Sit N Sleep guarantees a free mattress if they can’t beat their competitor’s price, but what does this claim really mean?
For years a staple of television advertising in Southern California has been “Larry” for Sit ‘N Sleep. If you live in the Southern California or the Los Angeles area, you probably know their two catch-phrases by heart: “You’re killing me Larry!” and “Sit ‘n Sleep will beat anyone’s advertised price or your mattress is free!”
The first phrase “You’re killing me Larry!” was from an advertising campaign a few years ago where their accountant was going crazy with stress because Larry had such low prices. A harmless and humorous way to make the point that they have low prices.
The second phrase, uttered in virtually every Sit ‘n Sleep TV commercial is a guarantee about their low prices:
“Sit ‘n Sleep will beat anyone’s advertised price or your mattress is free!”
The casual viewer may understand this to mean: “Sit n Sleep has the lowest prices. If they don’t have the lowest price I will get my mattress for free”.
Lets break-down this claim
- The first part of the statement says “..beat anyone’s advertised price”. This means, that they don’t claim to beat all prices, only prices that are advertised. Secondly, it states they will beat the price, but do not say by how much.
- The second part says “or your mattress is free!”
So will Sit ‘n Sleep ever give someone a free mattress? No! Consider these scenarios:
- You find the mattress you want over at Joe’s Mattress Depot for $100. You find a similar mattress at Sit N Sleep for $125. Will you get a free mattress? No, because although the mattresses may be similar, it’s not the same, exact mattress.
- You find the mattress you want over at Joe’s Mattress Depot for $100. You find the exact same mattress at Sit N Sleep for $125. Will you get a free mattress? No, because even though it is the exact same mattress, Joe’s Mattress Depot was not advertising the $100 price. To get your “Free” mattress from SitNSleep, the lower price must be advertised.
- You find the mattress you want over at Joe’s Mattress Depot for $100. This mattress is advertised all over TV and in the Sunday paper, and it is the exact same manufacturer and model that Sit N Sleep is selling for $125. Will you get a free mattress? NO!
In every ad we hear “will beat any advertised price or your mattress is free!” So when faced with a customer that brings in a lower advertised price, these are the two options that the store must choose from:
- Give the customer the mattress for free and lose $125
- BEAT THE PRICE by one penny and lose $25.01
Obviously they will beat the advertised price, and they only have to do so by $0.01. It would never make business or economic sense to give away a free mattress when instead, all they have to do is “beat the price”. Beating the price by one penny is a much better alternative to giving away a $100 mattress for free.
Sit N’ Sleep has fun TV commercials but the use of this catch phrase is a classic example of how you can get away with something, by promising something that is really nothing.