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Quality, comfort and sex and death, that's nice!

Bernie and Phyl's ad

Remember when our worst complaint about Bernie and Phyl's ads was their jingle?

Several months after the furniture chain plastered subway trains with mildly risque ads about how many people their couches could handle, they've introduced new ads that cut right to the chase: If you copulate or die in bed, you better hope you do so in one of theirs.

The ads are having the reverse effect on some people, such as John Overholt, who, after seeing the death one, decided:

I would now rather die than shop at Bernie & Phyl's.

Josh L. saw that ad, too:

gave me unpleasant memories of watching a relative die in hospice so uh thx phyll

Earlier:
And then there was the time Legal Seafood had T ads pulled because they said Green Line drivers had faces like halibuts.

Free tagging: 
Ad:

Comments

The ads are inappropriate. I'm surprised the T doesn't have a policy such that ads like this would be denied.

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Yep. I'm actively in the market for a lot of new furniture now that renovations are finally wrapping up, and I DID have some things from their store short-listed to check out in person on my next trip along rt 1. Not anymore! I'm not sure I could even pull into the parking lot without crying. Are they all middle-schoolers who think "die in bed" means "die during sex?" Tee-hee how funny! Only ... not.

I watched my father die horribly in a hospital bed when he was 54 after a brief, gruesome fight with cancer and then repeated bouts of pneumonia from the abdominal surgery. The anniversary is on Tuesday. Two months later there was my grandma in her own bed at home, whose brain tumor wrecked her personality and made her require 24/7 monitoring along the way, while certain family refused to allow a high enough dose of morphine to stop her moaning from pain. And today I picked up the cremains of the cat who was with me through those deaths, who was euthanized while in her favorite bed ... "more comfortably" than the others but still not before going suddenly blind and incontinent after being just fine days before. Oh, but if ONLY any of them had bought a better mattress...!!

If their ad team wants to alienate every potential customer who has ever seen a loved one die, they're doing a spectacular job. Seems like a weirdly large segment of the market to write off, though.

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I hope Millennials are buying a lot of mattresses.

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Not many people under 30 will remember newspaper personals as a thing. The ads seem extremely outdated in addition to scummy.

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The Boston Phoenix still does those, right?

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The Boston Phoenix folded in 2013...

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They can point to the "social media" exposure of the brand because of these ads. "This is how everyone advertises today, gramps."

I propose a new ad campaign: gramps taking the millennial over his knee. And then getting a good night's sleep on a new mattress.

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They've very effectively scuttled their image as a family friendly family business with these bizarre advertisements.

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Keep it classy Bernie and Phils.

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More entertaining than those creepy Project Bread ads with the possessive clutching or the "I'm poopin'"-faced Sephora models.

They're also a lot more entertaining than the same old, same old:

- Foodler - Wheee! We're young and can't cook!
- Get your MA in Junkie Counseling
- Foodler - Wheee! We're young and having a date and can't cook!
- Not gonna quit smoking but willing to try a different kind of cigarette?
- Foodler - Wheee! We're young and we don't know how to make sandwiches for a picnic!
- It's summer, enroll in college! But not that one because they're going bankrupt.
- Foodler - Wheee! We're young and we don't know how to cook, either!
- Jesus. Pay us. It's simple.
- GrubHub: Our name is worse than Foodler. Please buy something,
- Do you suffer from anxiety stock photography? Join our study. We'll pay.
- Foodler - Wheee! We're young and how much did we spend on take-out last month?
- GoPuff: Why your parents won't co-sign your credit card application.
- GrubHub - Seriously, we paid someone to make this ad. Please help us.

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I think they recently changed it up, but for a while there were different churches all using the same C.S. Lewis quote.

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” - C.S. Lewis

I've read it a thousand times, still don't get it.

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I don't like that one because it's a misquote taken out of context. CS Lewis wasn't religious, he was science based.

Plus I kinda have this thing about churches that need to 'advertise'... can't you attract parishioners without taking out ads?

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CS Lewis wasn't religious, he was science based.

This, of course, is total nonsense.

Lewis is one of the major apologists (look it up; it doesn't mean what you may think) for the Christian faith of the 20th century.

An atheist from fifteen years old, he converted to Anglicanism in the early '30s and consistently published defenses of orthodox Anglicanism for the rest of his life.

Here is a bibliography: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._S._Lewis_bibliography.

And, being religious doesn't necessarily diminish one's regard for science. That is a false dichotomy.

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J.R.R. Tolkien!

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What are you talking about? C.S. Lewis was big on faith and a prolific Christian novelist.

Are you mistaking him for his friend and fellow author J.R.R. Tolkien?

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You're right. I am confusing the two.

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Tolkien and Lewis were friends and colleagues, part of the Inklings group at Oxford. Tolkien's Catholic faith made Lewis think that maybe this Jesus stuff wasn't completely ridiculous. Of course then Lewis became an Anglican, which disappointed Tolkien a lot.

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Also better than the entire-car Alien ad, which manages to make an Orange Line car even sadder and more depressing than it already is.

But tell me, does the Red Line still have the Guaranteed Swahili ads? Those are true classics.

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Much like the Bush's, Boch's, Berkowitz's, Murdoch's and so many others, the second generation rarely lives up to the first. I'm sure these ads were approved by Bernie and Phyl's kids. Sadly, Phyl has long suffered from MS and even spoke publicly about it on Chronicle years ago. Even in the early ads she had a noticeable tremor that some mistook for Parkinsons. Although MS isn't fatal, for any firm connected with a chronic disease to make light of "death in bed" is a new low.

On a side note, when considering hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, private residences etc. it seems that the statistic that only 1 in 8 die in bed is rather low. Having handled many unattended death cases, the vast majority were dead in bed, usually of natural causes, found in the morning hours when loved ones realized the deceased wasn't waking up. A quick hit of free media for this firm amid the controversy but a long term detriment.

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Mattress sales are second worst, car sales the worst. Warranty practices don't work for fixing bad mattresses even from Tempur-Pedic that accumulate body heat making TempurPedic mattresses too hot for sleeping.

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Regardless of what you think of the ads.... it does make you look and read them because you're so taken back, which is the point.

But... I bought my last mattress from them 10 years ago. Yeah.. not doing that again. Their delivery service was horrible and mismanaged. Took them 3 times to deliver a mattress and a bed frame that didn't have a mattress that was ripped or a bed frame that was missing parts to put it together.

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People always make this argument. Really it only works for brands that are so entrenched (think McDonald's, Coca-Cola) that they know you have already formed an opinion on their product, so all their ad needs to do is remind you that it exists.

I'm a transplant and have no prior opinion of this company except that the times I've walked through their showroom, I happened not to find anything I wanted at a price I found tempting. I don't watch network TV so I don't even know about their annoying jingle except through this article.

But now I have a reason to never darken their door again. Maybe other potential customers will think death is a hip, fun way to sell mattresses and flock to their stores -- if so, well played them. In my mind though, they've gone from "oh I drive by that place all the time, I should check there" to "eww, it's that death mattress place." Neutral -> Repelled is not the right direction.

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People always make this argument. Really it only works for brands that are so entrenched (think McDonald's, Coca-Cola) that they know you have already formed an opinion on their product, so all their ad needs to do is remind you that it exists.

But we're talking about the ads, right?

This simply proves my point and the point of the ads.... It's working. If it was yet another boring ad, we wouldn't be taking about it or even remember it.

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Ads obviously work but how much is a controversial ad going to help? Has Bernie & Phyls sales improved more with these stupid sexual ads vs a normal, boring campaign?

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I saw this earlier today on the Red Line. I was taken aback but I'm ok with it so long as half the ads refer to making "him moan" as well as "her moan".

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Spend your tax return on a mattress for sex and death!

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Everyone is talking About them and UHub wrote an article. As a marketing person... they (ads) worked.

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Didn't realize the average age of UHub readers was 80 years old. Lighted the f up people.

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These ads just put an image of Bernie and Phyl having sex in my head. Makes me want to puke, not buy a couch.

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Ageist person.

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Old people have sex and there is nothing wrong with that! Grow up.

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sounds like people are being just a tad sensitive and silly over these ads

also can somebody please specify what exactly about these ads brings up imagery of death lol

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...please specify what exactly about these ads brings up imagery of death lol

Maybe the part about people dying in bed lol?

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Indeed. Banned in Boston?

I believe it was Carnegie who said there was no such thing as bad publicity, or words thereof.

This whole thread is testimony to that.

Bernie & Phyls agency has created buzz. That is what they are paid to do.

BTW, Bernie & Phyllis are actually nice quiet folk. Had the pleasure of sitting across from them at lunch one day. We exchanged pleasantries.

As to Green Line faces like halibuts... "Gimmee that Filet-O-Fish, Gimmie that fish..."

We easily remember that silly commercial. Again, that agency did their job.

Frankly speaking, I'm overwhelmed that people are actually looking up and reading those signs on the trains. On any given day I get on a T train and everyone's face is buried in their cell phones. My sport is taking a bet with myself to see which one will be so absorbed in their device that they ride past their stop. I've won a few times. Both funny and sad at the same time.

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They buy a nice mattress but not an actual bed. They get stuff from Ikea or off Craigslist, not the five-piece bedroom set of your parents' era. They believe in mobility. All of their parents and grandparents' furniture, the "brown goods" like bureaus and armoires and china hutches is getting tossed into landfills because they do not want it. So places like Bernie and Phyl's and Jordans are caught in this awful place right now -- they're tooth-and-claw fighting to survive.

Meanwhile, in the realm of annoying and offensive local ads, Berkowitz is still king, but Ernie Boch Jr. is coming up fast with his faux-PSA ads featuring his animated children and their baby sister and Daddy's girlfriend/baby mama. They are even more annoying than his "musical interludes" with his paid sidemen on channel 2. Ugh. Sorry.

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The ads are annoying but honestly I'm more offended by the orange line cars wrapped in a giant Takeda big pharma ad and those Alien movie cars.

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