ARLINGTON, VA—Trusted sleep authority the National Sleep Foundation and leading home fashions manufacturer Ellery Homestyles will launch a major social media marketing campaign and retail merchandising effort to promote Ellery’s Sound Asleep™ curtain line, the Official Room-Darkening Curtain of the National Sleep Foundation.
The social media campaign and retail merchandising efforts will be presented to key retailers shopping this month’s Home Fashions Market Week in New York City Sept. 23 to 26 and will debut in March 2014 to tie in with the NSF’s Sleep Awareness Week March 2 to 9, 2014.
The social media campaign will include a consumer sweepstakes in which entrants will have a chance to win a room make-over using Sound Asleep curtains. Ellery also is creating special Pinterest boards, retail website banners and promoting the campaign on its company website www.elleryhomestyles.com, as well as on the Sound Asleep micro site, www.soundasleepcurtains.com. The National Sleep Foundation is providing educational materials, sleep information and tips on how to get a better night’s sleep on its instructive consumer website, www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom.
“Controlling light is very important to getting quality sleep,” explains David Cloud, chief executive officer of the National Sleep Foundation, the foremost charitable, educational and scientific not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving sleep health and safety. “Light can interfere with your sleep cycles by signaling your brain that you should be awake, so creating a dark bedroom is one of the most practical ways to reap the benefits of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping your room dark until you get the sleep your body needs. Room darkening curtains are a key to following that recommendation.”
The two-year-old Sound Asleep collection was selected as the official room-darkening curtain of the National Sleep Foundation due to its innovative, thermal-lined construction that helps create an optimal sleep environment by darkening the room. Developed to address the National Sleep Foundation’s recommendations for sleep health, Sound Asleep curtains’ room darkening construction reduces penetrating light through the use of proprietary fabric-backing technology, thereby creating the dark environment necessary to achieve a better night’s sleep.
Cloud says the Sound Asleep curtains address a critical consumer need. “The NSF’s 2012 Bedroom Poll revealed that 35% of Americans don’t use any curtains or shades in their bedrooms, so we have our work with Sound Asleep cut out for us,” he asserts, adding “At the same time, however, 73% of Americans say a dark bedroom is important to getting a good night’s sleep.
“Ellery Homestyles has been a great partner for the National Sleep Foundation,” Cloud continues. “Ellery answered a Request for Proposals for room darkening window treatments that the NSF sent out in 2010, and from the start, Ellery’s leadership understood what the NSF wanted to do and spent time developing the right mix of product and messaging. The product rolled out to Bed Bath & Beyond stores and online retailers in the spring of 2011.”
Budd Goldman, founder and chief executive officer of Ellery Homestyles, explains that the company identified a niche in the marketplace for room-darkening curtains, and developed the Sound Asleep collection to fill this unmet consumer need.
“The National Sleep Foundation is the trusted authority on sleep and is educating Americans on the importance of creating the best possible sleep environment,” Goldman notes. “It’s only natural to combine the authority of the NSF with Ellery’s leadership in manufacturing innovative room darkening curtains. The NSF is a trusted name that adds a unique and exclusive level of marketing and product positioning that no other curtain product can claim.”
According to NSF studies, many people report dissatisfaction with their sleep during the week. “A significant number of Americans aren’t getting the sleep they say they need and are searching for ways to cope,” Cloud relates, noting that “43% of individuals between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on weeknights; and 60% say that they experience a sleep problem every night or almost every night.”
The Sound Asleep curtain collection is a unique marriage of fashion, function and design, according to Susan Lazor, director of brand management for Ellery Homestyles.
“Sound Asleep curtains are a fashionable solution to block light, improve home energy efficiency and reduce noise,” she says. “Blocking light is the main benefit, but the technology provides noise-reducing and energy-efficient advantages as well. Reducing outside noise also helps promote a better night’s sleep, and the thermal properties of Sound Asleep curtains actually enhance the energy efficiency of a home, saving consumers money by reducing heat loss through the window.
“A soft thermal coating is applied to the curtain fabric to create the room darkening qualities in the finished panel,” Lazor explains. “Sound Asleep curtains are constructed of a versatile chenille fabric in a tonal texture that is designed to enhance the bedroom with the natural look of flowing curtains and to coordinate with any décor.”
Sound Asleep curtains are offered in six fashion-forward colors and a full range of panel lengths: 63-inch, 84-inch, 95-inch and 108-inch, with suggested retail prices ranging from $24.99 to $39.99. Coordinating ascot or straight back-tab valances are available, with a suggested retail price of $19.99. All panels measure 42-inches wide and are constructed of an easy-care, machine washable 100% polyester fabric. Sound Asleep curtains and valances can be hung using standard curtain hardware.
The Sound Asleep line debuted at Bed Bath & Beyond two years ago, and company is continuing to expand the collection both at retail and online. Other retailers carrying Sound Asleep curtains online include 1-800-MATTRESS (www.1800mattress.com,) Army-Air Force Exchange Service (www.AAFES.com,) Amazon (www.Amazon.com,) Bed Bath Store (www.BedBathStore.com,) Bedding Sheets and Linens (www.BeddingSheetsandLinens.com,) Belk ( www.Belk.com,) Brookstone (www.Brookstone.com,) Brylane Home (www.BrylaneHome.com,) Comfort House (www.ComfortHouse.com,) Improvements Catalog (www.ImprovementsCatalog.com,) JC Penney (www.jcpenney.com,) Kohl’s (www.Kohls.com,) Linens 'n Things (www.LNT.com,) Mattress.com (www.mattress.com,) Meijer (www.meijer.com,) QVC (www.QVC.com,) Sears (www.Sears.com,) Sleepy’s (www.Sleepys.com,) Touch of Class (www.TouchofClass.com,) and Wayfair (www.Wayfair.com.)
“Ellery and the NSF have worked with a select group of leading retailers to build the Sound Asleep curtain brand experience on their web sites,” Lazor points out. “We are continuously working with these key retailers, based on their site capabilities and ongoing enhancements, to tell a more cohesive and visual brand story. Through our retail partners, we are cross-merchandising Sound Asleep curtains to consumers looking for a fashionable solution for their bedroom that also helps create an environment conducive to a better night’s sleep.
“Ellery works with each retailer individually to merchandise and market Sound Asleep curtains as a room darkening home décor alternative for various rooms, including master bedrooms, children’s rooms and nurseries,” Lazor continues. “We also highlight the importance of the Sound Asleep product line during special retail promotional periods, such as back-to-school.”
Lazor says consumer reaction to the line has been overwhelmingly positive. “They love the fabric and the colors, and can see for themselves the immediate benefits of the room-darkening feature,” she comments. “As we continue to expand the placement and marketing efforts on retailers’ web sites, more and more people are becoming aware of the Sound Asleep brand. Ellery will be working with key retailers on our promotional marketing events to coincide with the NSF’s Sleep Awareness Week in March 2014.”
Sleep Awareness Week, which runs March 2 to 9, 2014, is the National Sleep Foundation’s annual week-long campaign to celebrate the health benefits of sleep. Sleep Awareness Week begins with the release of NSF’s Sleep in America® poll on Monday, March 3, and ends with the return to Daylight Saving Time, when clocks move forward one hour and many Americans lose an hour of sleep.
In addition to strong retail and consumer reaction, the Sound Asleep line has drawn accolades from the industry as well: Sound Asleep won an American Graphic Design award for packaging in 2012. Award winners in the Graphic Design USA competition were chosen from an international field of more than 8,000 entries from advertising agencies, design firms and corporate design departments.
Another important aspect of the Sound Asleep line is consumer education: As part of their partnership, the National Sleep Foundation and Ellery Homestyles are providing informational brochures to consumers about the importance of proper sleep, and how to create a proper bedroom environment to promote deep restful slumber.
“Ellery Homestyles and the National Sleep Foundation are working together to educate the public about the importance of better sleep,” explains the NSF’s Cloud. “With Ellery as our educational partner, we are distributing our booklet ‘Controlling Light For Better Sleep’ with every package of Sound Asleep curtains, and reaching a wide consumer audience with this critical information.
“Through our work with Ellery, we’ve been able to discuss the important role that controlling light plays in quality sleep in venues that were never open to us,” Cloud continues. “The fact that the public is able to read about the importance of a dark room to sleep at the time when they are most engaged in making a choice about their sleep environment—when they are shopping for bedroom curtains—is huge. We have delivered thousands of pieces of sleep health education into American homes with Sound Asleep curtains, so we are meeting our mission in a new way.”
Key subjects addressed in the NSF brochure include a description about how the body’s biological clock operates, and how individuals can use darkness and sound control to manage the sleep/wake cycle. Following are some compelling excerpts from the brochure:
The National Sleep Foundation is dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. It is well-known for its annual Sleep in America® poll. The Foundation is a charitable, educational and scientific not-for-profit organization located in Washington, D.C. Its membership includes researchers and clinicians focused on sleep medicine, health professionals, patients, families affected by drowsy driving and more than 900 healthcare facilities. To find out more about the National Sleep Foundation, visit www.sleepfoundation.org.
Ellery Homestyles is a leading supplier of branded and private label home-fashion products to major retailers, offering curtains, bedding, throws and specialty products. The company’s proprietary brands deliver innovation in fashion, function and design and include Sound Asleep™ room-darkening curtains, The Official Curtain of the National Sleep Foundation; Eclipse™ energy-saving, noise-reducing, blackout curtains; Curtainfresh™ curtains with odor-neutralizing technology developed in partnership with Church & Dwight, maker of Arm & Hammer®; ComfortTech™ blankets constructed with premium 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation, providing luxurious style, lightweight comfort and superior warmth; VUE™, presenting Ellery’s “point of view” on fashion trends and design, Waverly®, the oldest continuously advertised home fashions brand in America recognized by consumers for its distinctive traditional looks; Historic Charleston Collection™, the distinctive home fashions brand that is steeped in historic Charleston’s decorative arts culture; Absolute Zero™ Home Theater, decorative home fashion draperies developed to block 100% of light for the optimal media experience; and SeasonSmart™, the ultimate 3M™ Thinsulate™ insulating curtain for year-round energy savings. Ellery is a global company headquartered in New York City with a 375 million square foot distribution center in North Carolina and offices in China, India and Pakistan. To find out more about Ellery Homestyles, visit www.elleryhomestyles.com.