After a tumultuous few years, Casper is returning to brand storytelling with a fanciful vision of its mattress-making process. Called "The Casper Dream Machine," it's an effort to reclaim awareness in an increasingly crowded category.
"We were pioneers in this space, and early on, how we sold our products made us different," says Glenn Pajarito, Casper's vice president of brand and creative. "But over the years, this business model got so popular that we've had to take a step back and evaluate how we define ourselves. Our unique business model isn't unique any longer."
Casper now has hundreds of competitors, including Tuft & Needle, Boll & Branch, Saatva, Purple and Nectar.
As a result, Casper’s taken a pounding. Often named a top D2C brand, the company went public in 2020. That IPO was viewed as disastrous: The company's valuation fell from $1.1 billion to $575 million. With losses mounting, it went private last November in a deal valued at just $286 million.
Pajarito tells D2C FYI that move to private ownership has led the company to value the importance of marketing that builds awareness. The aim is to bolster sales in all three of its channels: Casper’s ecommerce roots, the 76 retail stores in the U.S. and Canada, and its many wholesale partners.
"We're moving back to our brand storytelling and our brand building. And we're delivering a full-funnel approach for all three sales channels."
The ads use computer-generated imagery to illustrate the complexity of the mattress construction process, then drop a happily dreaming woman into the comfort of deep sleep.
The campaign draws heavily on Casper's sleep expertise. "We've learned a lot over the years and wanted to show the rigor and technology that goes into our products -- and we wanted to do that in a way that takes a lot of creative liberties,” says Pajarito. “The portrayal of all the features are accurate, but we show it in a fun, kind of dreamlike world."
He says the company's core target market continues to change. Initially, "it was the millennial audience living in large cities, like New York. Now, a lot of those people are suburban parents."
The company has also expanded its product line, including soft goods like Snoozewear, its self-dimming Glow Light, and even dog beds.
The new ads, though, focus on Casper’s primary products. "There was an era where we were expanding very quickly. For now, it makes more sense to focus on our core offering of mattresses and pillows," says Pajarito.
The company is also refocusing its brand and performance marketing to better address the way different audience segments shop. Most people replace their mattresses every six to 10 years, "so it's important to connect with the right people at the right time."
Pajarito and his in-house team created the campaign. Ads are running on digital, paid and organic social, TV and YouTube throughout the month.
He says the effort reinforces Casper's mission, which is to awaken the potential of a well-rested world. "That can take different shapes and forms -- we look different on TikTok than on Facebook. As we continue to evolve, we're getting a lot better at tailoring our messaging for the right channels."