Audio Version 8 mins plus no scary pictures of De Rucci guy.
Take The Positive Spin Challenge
After my lonely battle talking up the inspirational bin chicken, time for a next-level positive spin challenge: I’ve grown to respect, even like, the single most frightening element of air travel.
The De Rucci bed guy.
As a relentless air traveler, I’ve been following him for years. And it feels like he’s following me. To the point where whenever Pedestrian TV do a De Rucci yarn – which is quite often – they illustrate it with a bunch of my old airport photo tweets.
I’m the nation’s airport De Rucci photojournalist, niche gig but someone has to step up.
As always the scariest part of air travel is seeing the sinister face of creepy bed MF De Rucci all over airport. pic.twitter.com/4EBhM7XaFJ
— Ian Whitworth (@ianwhitworth) February 24, 2016
Obviously at first glance he’s fucking terrifying. The brand promise seems to be:
‘Buy this bed, and live with the fear that you’ll wake at 3am and right next to your bed, staring right through you, is a guy who looks like a top-ranking Nazi scientist living out his final years in Brazil. It also offers class-leading lumbar support.’
With time comes forgiveness and understanding. Since he first came across my radar, I’ve grown to see the good things about our stern night-time friend.
De Rucci Guy Is Consistent
A top cause of crap marketing (and crap business in general) is Put My Stamp On It Syndrome. A new boss comes in determined to prove their godlike powers. Do they:
a. Recognise the strengths of what already exists then carefully build on that, or:
b. Bring in a bunch of random changes just to show they’re making a difference.
Of course it’s usually (b), so brands get multiple-personality disorder. If you had a friend who completely changed personalities every 3 years, it would be a severe test of that friendship. Same with companies you buy from.
None of that for the white-shirted bed stalker. I was in Melbourne airport two weeks ago. That bridge ad from my 2016 tweet is still there. He will be still be there when the seas boil over and cockroaches inherit the earth. With that SAME PHOTO.
You and your workmates get sick of your message waaaaaay quicker than the buying public does. Don’t change everything just so you can look busy and important.
Weird Stands Out More Than Hot
The most inexhaustible resource in the world in 2019 is photos of hot-looking people.
Individually, they look great. Collectively they all look the same. Instagram is like looking at a penguin colony. Just with higher melanin levels. There is no sustainable advantage in hot people just holding your product.
De Rucci guy is confrontingly weird as an advertising face, but if you’re going for that Eccentric High Priest Of Design look, he’s no creepier than Karl Lagerfeld.
People notice him. They argue about him. Like the ibis, he’s a cultural force now. You want a hipster De Rucci t-shirt from an indy Red Bubble artist? (There I’ve solved all your Xmas gift issues).
I’m writing this story because a single De Rucci social post last week brought more visitors to my site than at any time in two years of writing tested business advice.
Mysterious is interesting. People want to know – what the hell is with that guy? And what is his relationship to beds?
And bless De Rucci they supply no answers at all to these burning questions. It just intensifies the curiosity.
He’s In His Competitor’s Ads
Koala Mattress is a terrific success story, and I suspect working a different marketing segment to de Rucci. To crank up some digital buzz, they did some outdoor ads directly mocking De Rucci using one of their own staff.
Good on Koala, but if your competitors are putting out joke versions of your own ads, you’re the overall winner. Permit yourself a small internal smile, De Rucci man.
Go Big Or Go Home
I like De Rucci’s media thinking. What’s the peak time for praying for the blessed relief of a nice bed? When you get off a plane after 14 hours squashed like a toasted sandwich behind Economy Class Seat Recliner Dickhead, that’s when.
Seize all the airports, a good move for both military coups and bed marketing. Airports only have two kinds of ads. The first is generic consulting firm ads that all look like this:
And there’s De Rucci. If your strategy is to conquer airports, go big or go home.
Did you know its official name is Sydney De Rucci International Airport? Sweet dreams ? pic.twitter.com/rduvJ0FaPC
— Ian Whitworth (@ianwhitworth) November 1, 2017
It’s De Rucci to the horizon. You need these shows of dominance if you’re charging $10K for a bed. Customers find it reassuring.
Bring Back The Pipe
In the original photo, De Rucci guy used to smoke a pipe. That ended in 2012 when it got Photoshopped out, along with his entire arm, to appease the health … uh … Nazis.
Nothing says deep thinking like a pipe. If I want a bed designed by an eccentric Euro science man, I want him to look as much like Sigmund Freud or Carl Jung as possible and that means: pipe. Bring it back, De Rucci.
The side-effect is that post-Photoshop, he’s left sucking a pipe that isn’t there, which heightens his ominous vibe.
He still has the pipe when he assumes his true three-dimensional form, seated on a park bench outside the store. You can just feel his thinking powers, dreaming up cool new bed ideas around the clock.
He Isn’t The Most Terrifying De Rucci Thing
Sure De Rucci guy is sinister, but I’d rather hire him as a babysitter than have this nightmare business-class De Rucci massage chair in my home.
Oh and it’s $13,500.
Anyone willing to put their feet into those crevices is also into swingers’ parties plus they let their cat eat off the kitchen bench.
Sweet dreams, my friends.
If you enjoyed this you might also enjoy 10 Tips For Un-Hot People to Get Ahead In Business.
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As usual, insightful and entertaining – love this
We need a national dress-and-look-like-DiRucci-guy day. I’d take part. Also, let it clash with dress-like-Steve-Jobs day and see the two sub-cultures face off.
Hmm good idea, a showdown on George St outside the Apple store, that would surely make the evening news
Since your Linkedin post, I had to do some research (aka Googling) on De Rucci.
Do you think he is the founder? Is this Derucci himself? I don’t think so
There is a “Global Deruuci Sleep Culture” event shown on their site and it looks like their team is on stage here but the Derucci man is nowhere to be seen. Maybe he is pulling the strings from his secret headquarters, surrounded by screens from the cameras he has placed in all his beds.
No that guy is just a photo from an old ad. I hope he’s getting royalties, it would absolutely suck to learn he’s plastered all over every airport till the end of time for a one-off payment from a decade ago.