Online Exclusives

Seven Day Stretch

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | February 11, 2011

Downy and Macy's team up for weeklong in-store promotion.

Comedy Central comedian and author Mike Birbiglia slept in a couple weeks ago—in a Macy’s window display to live and sleep for seven full days, that is. As a part of a promotion with fabric softener leader Downy and Macy’s, the funnyman camped out at the retailer’s Herald Square flagship in New York City from Jan. 26-Feb. 1 for the “Clean Sheet Week Challenge” to promote the “long-lasting freshness benefits of Ultra Downy April Fresh,” according to Procter & Gamble, the brand’s manufacturer.

The comedian is best known for his New York Times top selling book “Sleepwalk with Me,” where he discusses his sleepwalking issues. During Clean Sheet Week, his challenge was to sleep in the Macy’s front display area and, when not snoozing, interact with the general public via social media sites. Fans were able to engage with Birbiglia during the entire week by visiting Downy and Macy’s on Facebook ( <> or

A National Sleep Foundation 2010 Bedroom Poll, made possible by an educational grant from Downy, inspired the Downy-Macy’s partnership when it revealed numerous insights about the relationship between sleep and sheets with a fresh scent, according to the company. Poll findings revealed seven out of 10 people claim to get a more comfortable night’s rest on sheets with a fresh scent and eight out of 10 people wash their sheets after purchasing them.

Birbiglia took time from his busy promotion to correspond with Happi about the project:

Happi: How and why did you decide to partner with P&G and Downy for this project?

MB: I got a call in December from the folks at Downy, and they wanted to know if I’d take the Clean Sheet Week Challenge and live in their sheets for a week. I said, “Sure, send them over to my place.” And they said, “Actually, we want you to come to our place, and by place, we mean, we want you to live in the window of the Herald Square Macy’s.” And I asked if I could do the Downy 24-hour challenge or the Downy Few Days challenge, and they were really insistent on this entire week of sleeping in the Macy’s window to see if their sheets stay fresh. I think they saw a natural tie-in from my one-man show and my book “Sleepwalk With Me.” And here I am.

Happi: What is it about the scent of sheets that helps with a good night's sleep?

MB: Well, they tell me that it’s not actually the scent of the sheets, but the feeling of fresh sheets that helps people get a more comfortable night’s rest. And this isn’t just my theory, but the conclusion of scientists in white lab coats at the National Sleep Foundation who have studied sleeping people. And right now I’m putting these sheets to the test.

Happi: What are your favorite scents for laundry products and why?

MB: To be honest, before this week, I didn't have scent preferences or really know anything at all about fabric softener. But now that I've spent some time thinking about it (roughly seven days), I'd say...April Fresh. Second prize: chocolate scent, which doesn't exist...yet.

More info: <> or


Related End-User Markets:

Related Raw Materials:

  • Supply-Side Innovations

    Supply-Side Innovations

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2017
    Raw material suppliers roll up their sleeves and roll out their new products for the global cleaning industry.

  • New Faces in Familiar Places

    New Faces in Familiar Places

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2017
    The American Cleaning Institute officially welcomed its new president.

  • Special Delivery

    Special Delivery

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2017
    UV protection is important, but what good is that sunscreen if consumers won’t apply it?

  • What’s Up with Brexit?

    What’s Up with Brexit?

    March 9, 2017
    During In-Cosmetics, industry experts from the CTPA will weigh in on what’s ahead for the beauty industry.

  • How We Clean

    How We Clean

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 6, 2017
    Consumers describe what makes them tick and what ticks them off about household cleaning products.

  • Monday Morning Quarterback

    Monday Morning Quarterback

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 6, 2017
    Super Bowl commercials are big business. Let’s look at some of personal and household care brands that bought spots this year

  • Discourse on Disclosure

    Discourse on Disclosure

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 6, 2017
    Transparency impacts the cleaning industry.

  • The Top Stories of 2016

    The Top Stories of 2016

    December 26, 2016
    The companies and topics that grabbed headlines and your attention this year.

  • Hair for Me!

    Hair for Me!

    October 31, 2016
    Function of Beauty fulfills the promise of personalization in the beauty space—one bottle at a time.

  • Coming Clean on a Host of Issues

    Coming Clean on a Host of Issues

    October 17, 2016
    Cleaning Products Conference is set for Nov. 9-11, 2016 in Washington DC.

  • Let the Magic Begin!

    Let the Magic Begin!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 10, 2016
    IFSCC Congress gets underway at Walt Disney World this month.

  • Ogee Opens for Business

    Ogee Opens for Business

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 10, 2016
    Banking on the power of jojoba oil, a Vermont-based start-up is the newest player in organic luxury skin care.

  • A Cosmetic Armor Against Pollution

    A Cosmetic Armor Against Pollution

    Julia Comas, Cristina Davi, Elena Canadas, Laia Gonzalez, Raquel Delgado, Lipotec SAU||October 3, 2016
    Lipotec’s Pollushield creates a barrier between skin and pollutants and boosts the antioxidative potential of skin.

  • Cosmetic Chemists Head to Orlando Next Month

    Cosmetic Chemists Head to Orlando Next Month

    September 26, 2016
    Organizing Chair Guy Padulo explains why you should attend the IFSCC Congress.

  • Active Agents

    Active Agents

    September 19, 2016
    On the surface, surfactants may seem staid, but the market, and the supplier activity driving it, is bubbling.

  • Fro Yo!

    Fro Yo!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 22, 2016
    Project Beauty dishes out Hairgurt, a line of vitamin-rich hair shampoos and conditioning masques.

  • And Now for Something Completely Different…

    And Now for Something Completely Different…

    August 15, 2016
    Phlur is out to make you rethink fragrance packaging.

  • Individualism IS The American Way

    Individualism IS The American Way

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 15, 2016
    Why blue hair and BB creams still thrill US consumers.

  • Red, Black & Blue

    Red, Black & Blue

    August 8, 2016
    No matter who wins the US Presidential election, Americans expect their finances to get bloodied and bruised in 2017.

  • Senior Skin Care

    Senior Skin Care

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 19, 2016
    McCord Research and Product Quest Manufacturing roll out new hospital-grade skin care kits for seniors to use at home.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    June 30, 2016
    J&J's anti-aging patent, LVMH and cannabis essential oil, transdermal botulinum toxins and more in recent patent news.

  • What

    What's Next for the UK?

    Sarah Boumphrey, Euromonitor International||June 27, 2016
    Euromonitor weighs in on how Brexit could impact consumer product companies.

  • Henkel Grabs the Sun

    Henkel Grabs the Sun

    Ian Bell, Euromonitor International||June 24, 2016
    Euromonitor's Ian Bell on the impact the purchase will have on the US detergent industry.

  • We

    We're Surrounded!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||May 30, 2016
    Industry experts explain the important role that the skin microbiome plays in human health.

  • Luxury Re-Coded

    Luxury Re-Coded

    Nancy Jeffries, Online Editor||May 25, 2016
    Consumers have new expectations for beauty.

  • Procter Reels in Doctors

    Procter Reels in Doctors

    May 16, 2016
    The Procter & Gamble stand was abuzz during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

  • If You’re Going to San Francisco…

    If You’re Going to San Francisco…

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||May 13, 2016
    Be sure to contact the Bay Area Beauty Association.

  • At a Loss for Curls?

    April 22, 2016
    Amplixin, a Miami-based maker of hair strengthening products, has a solution for hair loss.