A mattress commercial I’d like to see
A mattress company should do a commercial playing off the “Princess and the Pea” story by Hans Christian Andersen. In the original story, a prince seeking a princess to marry is visited by a young woman claiming to be a princess. Not sure whether or not she is telling the truth, the prince’s mother tests her by giving her a bed to sleep on with 40 mattresses, and puts a tiny pea under the bottom mattress. In the morning, the Queen asks the girl how she slept, and the girl complains that there was something hard under her mattress so she got a very poor night’s sleep. The queen knows that only a princess would have skin so delicate as to feel a pea through the mattresses, and marriage ensues.
The commercial should tell a 30-second version of the story, except in this one we see the girl lay down on a Sealy (or whatever brand) mattress, and when the girl wakes up she says she got a great night’s sleep — perhaps even the most comfortable night’s sleep in her life. To her dismay, the queen kicks her out, accusing her of being a commoner posing as royalty. We see the girl go sadly back to her own castle, so we know she was really a princess. It was just that darn Sealy mattress, so comfortable that even a princess couldn’t feel a pea.
I swear to god that I have seen that advert. I’m in the UK so you probably won’t have caught the same one as me, but I really do think that I have seen it. I’ll try to dig it up from somewhere.
Posted by: nevin | March 20, 2007 10:33 AM
Have to be careful with the wording in the commercial. Otherwise people will assume she didn’t feel the pee under the mattress. You just know everyone thinks pee before they think pea when they hear a P =)
Posted by: Shawn | March 20, 2007 11:26 AM
It has already been done….I don’t remeber which brand, but in the seventies….when I was a kid, there was just such a commercial done. (May have been the same one seen in the UK…don’t know)
Posted by: Chris | March 21, 2007 12:14 AM
Chris is right, It’s been done.
Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2007 6:52 PM
Oh, well. It’s an obvious enough idea that I guess I’d be surprised if it hadn’t been done before. It’s not the first time I’ve had an idea that someone else has had. I’m sure it won’t be the last. On to the next Big Idea… -David
Posted by: David | March 22, 2007 7:42 PM
It’s already been done, in the 1970’s some mattress company did this commercial,and it was almost word for word like your description. Sure you are not just remembering this unconciously?
Posted by: Annette Evans | March 23, 2007 11:31 AM
Or, to take it even further into the absurdist idiom, the commercial could be a series of nights, and the mother keeps putting increasingly large and uncomfortable objects under the mattress, yet every time the princess sleeps through the night no problem. For example, the first night is a pea; Tuesday night is a brick; Wednesday, a chair; by Sunday, a full moose with its enormous rack cannot even shake loose our princess’ slumber. Come to think of it, maybe it should be a sleeping pill ad instead of a mattress…
Posted by: nick | April 18, 2007 9:33 PM
I remember seeing a cartoon in The Spectator magazine years ago: a royal family is sitting at the breakfast table, and a dishevelled princess is walking in.
She looks around and says “couldn’t sleep a wink last night, there was a fucking pea under the mattress.”
Posted by: T Bone | May 22, 2007 10:59 PM
I’m linking to this on my teaching blog. Let me know if you object ;-)
Posted by: Rebecca | September 26, 2007 11:41 AM
@nick: even better, since that’s essentially the script of an alternate version of the princess and the pea story.
Posted by: Ifer | March 24, 2009 10:21 AM