EVENT INNOVATORS 2017

Top 10 Innovative Brands 2017: #9 Casper

The online mattress company has built strong connections with consumers through inventive live events.

By Michele Laufik June 14, 2017, 6:14 AM EDT

Casper’s “Napmobiles” are equipped with four napping pods.

Photo: Courtesy of Casper

The online mattress marketplace has gotten crowded with start-ups, but Casper has stood out with its clever, oftentimes cheeky event marketing. Launched in 2013, the company brings the at-home experience to popular festivals and events like South by Southwest and the Toronto International Film Festival, as well as produces its own activations.

Its ongoing 15-city Casper Nap Tour features two “Napmobiles,” each equipped with four napping pods to offer consumers a chance to test out the brand’s products, including mattresses, sheets, and pillows. Designed in the style of Japanese pod hotels, the space is a bedroom-like environment outfitted with ambient lighting, privacy blinds, and bedside phones where guests can listen to classic bedtime stories.

Started in 2015 with one vehicle, the tour expanded with a second to meet demand last year, says Monica Brouwer, director of experiential marketing for Casper, and this summer the tour is headed to Germany, Austria, and France.

That international expansion, which also includes Canada and the United Kingdom, is the next step in the brand’s rapid growth. In 2016, Casper doubled sales to an estimated $200 million and is projected to double revenue again this year to $400 million, according to Business Insider.

During this year’s SXSW in Austin, Casper partnered with the Standard Hotel’s One:Night app for a promotion in which rooms at the Austin Motel were outfitted with Casper mattresses and pillows. Brouwer says the rooms sold out in less than 60 seconds each day during the activation. The company also offered “Refresh Rooms,” where festivalgoers could book 45-minute slots in rooms with showers and toiletries and request tuck-in time with milk and cookies from someone playing their mom. The company presented a similar idea at TIFF in 2016. Called the Casper Disco Nap, the branded space allowed weary, sleep-deprived guests to sneak in a 15-minute nap.

“We create events and experiences that invite consumers to press pause, unwind, and celebrate a life well slept,” Brouwer says.

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