It only takes one good marketing campaign to turn a fly-by-night charlatan into an overnight millionaire. Regardless of how crappy the product may be, Good Marketing has helped sell billions of useless items to millions of gullible consumers for hundreds of years.
Case in point: Select Comfort Mattresses
Probably the biggest scam to enter the American bedroom since Enzyte, Select Comfort started bombarding the airwaves with advertisements back in the early nineties. Waterbeds had recently lost their luster, and the novelty bed market was wide open for a new player. Enter: the Sleep Number Adjustable Mattress.
Nevermind the fact that earlier models of the mattress are prone to mold and that they don’t last nearly as long as the company claims, let’s just focus on the fact that they are the least comfortable things you will ever rest your back on. Want to know why? Because it’s a goddamn air mattress.
People used to buy twenty-dollar air mattresses for camping until they realized it was almost more comfortable to sleep on the hardened earth. Even if you add an additional air chamber and slap a pillow-top on the thing, the support still sucks and the basic principles of displacement still apply, meaning you will flop and roll into the middle of the mattress the second your bedmate gets up to use the restroom in the middle of the night.
So then how has Select Comfort managed to sell hundreds of thousands of basic-model air mattresses at hundreds of dollars a pop? Enter: Good Marketing.
When the Bionic Woman goes on TV and tells you that she’s finally getting some restorative sleep after all these years, people apparently listen. Lindsay Wagner’s got a face you can trust and robotic strength. Why wouldn’t she be a sleep expert, too? Then all they had to do was plop the mattress down in the middle of a mall food court and point a TV camera at it. Suddenly the shopping denizens were crawling out of the woodwork, willing to say anything if it would get them on television. Record all that and play it ad-nauseum during the cheapest late-night slots you can afford and kaboom: you’ve made uncomfortable air mattresses respectable again through sheer repetitive hypnosis.
Oh, and you know how they claim to cost less than a conventional matress? No shit. It better. It’s an air mattress. It’s made of air.
Good Marketing is effing awesome.