At the end, the ad turns to the company's famous bowling ball and pins demonstration of the individual coils. Except the annoyed "doctor" in the lab coat on a ladder now aims for Simmons himself -- the ad ends with his girly, high-pitched scream as the ball plunges toward him.

Obviously, this is a violent act against Simmons. Simmons has a complicated public persona, one in which he nearly encourages negativity against himself (and his stereotyped flamboyance) as part of his schtick when he appears as a guest on talk shows such as "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

But what is annoying to some is endearing to others. "He does well with our target audience of women 35-plus," says a Simmons Canada spokesman. "We wanted to play off the equity of the bowling ball and evolve it into a health relationship with the mattress. We looked for someone who represented that and it just so happened that the gentleman has the same name as our company. He seemed like such a natural, it's amazing he's been overlooked until now. Consumer feedback has been very positive."

Though based in the US, Simmons has licensed affiliates internationally, like this one in Canada.
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Company: Simmons Canada
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: Simmons Mattresses
Ad Title: Richard Simmons
Business Category: Bedding/Mattresses
Media Outlets: Television
Country: Canada
Region: North America
Agency: Padulo Integrated
Year: 2001
Target: Mainstream
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Theme(s)

Real GLBT Person

Sissies

GLBT Punch Line

Violence

Theme Breakdown

AdRespect Score: 
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In a natural pairing of a celebrity and mattress maker of the same name, flamboyant fitness guru Richard Simmons prances through an ad about Beautyrest beds.

Wearing a sparkly sequined shirt and bouncing from one mattress to the next with his arms in the air, Simmons endorses the mattresses, noting that "when your partner moves, you don't" because of the individual coils.

At the end, the ad turns to the company's famous bowling ball and pins demonstration of the individual coils. Except the annoyed "doctor" in the lab coat on a ladder now aims for Simmons himself -- the ad ends with his girly, high-pitched scream as the ball plunges toward him.

Obviously, this is a violent act against Simmons. Simmons has a complicated public persona, one in which he nearly encourages negativity against himself (and his stereotyped flamboyance) as part of his schtick when he appears as a guest on talk shows such as "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

But what is annoying to some is endearing to others. "He does well with our target audience of women 35-plus," says a Simmons Canada spokesman. "We wanted to play off the equity of the bowling ball and evolve it into a health relationship with the mattress. We looked for someone who represented that and it just so happened that the gentleman has the same name as our company. He seemed like such a natural, it's amazing he's been overlooked until now. Consumer feedback has been very positive."

Though based in the US, Simmons has licensed affiliates internationally, like this one in Canada.

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Dave Franks , Bordentown, NJ
I think this ad is more negative than neutral. Anytime there is violence being directed at a gay person, it is not a good thing.

Jerome Chua , Manila, Philippines
I guess it would be up to the person if he or she thinks that there is a harassment or exploitation of some sort committed. Such ads that we think offensive would not exist if it were not to the talents themselves who give the opportunity to exploit.

Michael Reed , Toronto, Canada
It's interesting to see that so many see this ad as "neutral" at best.
The first time I saw it, I was impressed, t's the first time a company has tried to sell something to "partners", not to "husbands and wives." As far as the Richard Simmons thing goes -- it's no different than the jokes that are told that make fun of anyone or anything. And let's face it, he IS seen as "annoying" -- isn't there someone we'd ALL like to drop a bowling ball on once in a while?

Tim N. , Winnipeg, Canada
Hahaha! I've always loved this ad. I think it is absolutely hilarious! I love his little scream at the end! Priceless!

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