- Meditation app Calm sponsored key moments in CNN's election night coverage as tension ratcheted up throughout the indecisive night. When the cable news network alerted viewers to announcements about election returns with loud updates, a small "brought to you by" graphic appeared with the logo for the app, Adweek reported.
- The activation stirred social media commentary, as the number of tweets mentioning Calm surged about 12 times on election night from the average going back to Sept. 1, according to Twitter data cited by Adweek. The app saw twice as many tweets in one night than the previous week's total.
- Amid the heightened stress that people have felt during the pandemic, Calm increased its spending on advertising 220% to $12.6 million during the first half of 2020 from a year earlier, per data from market research firm Kantar cited by Adweek.
Calm's sponsorship of election alerts on CNN proved to be an inspired move as the evening wore on without a victory for President Donald Trump or Democratic challenger Joe Biden, defying polls that had indicated the former vice president would win decisively. As a sign that election night triggered heightened anxiety among consumers, Google data showed that searches for "liquor store near me" and "fries near me" hit record highs as people binged on alcohol and comfort food, while people also looked for "coffee" and "alcoholic drink," MarketWatch reported.
Calm's campaign was successful in generating online buzz as the number of tweets mentioning the Calm app surged, helping to raise awareness for its brand. The app took a similar approach to its advertising during the contentious presidential debates, though the CNN campaign was the first time it appeared in election night ads. It also has run minimalist TV and social ads that show a countdown clock marking the time until the spot ends, while the sound of rain drops on leaves plays in the background. The intention of the creative is to cut through ad clutter by providing a moment of calm amid the dread that many people feel, Adweek reported.
Amid expectations that stress levels will remain high until the election outcome is determined with final vote counts in battleground states, Calm updated its website with guided meditations, soft music and stories. The company had originally created the page to help people cope with pandemic-related stresses.
Consumers worldwide have shown greater interest in health and fitness apps that include the meditation and mindfulness category. Spending on health and fitness apps rose 25% to almost $1 billion during the first half of 2020, according to App Annie data cited by Adweek. Calm was the No. 1 app in the category during that period worldwide.