Scots firm bids to take top spot in the £100 million travel pillow market

Andy Jones, cliff diver, on the Amalfi Coast

Company claims to offer the next best thing to curing jetlag 

A Scottish firm believes it has the next best thing to conquering jetlag and has launched a Red-Bull-style ad campaign today (Monday, 23 May) in a bid to capture a bigger slice of the 100 million sales-a-year worldwide market for travel pillows.
The video campaign – which features Red Bull-sponsored US cliff diver Andy Jones – was commissioned by Glasgow-headquartered TRTL (pronounced “turtle”).
The company – whose product now sells in 63 countries – manufactures the third-best-selling travel pillow on Amazon.com.
Gret Trtl Pillow in use
Gret Trtl Pillow in use
But managing director Michael Corrigan says he wants the top spot.
Corrigan said: “Today we’re launching an adventure-fuelled ad campaign to make us the number one choice for international travellers who want to arrive rested and ready for anything at their journey’s end.”
The five-figure ‘Up for the Moment’ campaign follows the lives of three Trtl Pillow users – an adventure sports professional, a jewellery entrepreneur, and a fashion designer – as they criss-cross Europe on business.
Filming took place in Berlin, London, and on the Amalfi coast in Italy. Drones and GoPro’s were used for action shots such as Andy Jones’ 27-metre cliff dive in Praiano, near Naples.
Corrigan added: “Whether it’s Andy nailing his cliff dive or Moira negotiating the right price for some precious gemstones, everyone has to be alert when their moment arrives.
“That’s why we set up our company: to help people have adventures and live life to the full, whatever they’re into.
“Life’s about experiences, and if you sleep well you experience more.”
Cliff diver Andy Jones said: “My head used to bob around and wake me up constantly during flights. I think anyone can see why getting a decent sleep on a 14-hour flight the day before you jump from a 90-100 foot cliff is important. The Trtl Pillow helps me sleep more comfortably while I’m travelling so I am better rested when it’s time to go to work!”
Lack of sleep has been linked to depression, weight gain, lack of concentration and creativity. Studies show that most people need around 7.5 to eight hours’ sleep per day to feel fully rested.
A university study has shown that the Trtl Pillow is more effective than a conventional u-shaped memory foam travel pillow. It packs down small, is easy to carry, and looks like a modern fleece scarf.
Corrigan said: “Our design is different. There’s nothing like it on the market. No-one yet discovered an antidote for jetlag but we’re the next best thing.”
There were 3.5 billion flights in 2014 and this is set to double in the next 20 years  In the UK, 240 million flights were taken; around 60 million of them long haul.
Worldwide, the number of people taking flights rose by 6.5 per cent in 2015 compared to the previous year.
Trtl’s co-founders – Corrigan and David Kellock (both 28) – invented their Trtl Pillow in October 2013 after they met while studying engineering at Glasgow’s Strathclyde University.
The pair sold around 3500 in 2014. This figure rose almost 1200 per cent in 2015 to 41,500.
And the firm is predicting sales of more than 200,000 in 2016.
Trtl began after Corrigan and Kellock heard an inspirational talk by Scottish entrepreneur and Kwik-Fit founder Sir Tom Farmer about adventures.
The pair – frequent travellers themselves – dreamt up the product idea when meeting in an airport after returning from holiday via Ryanair.
Trtl is a two-time EDGE winner and received start-up funding from the Prince’s Trust. Michael and David were featured on the BBC Scotland TV show The Entrepreneurs.
They have also appeared on Dragons’ Den (The UK equivalent of the US Shark Tank), Huffington Post, The Financial Times, The Telegraph, Inc, Johnny Jett’s blog, and Clevver Style.
The product also appeared in the Golden Globes and Oscars gift lounges earlier this year.
Case study – Patience Jewellery, Edinburgh 
One happy customer who can testify to the success of the Trtl Pillow is Moira Patience-Warren, a Scottish jewellery designer and entrepreneur who runs Patience Jewellery in Edinburgh.
Moira Patience-Warren, Edinburgh entrepreneur
Moira Patience-Warren, Edinburgh entrepreneur
Patience-Warren travels the world to seek out and source the finest and most beautiful gemstones for her collections. She says using the Trtl Pillow allows her to get the rest needed to do what matters most: finding the perfect gemstone for her design.
She says: “If money were no object I would buy as many air miles as I could and I would visit and explore every corner of the Earth.
“One of my favourite things about travelling is the anticipation of what it’s going to be like when you land.
“When I tell people I’m a jeweller they automatically tell me special stories about the jewellery that they’re wearing, and for me that’s what jewellery is all about.
“The materials that we use have been in the earth for millions of years, gemstones and metal and I feel like those materials need to be cherished and enjoyed.
“I strive to design timeless, elegant pieces that can be enjoyed now and forever, and passed down generations.
“I love my Trtl Pillow because I love my sleep. If I’m travelling around or meeting with clients it’s full on, and I’ve usually got loads of stuff with me so I can just pack it away, put it in my bag and take it out when I have a quiet moment and it helps me to get that rest to do what I need to do, and do what matters.”

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