Advertising’s favorite flock of sheep at Serta are back as you’ve never quite seen them before.
Since 2000, the premise surrounding the quippy, wisecracking Serta Counting Sheep mascots has been famously known. It’s no longer necessary to utilize the cure for being unable to fall asleep at night — counting sheep — once you’re the owner of Serta mattress. Watch some of the original commercials and you’ll see this news doesn’t make the original 13 counting sheep very happy because it means they’re out of work. Over the decades, their jealousy of the Serta brand has won this flock of brand mascots many awards including the Gold Effie and the American Advertising Federation Silver Addy. In 2008, the Serta Counting Sheep were even inducted into Advertising Week’s Madison Avenue Walk of Fame.
In mid-August 2023, a new campaign for the Serta Perfect Sleeper mattress released featuring the Serta Counting Sheep. The typically talkative sheep don’t say a word. Here, their actions speak louder than words ever could. Their focus now is to serve customers who are caregivers.
“The Serta brand mission is grounded on providing comfort for all,” said Erin Dress, SVP of Marketing at Serta Simmons Bedding. “We know that caregivers often have to be reminded to care for themselves. Through this campaign, we celebrate those comforters and reminding them to take the time to comfort themselves as they work so hard to provide comfort to others. The sheep have an important role to play in their new role as the shepherds of comfort.”
PopIcon at Advertising Week spoke to a Serta representative about this new role for the Serta Counting Sheep.
The mid-August launch of this Serta campaign will be the first time the Serta Sheep are being featured prominently in ads since 2016. What spurred the decision to bring the sheep back?
As we approached creating this Serta campaign, we knew we didn’t want a campaign focused on “techs and specs.” Rather, we wanted to design a campaign that tells a more emotional story that goes to the core of what the Serta brand has always stood for and been trusted to deliver – comfort.
Since the Serta sheep are the most recognizable mascot in the mattress category, we wanted them to have a big role to help us deliver this emotional story of providing comfort to caregivers. In past campaigns, the sheep have been utilized to help deliver humor, dating back to 2000 when they first appeared and complained that the comfort of Serta was putting them out of business because people no longer had to count sheep to fall asleep.
Can you tell us more about the spot and what the sheep do?
We know who our customers are and we over index on serving customers who are caregivers (like nurses, parents, coaches, trainers, and firefighters). They are out there all day long juggling a busy life, and their mindset is prioritizing providing comfort to others.
In the spot you see a nurse coming home after a busy day providing comfort to others, a couple bringing their new baby home from the hospital, and parents providing comfort to their child who is coming home with his leg in a cast. And in each moment, you see the Serta sheep helping these caregivers provide comfort as they lie down on their Serta mattress. The sheep are pulling off the nurse’s shoes, pulling back the child’s sheets and blankets, and getting the baby’s toy. The on-screen creative and the voiceover message of “We see all the comfort you give, and we would like to give some back to you” encapsulates the campaign’s theme.
Has anything noticeably changed with the counting sheep as mascots or with their dynamic? Or does it feel as though we’re reunited with old friends again?
The sheep haven’t gone away as they’ve always had a role in Serta campaigns over the past several years. In a Serta campaign earlier this year that highlighted the Serta iComfortECO, the sheep appear at the end of the spot lying on the mattress.
What is different is that they again have a prominent, starring role in this new campaign to help us deliver the emotional message of Serta giving back comfort to people who provide comfort to others. Serta has always proudly provided comfort for all, and this new set of emotional stories is a timeless expression of that brand promise.