The horror of being haunted by a mattress company – OZY


""Mattress Reviews"" – Google News

Because you can’t stay awake forever.

Most people don’t think of US bedding retailer Mattress Firm.

But I am not most of the people.

For decades I’ve been thinking about Mattress Firm all the time – when I brush my teeth, when I cry softly at Arby’s and especially when I buy a new mattress.

Terrifyingly, I was a friendless child. I spent much of my lonely youth pondering a question that kept me awake well beyond my 7:00 p.m. bedtime: Was the name mattress company a play on words, where the word “stuck” was applied to both the type of business and the business related to the firmness of the mattress?

Apparently not.

Immediately after Boston College made the dubious decision in 2018 to give me a column in its top student publication, I opened an investigation into whether Mattress Firm’s name was a play on words. Only after weeks of bombarding potential interview partners with phone calls and emails – mostly
underrated journalistic skills – I received a response from Mattress Firm: “To the public’s great surprise, the name of Mattress Firm is not a play on words.”

What kind of investigative journalist would I be if I didn’t find out the origins of Sleepy’s theme song?

As a citizen, I was indeed surprised. Still, I had the answer to my question.

I continued my journalistic career for the next two years, but I never stopped thinking about the mattress company. At least another question remained about his sleep-themed empire: Was the jingle from the Sleepy’s bed chain, which Mattress Firm acquired in 2015, ambiguous?

“Trust Sleepy’s for the rest of your life,” the company’s ominous slogan slammed off my television during my childhood. While that commercial went away after mattress company bought Sleepy’s, the jingle still haunted my dreams. What kind of investigative journalist would I be if I didn’t find out the origins of Sleepy’s theme song?

“I need 600 words to solve the greatest mystery of our time,” I emailed my editor in June.

“You can have up to 900,” he replied.

By god I would use them all.

My last investigation, focused on mattresses, would begin where my last ended – in BEDQuarters, the lazily named corporate headquarters of the mattress company. The company spokesmen had already shown the superhuman patience it took to handle my previous request. Surely they would answer my questions about Sleepys.

Much like people who thought buying a firm mattress was a good idea, I was quickly proven otherwise. The mattress company never answered my emails and my calls to their speakers went straight to voicemail. It took two weeks for me to get an answer – not from Mattress Firm, but from Jackson Spalding, a marketing company that represents the company.

“I’m addressing myself on behalf of my customer, Mattress Firm,” a senior vice president of Jackson Spalding emailed me. “You will pass this chance on.”

The spokesmen for the mattress company had used their own spokesman to refuse to comment. That struck me as the kind of bureaucratic inefficiency that drove the company into bankruptcy in 2018. In any case, it was clear that I would not get any answers from BEDQuarters.

I reached out to LinkedIn, the tinder of the money elite. I added as many former Sleepy executives as I could find, hoping some of them could confirm the pun behind the company’s scary jingle. But only one added me back, and just like my Tinder matches, he left me reading.

It was time to break out the big guns: I signed up for a free trial of LinkedIn Premium.

The beauty of LinkedIn Premium is that it forces other LinkedIn users to read your messages whether they like it or not. My free trial gave me a one month window to delve into the DMs of the biggest names in the bedding industry. I wouldn’t waste the greatest chance of my life.

After I sent another round of LinkedIn messages, a former Sleepy manager agreed to speak to me in private. I didn’t expect to need an anonymous source for my article on the theme song of a late mattress supplier. Even so, I wouldn’t turn down the chance to learn one of the world’s most closely guarded secrets, which is second only to the original KFC recipe.

My source told me that the Sleepy jingle was not just a play on words, but customers and their children came into stores and sang it too. That was perhaps the strangest thing I’ve ever heard in my journalistic career interviewing an Iranian presidential candidate about potatoes. Anyway, I had finally solved the legendary mystery of the sleepy jingle.

As a journalist, it was my duty to find a confirmatory source before I completed my investigation. I couldn’t think of anyone better than David Acker, the former CEO of Sleepy. After all, Acker was a benevolent man. In 2015, he raised $ 131,000 for homeless youth. I hoped he would do one last service and answer my extremely stupid question.

I tracked Acker’s email address by scouring the bowels of the internet until I found a company he was on the advisory board of. Surprisingly, he answered my question.

“The slogan was deliberately developed with ambiguity,” says Acker. “Plus, with our huge advertising budget, it gave us brand awareness that we believed would get consumers to think of us when they were ready for a new sleep system.”

This plan worked in at least one way: I will think of Sleepy’s for the rest of my life.

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