Ad Urges Consumers Who Can’t Buy a House to Refill the One They Got

invoice sofa

“It’s funny how new furniture has a way of restoring people,” says the sweet, pastel-coated spread (above) appearing in online and print magazines.

Why the reminder to hug a couch today?

It’s all part of a $20 million ad campaign launched by Ogilvy & Mather to spur Americans to focus on the bird in the hand, namely homes they now own and can play with even if the economy ain’t recovering and we can’t bid on new real estate.

Decor spending is in the toilet with showrooms hurting and closing in all major cities. According to the Commerce Department, sales of home furnishings fell 12.9% over the last year, and they’re still dropping. Sales were down .9% in July from June.

But don’t be part of that sluggish market when furniture can lift your spirits to new heights. A new pillow can make you thinner and an upholstered headboard will make you rich. Remodeling your bathroom can cure halitosis. Don’t even get me started on that imported bidet!

“Things that fill our home also fulfill us. They become who we are. Giving us joy. Providing us with comfort.” That’s what the ad says, which has appeared in Metropolitan Home’s eco edition and other respected journals.

Meantime, a product information invoice attached to the sofa in the ad ironically says: “22 percent cotton, 13 percent giggles, 15 percent hugs, 11 percent afternoon naps.”

Okay, so now we know why those ad men make the big bucks. It’s genius to assign the same value to seating as quality family time and showing affection. There’s even a makeover opportunity if you tell your cheap, lazy ass friends to clear out that dilapidated jalopy of a couch from their college years and the hideous side chairs they inherited from a cousin. Don’t you want a hug and tickles, you slob you?

If I entered the sweepstakes I’d get myself out of the laundry room and make a real office in a prefab shed outside. But I’m so unlucky at these prizes. My mom always wins raffles, purses at luncheons, free dinners, you name it. Not me. Damn, and I could get Monica Pedersen to stage my office, whoever she is. I wonder is she is related to the Bret Pedersen who works with my husband. Now he could use a makeover.


According to Fast Company, the story behind the ad is rooted in the maverick Las Vegas way of doing things. While High Point, North Carolina, once ruled as the center of American furniture production and sales, the focal point has shifted to the World Market Center,  a 1.3-million-square-foot showroom and exhibition space in Las Vegas.


The Las Vegas group apparently commissioned the ad campaign as a stopgap measure for the hurting industry. It’s a $20 million gamble that just might pay off!

Image: Homeyet Lifestyle, Homeyet Lifestyle, Fast Company

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.