Casper brings the power of sleep to centre ice

Maple Leafs player John Tavares stars in the mattress brand's latest campaign as it continues to expand its reach.


Mattress brand Casper is entering the second year of its partnership with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it’s launching a new campaign to show how it helps one of the team’s star players harness the power of sleep.

The video is centred on an interview with a zamboni driver who works around John Tavares’ seemingly endless training routines on the ice. But his commitment gets taken to a new level when it’s revealed that Tavares literally lives at the arena, showing a scene where he pulls his Casper bed onto centre ice at night.

The video is the first of two that will air on TV, social media and in the Scotiabank Arena throughout the hockey season. Casper worked with Toronto agency Mixtape on the campaign.

Casper became the “official sleep partner” of the Maple Leafs last year. Nicole Tapscott, VP and GM for Casper in Canada, says in addition to tapping into the love Canadians have for hockey, the partnership also allows the brand to partner with athletes like Tavares and reinforce its message around “the power of sleep.”

“If you were to discuss health and wellness more broadly, part of it would be nutrition, part would be fitness and part would sleep,” Tapscott says. “You can’t go to SoulCycle or run marathons unless you’re sleeping well. There’s a clear connection between good sleep and performance that made working with a top-tier athlete a natural fit. Tavares is well-known for his commitment to hockey and his training regimen, so we wanted to show the power of sleep in a more playful way.”

Tapscott adds that the video fits with Casper’s marketing strategy of creating memorable moments that help drive brand recall in what is typically seen as a less-than-memorable category.

This week marks Casper’s fourth anniversary in the Canadian market. While the brand was one of the earliest and best-known entrants in the direct-to-consumer, mattress-in-a-box category, it faces stiff competition from the likes of Canadian brand Endy, as well as Leesa. The popularity of the category has led traditional retailers to launch their own competing products, such as Sleep Country, which launched its Bloom brand last year, expanding its product selection to four different mattresses in June.

For its own part, Casper has also moved beyond the digital world (where it built its business) and into the physical space, be it through pop-ups or partnerships with retailers like EQ3, Indigo and Hudson’s Bay. It also opened its first stand-alone Canadian retail store in Toronto’s Sherway Gardens this year, with plans to expand with more locations across the country over the next two to five years.

Casper is known for being one of the direct-to-consumer brands that created brand awareness through podcast advertising. As a result, says Tapscott, the organic awareness Casper had when it launched in Canada allowed it to transition into national, mass marketing fairly quickly (from TV to out-of-home to a sponsorship with an NHL team) and appeal to shoppers outside of the typical online, direct-to-consumer space.

“There will always be a customer segment who loves that they can order online and have it delivered to their home in a box, but we want to be where people are comfortable engaging with our products,” Tapscott says. “For the consumer that likes to shop at The Bay, we can be there. For the person who want a holistic Casper retail experience, we’ve invested in creating stores. We continue to make a ground-up investment across the country to make sure people who are interested in engaging with the brand can do so wherever they’re most comfortable and get a great experience while doing so.”