received. It’s important to think hard about what a pairing will say to consumers. It has to make some sense, but every now and then a pairing that is kind of a stretch, like this one, can have a major appeal.
Clear(ish) Emphasis On The Importance Of Trying Before Buying
Part of what makes this campaign and offer work is its mix of clarity and ambiguity. The copy and concept conveys two specific messages:
- Mattresses shouldn’t come in a box because you should experience them first.
- If you come and give unboxed beds a try, you can get pizza in a box as part of the deal.
While the emphasis here is on the importance of visiting the store to try the mattress, the promotion leaves just enough mystery to pique consumer interest and draw them in to learn more.
Going Negative On The Competition
As the popularity of roll-pack mattresses grows, this approach may have arguably been a risky move. But the promotion seems to be working, in part because it still feels light-hearted and ultimately serves the consumer. While the R&F jab at boxed bedding is pointed, it doesn’t call out specific competitors. In comparison to the recent twitter silliness among fast food brands, the campaign cleverly offers gentle criticism of the ecommerce mattress market—without getting too petty.
Even more crucially, it adds value for the customer while drawing attention to what the brand specifically does well in comparison to the online alternatives.
Strong marketing campaigns grab attention with opening humor, thought-provoking commentary or, in this case, an unexpected marketing partnership, just long enough to turn consumer attention to what sets the brand apart from its competitors. In order for outlandish campaigns to be effective, they must be grounded in real value that resonates with consumers.
This post originally appeared in Sleep Retailer eNews on June 14, 2018.
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