Sleep Country shows that even Bianca Andreescu needs her rest

Amid the pressure of hustle culture and eroding work-life balance, the retailer hopes the tennis star will help consumers understand the importance of sleep.
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Sleep Country Canada and Bianca Andreescu have come together to get Canadians to make time for getting healthy sleep.

More than a year in the making, the partnership has the tennis star stepping into a role as the retailer’s first-ever brand ambassador, and she features prominently as a champion for sleep in the company’s new TV and digital campaign, “There’s No Dream Without Sleep.”

The partnership and the new campaign are both continuations of a strategy that began last year, according to Stewart Schaefer, Sleep Country Canada’s president, who says that amid the pandemic, the company moved away from its iconic “Why buy a mattress anywhere else?” tagline to one focused more on health and wellness – “Sleep well, stay well.”

Sleep Country Canada reached out to Andreescu after she won the U.S. Open in 2019, Schaefer says. Discussions were had in late 2019 and earlier 2020, but then the pandemic hit and the retailer was forced to focus on other things in its marketing, though a partnership with Andreescu remained in the retailer’s “back pocket.”

“In April 2020, we stopped advertising mattresses and put out a campaign to tell people to call someone and wish them good night. There was nothing about selling,” he says. “We came up with the new tagline, which was really just a genuine community message because everyone was locked into their homes, and it gained so much traction.”

Now that the pandemic is easing in places and vaccination rates are climbing, “there is hope,” Schaefer says. That, along with the beginning of the Grand Slam tournament season and strong sales throughout the pandemic and the first quarter of 2021, is why the partnership is coming to fruition now.

The spot begins by showing the intense training regimen Andreescu sticks to, and even though it’s not something the average Canadian may be experienced with, there is still a somewhat relatable feeling of needing to perform and always be active in order to be successful in work and life. But that is followed by Andreescu peacefully laying on a mattress, emphasizing the point that all of hustle isn’t going to go anywhere if you don’t prioritize your rest.

Driven heavily by online sales, the company had one of the best earnings periods in its history in the fourth quarter of 2020, and its strong performance continued into the first quarter of 2021 with revenue surging by 20.7% over the first quarter of 2020 in spite of store closures, largely on the back of a 29.3% sales growth through ecommerce.

“What the pandemic did was escalate the acceptance of buying mattresses online,” explains Schaefer. “It did something similar for sleep. Something happened. We’re not telling the population of Canada anything they don’t know – that when you sleep well, you feel better. But there’s no question that everyone is investing more in their personal wellbeing.”

By positioning itself as a wellness-oriented brand on “a mission to elevate sleep as a key pillar of health and wellbeing” – and by enlisting an elite athlete in Andreescu to help promote that message – Schaefer says the hope is “to inspire Canadians to prioritize their sleep.”

Publicis Canada handled creative, with North Strategic on PR.