Noise, mayhem, excitement. These are some of the feelings that first spring to mind when we think about attending a live music concert. But Max Richter’s truly unique concert in Manhattan, New York elicited some very different emotions when the composer teamed up with mattress company Beautyrest to offer a highly unusual experience.
Max Richter has composed music for film, opera and ballet, but this time he teamed up with neuroscientist David Eagleman to better understand how the brain functions during deep sleep. He has composed what he describes himself as an eight-hour lullaby – Sleep – with sounds and tones designed to enhance slow wave sleep; the sleeping phase which is the deepest stage of sleep and the best for recovery and recharging.
Members of the public were given the opportunity to buy tickets for a live classical performance of this unusual album, with a brand experience advertised as part concert, part slumber party.
Guests were given the rare opportunity to stay overnight on one of 160 beds located near to a stage where musicians would perform throughout the entire night. With mattresses provided by Beautyrest, along with branded pillows, blankets and silk eye masks, attendees slept mere inches away from a stranger on an identical bed. The juxtaposition of pure calm and comfort in what most of us would find a rather awkward setting is exactly what will make this campaign stick in the minds of those who attended.
There were no rules for those attending. The music started at 10.30pm. Many fell asleep straight away, and others stayed awake listening intently. One attendee noted at least two couples canoodling in their beds, and of course there were those who scrolled through social media channels, sharing thoughts and photographs of the event and boosting the campaign’s online reach.
This is an elegant brand partnership that brought together two complementary aspects in an immersive and unexpected environment. Warren Kornblum, chief marketing officer at Serta Simmons Bedding, said: “At Beautyrest, we talk about ourselves as not just being a mattress company, but a sleep company. We are leaning into innovation and enabling people to sleep better—to help them, as opposed to just selling mattresses—and when we heard about this, it seemed like the perfect fit.”
The campaign has certainly sparked media interest, with the story getting plenty of pick-up across fashion, music and health outlets, including those who attended the entire performance as well as those who couldn’t get their hands on a coveted ticket. The mystery surrounding the event certainly boosted coverage levels, as everybody wanted to know more about this exclusive concert.
It's not the first time an experiential campaign has used our long-standing love affair with getting a good night’s sleep to offer a unique night of snoozing; in fact, Japanese bedding firm Sleepdays earned a ‘Wood Pencil’ award at this year’s prestigious D&D Awards for its Hotel Highway campaign to combat drowsy driving. And other brands have also come up with inventive ways to bring strangers together: Nescafé’s shrinking bench did just that in a highly comical way.