Hegarty and BBH re-fight the Cuban Missile Crisis for Simba

Is Sir John Hegarty back in harness at BBH? He is, sort of, with this new campaign from BBH for Simba, the “sleep technology” brand developed by his The Garage Soho and now hitting the airwaves with Hegarty in the wings.

Called ‘Made for Peace’ the campaign aims to differentiate Simba from the mattress product ads all over daytime TV and is launched to coincide with the UN International Day of Peace, initiated by Peace One Day, whose 20th anniversary is being celebrated on the September 21 #PeaceDay. Media is by Wake the Bear.

Joined up advertising, whatever next? So, as you’d expect, we open on the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 when the world almost became a mushroom cloud.

Simba co-founder and CEO Steve Reid says: “Our Made for Peace campaign has been carefully curated to make a serious point about how lack of sleep radically affects decision making.

“Whilst the campaign is designed to be light in tone, it is also intended to highlight a serious and growing issue we face as a nation. Just one night of bad sleep can make the part of your brain that processes threats react more aggressively.

“There is overwhelming scientific evidence to support the view that better sleep leads to calmer emotional reactions – yet we live in a 24-hour world where sleep is often considered a weakness.

“During the Cuban Missile Crisis the rational decision of one person, Vasily Arkhipov, prevented a devastating escalation of conflict. The importance of calm decision making is as relevant now as ever and that’s something science links to sleep. As a global company in 3 continents – including North America -, we recognise the importance of improving sleep everywhere.”

Arkhipov was the second-in-command of a Russian submarine whose commander wanted to fire nuclear-tipped torpedoes at a US vessel. Such a decision required all three senior officers to agree.

Suspect JFK had quite a lot to do with averting Armageddon too. Thank God it wasn’t Trump at the time.

Anyway, to weightier matters. Hegarty never tires of telling advertisers to build brands – and to do it properly. Simba has clearly taken that on board and this is an excellent campaign from BBH.

MAA creative scale: 9.

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.