TUFT & NEEDLE CASE STUDY
The Brand Dilemma
Since 2012, Tuft & Needle has been “taking back sleep” via its family of products, which includes premium mattresses, sheets, duvet covers, pillows and frames. These products can be shipped directly to a customer’s door. The company has revolutionized the mattress industry with its “always-honest pricing,” insistence on quality, and superior customer service. Tuft & Needle even offers a 100-night trial so a customer can test out their new mattress risk-free.
After years of selling sleep products via its website, a handful of brick and mortar locations, and partner stores like Lowe’s, Tuft & Needle launched its own Amazon store, seeking to leverage both the brand recognition of the world’s largest online retailer and the site’s ease of conversion.
Upon engaging Bandolier Media in late 2019, Tuft & Needle’s primary objective was to increase awareness about (and drive traffic to) its Amazon store. But tired, traditional advertising tactics just wouldn’t do. The mattress company, which had already shaken up its industry, needed a similarly adventurous creative partner that would do more than simply throw massive amounts of money at TV ads. Specifically, Tuft & Needle wanted to explore how influencer traffic could generate hype and expand its reach.
Fortunately, the Bandolier team was up to the challenge — and not afraid to take a few creative risks along the way.
The Bandolier Approach
The day after receiving the go-ahead from Tuft & Needle, Bandolier Media began planning and scripting a series of video concepts — of which they would soon produce with a small and carefully selected group of influencers. However, as COVID-related shutdowns brought much of the world to a standstill, the project was paused in the spring of 2020. Rather than admitting defeat, Bandolier saw an opportunity to create a series of videos that would embrace the changed circumstances of Tuft & Needle’s audience with wit, charm, and commonality.
In the months that followed, Bandolier Media worked with three social media influencers to produce several videos that introduced potential customers to Tuft & Needle mattresses in a fresh and innovative way — while acknowledging their “new normal.” A total of five videos, all intended to target three segments of its audience, were created for Tanya Memme, actress and host of the reality TV series Sell This House; Classic Dad; and Unemployed Wine Guy.
One of two videos produced for Tanya Memme depicts a daily routine hard-working parents know all too well: waking up in the morning. “Ever since my mom got her new bed from Tuft & Needle, mornings have been a real struggle,” her daughter narrates. The young girl, who roller skates into her mother’s bedroom with a plateful of pancakes, attempts several times to coax her to get up — even crowing like a rooster through a blow horn. The video concludes with her lying next to her mom, admitting, “I guess this bed isn’t so bad after all.”
Another video Bandolier Media produced for Classic Dad offers a behind-the-scenes look at one parent’s ingenious “home ‘office’ 😂.” As the viewer nears the subject, you see a man mid-video-conference, speaking into his laptop camera — but he’s seated on his bed, dressed in a button-up shirt, tie, and a pair of shorts (the latter of which are hidden below his lap desk). A printed backdrop of a library is taped to the wall behind him, obscuring any indication of the setting. The caption: “Zoom meeting level: Expert. Side note: Tuft & Needle is now available on Amazon! The comfiest beds for sleeping and work emails.”
The aforementioned videos — and the additional ads produced by Bandolier Media for Tuft & Needle — are funny yet relatable portrayals of life in 2020/2021 that have been well-received by both the brand and social media users.
As of May 2021, total views of the five videos have surpassed 1 million, with comments ranging from, “Dude, this is the best IG ad ever” and “Hilarious, as usual!” to, “Oddly enough I’m actually looking for a mattress right now.” Immediately after publishing each video and for months thereafter, Tuft & Needle saw a noticeable increase in traffic to the brand’s Amazon store. Their intent to generate hype, visibility, and brand awareness by partnering with Bandolier Media met with such success that the companies are continuing their partnership.
“Bandolier is unique in their approach and takes you and your product set and objectives into account,” says Mason Shannon, Tuft & Needle’s Director of Amazon Channel. “You get quality content and quality social intention from a focused and creative team. They are easy to work with, nimble, and quick to respond. I can go to the Bandolier team and say, ‘I have a budget and I need to drive traffic for a specific period of time; what can I do?’ and they immediately begin brainstorming,” he adds. “When I’ve worked with larger agencies, you’re often just a name on a list of projects. But with Bandolier, they get excited and they work quickly. Their creative fire is valuable, and that’s kept us working together.”