Sleep Number: How Sleep Number Used AR to Win CES 2022


Campaign Summary

Sleep Number won CES 2022 with an augmented reality experience that showed off the various features of its 360 smart bed, wowing media and attendees and positioning the brand as a leader in sleep health technology.



Sleep Number's CES 2022 objective was to build credibility and drive engagement among media, attendees, and consumers by positioning the brand as the leader in sleep health, innovation, science research. Additionally, the brand wanted to reinforce that Sleep Number is the future of connected sleep health.

However, CES is a massive event, attracting 85,000 in-person and virtual attendees. It would be a challenge to stand out and lead the conversation. Because the pandemic was still affecting in-person event attendance, the brand needed to accomplish these goals while also creating a space where attendees felt safe and comfortable. The brand needed to develop a disruptive, immersive physical experience that highlighted the Sleep Number 360 smart bed to engage and educate attendees.

Success was to be measured by tracking booth traffic and media coverage for the new 360 smart bed, including virtual and in-person meetings with target publications, coverage quantity and quality, key message pull-through, and sentiment.

Target Audience:

There were three target audiences, all of which would be found at CES 2022:

  • Tech media (CNET)
  • Health media (STAT)
  • Consumers (tech and health enthusiasts)

Creative Strategy:

Because Sleep Number was targeting three distinct audiences, it had to identify messaging that would engage each of them. The messages developed included:

  • Tech media: Sleep Number is the only established brand that can deliver connected sleep health through the highly innovative 360 smart bed.
  • Health media: The 360 smart bed is an innovative device for sleep science and can assist in developing meaningful sleep health advancements.
  • Consumers: Sleep Number is the only sleep health leader that can deliver proven quality sleep through meaningful innovations that improve health and wellbeing.

Communications began by seeding news to journalists as a precursor to the show. Messaging and creative hierarchy were tailored for the event audience, then translated to the consumer audience through a brand-amplification plan.

To execute this activation, Sleep Number leaned on a virtual, in-person activation with tactics tooled to reach media and consumers at scale, while executing customized outreach to the media. The creative strategy focused on offering a richer product experience and more holistic understanding of Sleep Number's positioning as a sleep tech category leader. Microsoft HoloLens2 AR technology was paired with Unreal Engine, a real-time 3D creation tool, to create a sensory and immersive experience in which attendees could see, feel, and hear all the key innovations of the new 360 smart bed. The HoloLens was critical to educating CES attendees as it blended the digital aspect with a sensorial component in which booth visitors could physically experience the smart bed's features.


Sleep Number's aim each year is to deliver the most innovative technology and experience solutions to introduce product innovations at tentpole events like CES. The effort was elevated at CES 2022 with AR to immerse the attendee in the innovation. AR, specifically HoloLens, had never been used with a consumer-durable product prior to this activation.


Overall Campaign Execution:

As consumers' desire for "phygital" — a combination of physical and digital — experiences grows, Sleep Number proved it could hit the sweet spot between the two realms. CES 2022 attendees learned about Sleep Number innovations, including the fact that as you fall asleep, the bed uses foot warming to help warm the body. As they learned about this feature, the end of the bed warmed their feet. The activation then led the attendees to lay on the bed and feel the bed conforming to their bodies, raising their heads to alleviate snoring, and adjusting to the perfect position.

Afterward, attendees returned to the start position to learn how, as sleepers age, the dynamic nature of the 360 smart bed interact with them as their needs change over time. In this way, attendees were able to understand the why and how of the innovation.

Additionally, knowing CES is a crowded space, Sleep Number put its thought leaders and experts front and center with a clear POV. The virtual experience was powered with dynamic content available across all of the brand's platforms, particularly mobile.

Business Impact (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

During an event year that saw 80 percent less booth traffic and in which most media covered the show virtually, Sleep Number reached or exceeded its KPIs in the following areas:

  • The tech integration simplified the messaging to booth and virtual attendees, leaving no doubt that Sleep Number is the sleep health, science, and research leader.
  • The CES landing page on saw over 15,000 unique visitors during the show.
  • Social media drove 5.9 million impressions.
  • Earned media impressions reached 1.3. billion, surpassing the initial goal of 400 million.
  • Positive, top-tier coverage among target media outlets included two Wall Street Journal articles, plus placements in Engadget, Business Insider, CBS News, Good Housekeeping, CNET, Forbes, and more.
  • Message pull-through in media coverage exceeded expectations, with all articles including two or more key messages.
  • Sleep Number earned 10 awards, including three CES 2022 Innovation Awards and EXHIBITOR Magazine's 2022 Best of CES list.

The combination of new technology, energetic brand ambassadors, onsite virtual reality experience, high-quality media interviews and media coverage led to strong brand amplification that furthered the brand's sleep leadership. Sleep Number's presence at the show and media coverage further established the brand as a sleep health leader.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Brand Experience, Experimental/Innovation Technology | Awards: NA Finalist