Mattress Manufacturer Case Study #1

“I have worked with Julia for a short period but have already been exposed to her incredibly creative approach to business. Julia is not afraid to jump into new situations and contribute. She is confident with what she knows but has a sweet humility about her as well. In short, Julia gets it. She is a leader and a worker at the same time and has a lot of passion for what she does.  I am a big fan already and look forward to being around her and learning from her on the Better Sleep Council.”
Mark Quinn, Segment Vice President of Marketing, Leggett and Platt

Cause marketing in action ~ Pillows for Troops

In late 2009, a retailer from Winnipeg approached the mattress manufacturer I worked for about sending pillows to soldiers serving in Afghanistan in honor of a former employee who had recently died while serving there. He wanted to send 7,500 pillows (and a postcard with each one) to Canadian soldiers.

Pillows for TroopsThe company (a Canadian mattress manufacturer) jumped onboard with a strategic plan to draw on our communities to promote the send off of the pillows from Manitoba. We published numerous blog posts, held a special Remembrance Day Ceremony at head office in Ontario and made a video that was first posted on YouTube, then the blog and finally Facebook.

At the Remembrance Day ceremony, a class of 4th graders sang the national anthem to office and factory employees, holding up posters with messages like “Give a soldier a hug” and “Thanks for keeping us all safe.” Every employee was given a postcard and asked to write a note that would accompany their pillows. As some of our factory employees do not write or speak English, it was an exercise in diplomatic relations. And it was all caught on film.

The following week, I flew to a media event in Winnipeg where they met the Afghan ambassador, numerous Canadian dignitaries and the family of Crop. James Arnal. I addressed the media at a special ceremony, gave numerous radio interviews and attended behind-closed-doors meetings with top level officials.

The altruistic nature of the events, the robust communication plan and the company’s ability to draw both American and Canadian communities into the conversations made this the perfect storm of media attention.

Pillows for Troops“I would like to thank you for your Pillows for the Troops campaign. My partner has just returned from Afghanistan after a 10 1/2 Month tour. The pillow that was sent was a touch of home in an otherwise very unpleasant part of the world. Now we are on a quest to find the same pillow but in King Size. We live in Nova Scotia, but are determined to find them. Thanks again for a great product, and helping our troops.”

To measure success, we considered more than just page views or time on site. The story connected the company with a wide audience and there were many, many instances of fans sharing the blog posts on their personal networks. Commenting on the blog doubled and many people who had never heard of the company suddenly wanted to know where they too could get a postcard to send to a soldier.

Media MentionsWinnipeg Free Press

Canadian Business Online

Canadian News Wire

Furniture World

Kids Today

Leader Post

Winnipeg Free Press

Filipino Journal

Pillows for Troops

CTV News (Winnipeg)

570 News (Kitchener)

CJOB News (Winnipeg)

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