29 December 2015 15:17:38 IST

Pushing the right buttons

For most people, their most comfortable sleep was when they slept on their mother’s lap or were being rocked in a cradle: when their mothers would rhythmically sway them to sleep

As nostalgia cuts across all demographics, using this strategy can work for Kurl-on

Kurl-on, a pioneer brand in the area of rubberised coir mattresses in India has come a long way, carving a niche for itself in various segments. And this comes as no surprise, considering it has catered to various consumer needs via its sub-categories — Apsara, Super Deluxe, Romantique, Klassic, and Ortho.

Most of the marketing tag lines have revolved around a person’s need to sleep, such as “Stand on, Sit on, Sleep on, Kurlon”, “Pure sleep. Nothing else.”, and more recently, “Making your house a home”, which heralded its entry into the home furnishing business. It has tapped into the consumers psyche on the go, hitting all the right spots.

But, like they say, what goes up, must come down. And so, their ad strategies, which never seemed to go wrong till then, faltered when they portrayed the mattress’ bounce back feature. In this ad-gone-wrong, they caricatured Malala, showing how she had bounced back after being brutally shot by the Taliban. And their new ad strategy drew flak on ethical grounds.

If we were the creative heads of O&M, to move past this, we would propose the following communication strategy, keeping the “More bounce and less wear and tear” USP intact, in the form of a print ad campaign.

Rationale: nostalgia

Nostalgia is described as “a preference towards objects (people, places or things) that were more common when one was younger” (Holbrook and Schindler, 1991, page 330).

“Nostalgia can affect any person, regardless of their age, social class, gender, ethnicity or other social groupings” (Sadikides, Wildeschut and Baden, 2004).

In simple terms, this means nostalgia is a concept that has a universal appeal, cutting across demographics. Some of the most prevalent elements that trigger nostalgia are visual images, family experiences, and a longing for the days gone by.

Since the current communication of Kurl-on intends to target consumers across various segments, we propose harnessing this emotion in our marketing strategy, considering its unifying characteristic.

We intend on exploring autobiographical memories, which revolve around self-made links, and hope the ad will take the reader down memory lane.

Purchase behaviour

Why do people purchase mattresses? We found that the purchase incentives for Kurl-on mattresses are varied. The reasons are listed below:

Addition of a new member to the family

A gift to a newly married couple

A replacement for old, lumpy mattresses

Health related issues

Although the purchase behaviour is varied, the concept we suggest would hold good, irrespective of the reasoning behind the purchase.

Consumer insight

We also learnt that for most people, their most memorable and comfortable sleep was when they slept on their mother’s lap or were being rocked in a cradle. The narratives spoke about how their mothers would rhythmically sway them to sleep.


Since it is for a print ad, we suggest making posters, which will be a series of still shots of mothers rocking their babies to sleep:

One poster will show a mother rocking the baby in a makeshift cloth-cradle

The second one will show a mother holding the baby in her arms while sitting in a rocking chair

The third mother will be shown looking over her baby while rocking him/her in a wooden cradle

The fourth will portray a mother gently rocking her baby to sleep while sitting cross-legged

The picture will be set against a dark background, with only the image of the mother and child in focus — like a spotlight. The mothers will be four different women, varying in age between 20s and mid 30s, and belonging to different income brackets. This will show that, no matter where you come from, a mother putting you to sleep is the best feeling you ever get (nostalgia).

The tagline for the campaign will be “Kurl-on — Maa ki pyaar jaisa aaraam” (Comfort akin to a mother’s love). This will be written (preferably in “Century Gothic” font) at the bottom of the poster with the Kurl-on logo and a picture of a mattress. The tagline can be translated into different languages, ensuring that it strikes a chord with people from all regions.


Sleep, which is known to occupy one-third of a person’s life, remains the most undervalued and underrated need of all. A good night’s sleep can do wonders in your attitude towards the next day’s events. Kurl-on will leverage emotions of love and family to highlight the importance of sleep on a well-crafted mattress that people across various economic sections can afford.

In addition, the ad will focus on the following aspects:

A mother’s lap is considered the safest place; the campaign brings into focus the safe and sound sleep promised by Kurl-on, along with the resultant health benefits.

The ads aim to capture the essence of mothers, who rock their babies to sleep every night, tirelessly. This, for the mattress, translates into something that transcribes to the mattress undergoing “less wear and tear”, in spite of regular usage.

(The winners are from Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad, pursuing their first year of PGDM in Communications.)