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" Futons : the REAL furniture choice "

(see Programming Schedule for specific airtimes)




Marti Johnson


Futons of America

Corporate Video Length Version



Business World News script



"Futons: the REAL furniture choice"

Art Director:


Futon Association International


Job #:


818 505 8300

Code #:


  Sample Media Advisory Release






Anchor 1 Intro:


Hello and welcome to Business World News Spotlight on Success.

Anchor 2 Intro:


We go across the country and around the world to find successful companies that are bringing new and innovative products to the consumer… and in the case of today's success story, into our homes and businesses.

Today we'll take a look at a contemporary trend in home decorating, where futon furniture is becoming the solution of choice for many upscale homeowners and apartment dwellers.

Anchor 1:


That's right, Mark. It seems that futon sofa sleepers have gone “upscale chic.” They've evolved into designer furniture for today's lifestyles.

Reporter ______ has our story.

Furniture showroom with shoppers VO

Reporter VO:

When consumers shop for furniture, what key things do they look for?

Ask shoppers about the key factor in their furniture choice: SHORT, snappy :05 answers.

Consumer INTV:

(a variety of consumers tell us that they look for comfort, style, versatility, etc.)

CONSUMER: (“comfort”)

CONSUMER: (“style”)

CONSUMER: (“versatility”)

Continue showroom / shopper vo

Reporter VO:

As consumers increasingly seek comfort, style and versatility, they have discovered that futon furniture is more comfortable, more versatile, and is available with more options than ever before. At the same time, some of the most contemporary designers in the industry have gone to futon furniture as the perfect combination of comfort and style.

Designer Question: Suggest to designer the line that “if you haven't seen futons lately, you haven't SEEN futons” and start with that line and talk about what that means in terms of the options and choices that modern futons offer

Designer INTV:

DESIGNER INTERVIEW: (The designer should point out that if you haven't seen futons lately, you really haven't seen futons. The latest futon designs are stylish and extremely versatile, offering a wide variety of choices in color, fabric, and design.)


Reporter on camera:

Futon furniture styles are not only contemporary, they can also be made in traditional, cottage, mission, early American, rustic… in fact, just about any style is available to match any home décor.


Reporter VO:

Interior designers say that futon furniture offers clients greater flexibility than ever before.

Ask designer in what cases they advise clients to utilize futons, and why?

Designer SOT:

(Designer should discuss futon furniture as the right choice for many different kinds of homes and offices. Designer should indicate that futon furniture can be used in the main living room, or in any other room of the house where seating or sleeping space is needed. "I recommend futon sofa sleepers not only for my clients with small spaces, but also for upscale homeowners, as well.” “Futon Furniture can be used as a sofa in the living room; later in the evening it can become a guest room bed; another time, it's the mattress the kids pull out to watch a movie."



These days, futon sofa choices range from simple to sophisticated, with models incorporating the latest technical advances in style and construction.

The futon concept had international beginnings that are still visible in some of today's styles.

Futon is the English spelling of the Japanese word for a bedding system that consists of a floor cushion, on which a person sleeps; a cover which they sleep under, and a tatami mat, which forms the base.

(I recommend doing this standup in the showroom in front of an Asian style futon, pulling wide to show other futons in the area.)

Reporter on cam

Futons are available in styles that range from the simple, elegant Asian design to more modern choices available in showrooms now. And they're not just for homes.

Ask designer to talk about all the different types of applications in which he/she has seen futons used (home, office, recreation, etc.) and why futons worked best in those applications.


(I would b-roll this if possible. Let the designers talk long, but COVER it with video

(A designer recommends futon furniture for trend-setting offices and commercial locations. Another designer says they fit nicely on boats, when people plan to sleep onboard and want a convenient, comfortable sleeping place without taking up space during the day. "They're a great solution for today's demanding and active lifestyles."


Reporter VO:

Because futon furniture is being used in many different ways, manufacturers are responding with increased variety and better offerings than ever before.

Furniture store b-roll

Furniture store owner: Suggest the line that “futons are REAL furniture” and ask him/her who he recommends futons to and why.

Furniture store owner SOT:

(Store owner says that futon convertibles solve a lot of customer needs. When a lot of demands are placed on a small space, futon sofas can offer the best solution. They're comfortable; they're functional; and they're real furniture for people who demand style combined with comfort and versatility.)

Reporter on camera

Reporter on cam:

Homeowners are demanding choices with comfort and quality built in. Are they getting it? In just a moment we'll take you to the Futon and Specialty Sleep Expo to see the very latest trends in the futon industry.

But right now, back to Mark and Marti, in our Business World News studios. Marti, Mark?

Anchor Intro:

Anchor in studio:

Well it appears that futon furniture has moved into upscale living rooms in some very stylish homes.

Anchor Intro:

Anchor in studio:

And you know, it seems like you get what you pay for when you hire an interior designer. They always have the best, most up-to-the-minute ideas, and the know-how to make the most of a home both in appearance and use of space.

Anchor Intro:

Anchor in studio:

So now, for the very latest in futon trends, let's go with reporter _______ to Futon Expo 2004 in Philadelphia.

Reporter ON CAM:

Reporter on cam:

This is _________ in Philadelphia at the Futon and Specialty Sleep Expo.

This is the place where manufacturers of futon mattresses, frames, and covers come to meet with retailers; to show off their latest offerings to buyers; and to talk about the current trends in home furnishings. It should be THE place to see the trendiest styles and latest technology in the industry. Pattie MacMillen is President of the Futon Association International.

Ask Pattie about the latest trends evident at the Trade show; what consumers can look for in their nearest showroom...

Pattie MacMillen SOT:

(Pattie has :30 - :60 seconds to make a stong statement to position the futon and futon furniture for the industry. She can also talk about the variety of uses for futons in the home and elsewhere.


Reporter on cam:

It's important to remember that futon furniture is actually made up of three components: the mattress; the frame; and the cover.


Reporter VO:

Let's start by taking a look at the futon mattress itself:

From all natural fibers, like cotton and wool, to space age temperature sensitive foams; from incredibly plush synthetic fibers to latex foams; today's futon mattresses incorporate all the benefits of the mattress industry's better traditional and specialty models, but with dual purpose flexibility to boot. Several top of the line models even boast flexible innerspring units.

Manufacturer: ask about the newest materials used in mattress making; specifically ask about visco elastic foam; what it is, and how it is beneficial.

Manufacturer SOT:

(Interview Karen Day as a futon manufacturer. She can tell the viewers about the variety of choices available in futons without mentioning any particular brand by name.

Show different futon mattresses from trade show:

Reporter VO:

Each kind of futon mattress has its own unique benefits. Cotton, as the most traditional mattress material, is very firm and extremely flexible for bending and rolling.

Show flexibility of a cotton mattress


Numerous layers of cotton are used to make the firm and durable mattress preferred by many futon lovers.

Measure the thickness of a mattress. Find a manufacturer with a demonstration model that has the cover off.


When choosing a mattress, the Futon Association International recommends a minimum of 6-8” thickness, and encourages consumers to remember that the thickness of a new mattress will impact its usable life.



While most mattresses are now machine made, some are still made by hand.

Wool mattress b-roll. Let's see variety of wool mattresses. Pick one up for weight demonstration.


If you're looking for a firm mattress, then you may be looking for an all wool futon. Wool is also lightweight, extremely durable, and naturally fire retardant. Wool fibers can be combed and crimped, resulting in a futon with enduring rigidity and firmness. These futons are extremely resilient and therefore provide great support.

Demonstrate that wool mattresses are exceedingly firm, but do not bend well.

Look for quality "New Zealand Wool" marker and a price indicator, if possible.


Futon mattresses can also be made of foam and inner spring. Foam is lightweight and extremely versatile. For consumers who demanded a springier feel from futon mattresses, manufacturers developed innerspring units that are flexible to bend with futon frames converting easily from sofa to bed.

Ask innerspring mattress maker what qualities this mattress has.

Futon manufacturer SOT:

(Inner-Spring Futon maker discusses mattresses with inner springs.) (:25)

b-roll of new foam mattresses


The latest addition to the futon mattresses arena is the “temperature sensitive” visco elastic futon, which some say can be incredibly supportive and has some desirable health benefits.

Futons sofa sleepers are also easy to transport and move around from room to room. If you've ever tried to move a traditional sleeper sofa, then keep that in mind as you think about moving a futon couch.

Let's see a manufacturer at his expo booth, and then cut to shots of product

Mattress manufacturer:

(Mattress manufacturer mentions that simplicity is a huge selling point of futons. They are easy to use, maintenance free. You can sleep on them, sit on them, roll them up and stow them in a closet or put them in a trunk and go camping with them. They're just so easy and these days, so well made and stylish.)


Reporter VO:

Futon frames are another part of the equation. The latest in frame styling and construction were also on display at this year's Futon Expo… and the choices have multiplied.

(person's name) makes several styles at his/her factory.

Find a top-end futon frame maker and ask what kinds of materials he's using, whether he is seeing changes in the styles demanded, and consumer demand.

Frame Manufacturer:

Futon Frame maker:

(Discusses use of natural materials such as hardwoods, fine leather; the most elegant styles being created. They're durable and built to look good for years to come.)

(Discusses the fact that futons are part of real furniture, made of finished hardwood like any piece of fine furniture; ready to go into the most stylish, upscale homes.)

Manufacturer shows how easy it is to change a futon from "daytime couch" to nighttime bed.


(Manufacturer demonstrates set-up at location (Should take about :20 seconds, maybe more.) Make sure we see every aspect.)


Reporter VO:

That's all it takes to transition from daytime to sleep-time for most futon convertibles.

Anchor Intro:

Anchor in studio:

So the futon mattress and the frame together make a very versatile combination. Sofa by day; bed by night!


Anchor in studio:

And so much more comfortable than trying to sleep on a traditional sofa bed!

Now wasn't there one more element to discuss? What about the cover?

Reporter ON CAM:


That's right, the third component of a futon is the cover. For consumers, this choice may be the most exciting, simply because of the variety of choices available.

Ask designer about the covers. Tell her you want “effusive” and ask her about the selection, the fabrics, and the ease of changing a futon cover.

Designer SOT:

Designer interview:

(Talks about covers and the fact that this is another place where futons really distinguish themselves. There are thousands upon thousands of futon covers to choose from; and if you don't see one you like, you can easily have one custom-made for hundreds if not thousands of dollars less than the cost of having a traditional couch or seating area recovered.)

B-roll showing the endless variety of covers.

Reporter VO:

And what do those choices include? Everything from plain twill covers to heavy upholstery fabrics, to luxurious velvets and textures, to natural leather covers.

Whatever your taste in style or color, there's a futon cover to accommodate.

Ask the designer what kinds of covers are available, and how she helps her customers to choose?

Designer sot:

Designer interview:

(Designer should talk in detail about the simple cotton or linen covers, upholstery covers, the velvets and the luxury fabrics. The choice really depends on the consumer's needs and where they intend to use the futon.)

B-roll of futon covers in children's and outdoor use prints. Ones that clearly “wash and wear” easily.

Designer VO:

A futon is uniquely suitable in a children's room or recreational room, where its easy-care fabric can be washed on a regular basis; it really all depends on the client's needs.

Reporter on cam/standup:

Reporter ON CAM:

Once the initial choice is made, it doesn't have to end there. Futon-lovers love versatility, that's for sure. And while the look of traditional furniture can only be altered through expensive re-upholstery, futon convertible owners can change the look and feel of an entire room simply by changing the cover.

Futon cover maker on mic, showing and explaining how easy it is to change a futon cover, and with it, the room's entire feel.

Futon cover maker sot:

(Futon cover maker demonstrates how easy it is to change a futon cover, and alter the whole feel of the furniture.) (:30)

Reporter ON CAM:

Reporter on cam:

From casual to elegant. From children's playroom to very adult living room. Futon furnishings can do it all for demanding consumers.

Ask designer how she feels about using futons in homes where she is doing work? What is she offering her customers? Are these the right choices for today's consumers?

Designer SOT:

(Designer discusses the convenience and versatility of futon convertibles for his/her customers. Futon frames and mattresses are well-built, solid pieces of furniture. They also make life easier, because they give clients a very flexible, useable option in their home. If they want to change their look in a few years, or even next season, they can. If the kids make a mess on it, it can be cleaned or replaced very inexpensively. It's just the right option for so many of today's active lifestyles.)

Reporter standup:

Reporter on cam:

And that's what consumers are waking up to, a perennial favorite that is now better than ever. What we've seen at this year's expo is available for consumers now.

Next, we'll talk to some homeowners about how the choice of a futon sofa, convertible sleeper, or bed has worked in their home or in their lifestyle.

Reporting from the Futon and Specialty Sleep Expo, I'm ________.

Mark and Marti...

Anchor 1:

Anchors in studio:


That was certainly an eyeful. And now I'm full of ideas for a futon sofa in my living room, and an Asian look platform tatami in my master bedroom. Futon furnishings are full of surprises, Mark.

Anchor 2:

Anchor 2 in studio

Consumers love personalization. Getting the style you want in a sofa sleeper that feels comfortable to you, seems to be quite easy with today's futon furniture.


(single shot)

Reporter ______ is ready now with some real life examples that show how futons are working for some real homeowners.

(Reporter name)________?

Reporter on camera:

Reporter Standup:

With modern engineering techniques and contemporary styling, futon furniture has become the choice of designers and homeowners alike, especially when comfort, convenience and ease of use are an issue.

Futon owner SOT in room:

Futon Owner (A) SOT:

Futon owner (A): “My (TV, den living) room needed a makeover and at the same time, I needed to make better use of the space. I thought I wanted something smaller, but what I really needed was a bed that could double as a sofa(:20)

Futon owner A's before and after pictures b-roll

Reporter VO:

This was __(Futon Owner A's)_ room before the futon. Drab, unappealing, and cramped, very cramped. Now, with one of today's new futons, the room has eye-catching appeal.

Futon Owner A On cam:

Futon Owner (A) SOT:

Futon owner (A) sot:

"I love the way it looks. It gives me flexibility in my room; it offers seating during the day and sleeping space at night for my houseguests. And in between, it looks just great." (:20)

Designer on camera:

Designer SOT:

Designer SOT:

"This was the perfect choice for __(futon owner's name)__ because of A, B, and C considerations. I was happy to recommend a futon, not only because futons provide versatility, but also because they offer an amazing variety of styles, and solid, quality construction. They look great and provide additional or even primary seating during the day. At night, they conveniently fold out for sleeping. And they're comfortable. This is the perfect furniture for today's active lifestyle and changing household.” (:30)

Reporter on camera, preferably in showroom:

Reporter STANDUP:

Pricing also gets a lot of attention from consumers . A typical sofa can cost anywhere from eight hundred to several thousand dollars. Add to that the purchase of a mattress for the bedroom and you're talking about hundreds, if not thousand more.


Reporter VO:

A high quality futon sofa bed with a top of the line mattress and frame will come in for hundreds less and still delivers more function and comfort than a traditional sleep sofa and a platform bed with a futon mattress will provide exceptional sleeping comfort at a much more affordable price. A terrific value to the consumer.

Futon owner (B) on camera:

Futon Owner (B) SOT:

FUTON OWNER (B): “I needed a good, affordable option for a spare bedroom. I looked at fold out couches, but the cost was too high and I didn't like the idea of moving the thing around. It weighed a ton. This was much more convenient. ” (:20)


Reporter VO

What about comfort? Can a futon sofa really be as comfortable as a traditional couch?

Futon owner on camera, preferably sitting on futon.

Futon Owner (B) SOT:

Futon owner (B): “It's great during the day as a couch! But at night, when it's a bed, that's where it really shines. My guests say, “I've been sleeping so _______. It feels like ________. I really like_________. And my wife/husband/dog loves it, too. Just last night they said/barked that __________.” (:25)

Designer consulting with client

Reporter VO:

Designers say they get that a lot from their clients.

Designer ON CAM SOT:


Designer SOT: “I think it surprises them. This is real furniture. It can be very stylish, very ‘crisp' looking, which more and more people are beginning to realize.

Futon owner (C) ON CAM:

Futon owner (C) SOT:

Futon Owner (C) SOT:

"I've been sleeping on futons since ____. I bought my first one because _________.

I keep coming back because ________. I feel _______. I just love my futon sleeper. And these days, the styles are so much more interesting and exciting.

Reporter on camera:

Reporter STANDUP:

Futons offer an ever changing, ever expanding range of choices: from the barest of basics to the most luxurious of leathers; rattans on frames; suedes, silks, linens and everything in between on easily changed upholstered covers. Who wouldn't want the comfort convenience and ease of a futon convertible?

So next time you're considering a new comfort solution for your home, perhaps a new sofa or sofa-sleeper, you now have a choice that provides the best of all possible worlds: real comfort for sitting and sleeping; and real furniture for every style and home décor. Whether it's in the living room, guest room, den, or master bedroom, futon furniture delivers.

I'm ______________. Back to you, Marti and Mark.

Anchor A on cam: 2-shot

Anchor A in studio:

OK, I've got some serious furniture options to consider the next time I go shopping. All those different seating and sleeping choices, and you can change the look for under a hundred dollars?

Anchor B on cam: 2-shot

Anchor B in studio:

You know what they say? It's all about the money. But some of us want to change the look with the season. That's what I like, Mark.

Anchor A on cam: 2-shot

Anchor A in studio:

Either way, futon furniture provides versatility, style, and comfort… and all at a great value to the consumer!

Anchor B on cam: 2-shot

Anchor B in studio:

And Mark, just think what you could do with all that space! Never mind, your wife would never go for it.

Anchor A on cam: Single shot

Anchor A in studio:

SHOW Home page

If you'd like more information about futon sofas and sleepers, including where you can find Association member stores featuring great selections of all the products we've featured today, you can check the website at

Anchor A & B ON CAM: 2-shot

Anchor B in studio:

And if you have a business success story you'd like to see on our show, let us know at our website: . Just click on "submit a story."

Anchor A & B ON CAM: 2-shot

Anchor A in studio:

Anchor B in studio:

Thanks for joining us for this edition of Business World News, Spotlight on Success.

See you again next time!