Canada 2023: Sandy Indig | Senior Manager, Public Relations & Influencer Marketing, Sleep Country

Delegate: Sandy Indig

Affiliation: Senior Manager, Public Relations & Influencer Marketing, Sleep Country

Short Bio: Sleep Country is Canada’s leading specialty sleep retailer driven by a purpose to transform lives by awakening Canadians to the power of sleep. Sleep Country operates under the retailer banners; Sleep Country Canada nationally and Dormez-vous in Quebec. The company has omnichannel and ecommerce operations across Canada including 290 corporate-owned stores and 20 warehouses. Sleep Country has been Canada’s undisputed leading sleep retailer for almost 30 years and enjoys strong brand awareness of over 90%, making it the sleep retailer of choice for Canadians. Recognized as one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures in 2022 by Waterstone Human Capital, Sleep Country is committed to building a company culture of inclusion and diversity where differences are embraced and valued. The company actively invests in its sleep ecosystem, innovative products, world-class customer experience, communities, and its people.

Activity: As Canada’s leading specialty sleep retailer, Sleep Country is on a mission to help Canadians build better sleep habits that supercharge their health and wellbeing. Getting more Canadians on this path requires a thoughtful and engaging approach that prioritizes sleep education and is grounded in sleep science. For the past four years, Sleep Country has been a sponsor of World Sleep Day to educate and empower Canadians about the importance of a good night’s sleep. This year, Sleep Country expanded its World Sleep Day campaign from one day to the entire month of March to optimize impact by reinforcing habit-forming behaviour. Sleep Country amplified the important messaging around sleep health, beginning March 1 in conjunction with Sleep Awareness Month featuring a large emphasis of activity on March 17 for World Sleep Day and continuing through to the end of the month.

Sleep Country launched the “248 Hour Sleep Challenge” at the beginning of March to help inspire Canadians with a simple yet powerful idea: challenge them to get eight hours of better, higher-quality sleep every day for the 31 days in March. The “248 Hour Sleep Challenge” was a straight-forward concept with useful tools, tips and actionable advice, so Canadians could do more than just think about better sleep habits, but actually adopt them.

Across a series of engaging content, the digital-first campaign appealed to all Canadians to take an active approach to getting better, daily sleep, through small actions that had a big impact. Since studies show it takes at least 14 days to form a long-lasting habit, Sleep Country executed the “248 Hour Sleep Challenge” beginning March 1, so Canadians could be on their way to forming healthier sleep routines in time for World Sleep Day on March 17.

While the social media landscape shifts all the time, the power of a gamification and a good “challenge” for users has remained consistent. By lightly “gamifying” wellness with a focus on key educational pillars, the brand made more Canadians aware of helpful sleep practices and more conscious of their personal sleep needs.

For the titular element of the campaign, Sleep Country created an augmented reality (AR) filter in both English and French on Instagram, the brand’s primary social media channel with over 90,000 combined followers. In the popular roulette/spinning-wheel style popularized on Instagram, the AR filter rotated through eight educational sleep hygiene tips recommended by sleep specialists, landing on one in particular, challenging the user with the prompt “This is your sign to”:

• Avoid blue light one hour before going to bed
• Meditate for 10 minutes before bedtime
• Stretch before going to bed
• Journal for five minutes to release thoughts
• Read a book before sleep
• Avoid caffeine six hours before bedtime
• Declutter your sleep space
• Go to bed at the same time every day

To drive deeper engagement for the sleep health message, Sleep Country partnered with a notable group of five Canadian influencers across major regions for three rounds of content in March. The brand ensured the influencers communicated several key messages in their content, including the small daily actions and tips also named in the AR filter, and encouraged Canadians to prioritize their sleep and improve their sleep habits.

Each piece of content encouraged viewers to visit the campaign landing page, and where they could learn more about the power of sleep, in English and French. The landing page included educational science-based messaging about how “sleep plays a vital role in feeling like the best version of you,” including that it supports logical decision making, boosts the immune system, and regulates our appetite and metabolism. The landing page also connected readers to Sleep Country’s “Sleep Experts” to help Canadians find personalized sleep solutions to meet their sleep needs.

To further bring the educational content into Canadian homes, Sleep Country coordinated a series of television, radio, and podcast interviews for Jory Solomon, Director of Store Operations, to discuss sleep and how to create better sleep habits. This media tour, which included seven interviews with top Canadian media outlets such as CP24, CityNews 680, Global News Morning Show, Newstalk 1010 and Salut Bonjour, was a big hit, generating the following results:
• 61 million impressions
• 224 media hits
• Interviews syndicated across 78 stations generating 30 million impressions
• 21 podcast interviews generating 425,000 impressions

To further promote World Sleep Day, the brand also invested in radio promotions in local markets across Canada, an investment that reached 2 million Canadians across 114 stations nationwide.

In addition to the public relations campaign, Sleep Country invested in a month-long paid digital campaign across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Google Ads, and YouTube to inspire Canadians to prioritize getting a healthy amount of sleep each night. The campaign creative included images and videos focused on encouraging Canadians to take action towards building healthier sleep routines, including a series of tips to help improve daily sleep habits. The creative was developed to exude the idea of holistic wellness to showcase how a better sleep improves all areas of your life.

To encourage the brand’s own teammates and partners to engage with the campaign, Sleep Country issued companywide communication to its more than 1,600 employees encouraging them to prioritize their sleep and improve their sleep habits. In addition, the brand collaborated with its vendor and marketplace partners to spread awareness about the importance of sleep through digital media on World Sleep Day.

Location: Canada

Date of Activity: March 1 – 31, 2023

Submitted by: Sandy Indig