- Meditation app Headspace worked with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind the show "Sesame Street," to create six animated shorts that teach mindfulness, meditation and social skills. The biweekly "Monster Meditations" series will appear on YouTube and YouTube Kids, per an announcement.
- Each episode will be about three minutes long and feature animated versions of "Sesame Street" characters including Cookie Monster and Elmo as they experience frustration, impatience, being overwhelmed, nervousness, disappointment and excitement. An animated version of Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk, guides the characters on breathing techniques and other activities to help manage stress.
- One episode shows Puddicombe showing Cookie Monster how to play a game called "I-Sense" to remain patient while waiting for cookies to bake. On another show, he teaches Elmo an activity to wind down, relax and fall asleep, per the announcement.
Headspace's collaboration with Sesame Workshop on an animated series aims to help kids and parents as the coronavirus pandemic forces people to stay indoors, disrupting their normal activities like going to school or work. About 77% of Americans said their sleep has been affected during the pandemic with anxiety being the No. 1 reason for lost sleep, according to a survey commissioned by review site SleepStandards. Headspace and Sesame Workshop are doing their part to teach children lessons about maintaining health that can last a lifetime.
Headspace and Sesame Workshop are among the organizations that have developed content to help people — including children — weather the health crisis. Post cereal brand Pebbles this week launched an educational video series for kids on its website and social media channels to help parents and content creators. Last month, social network Pinterest added "compassionate search" to its website, expanding a mental wellness feature that previously was limited to its mobile app. The function helps users find activities for emotional well-being when they search for terms like "stress relief," which has tripled as the pandemic spurs lockdowns across the U.S.
It's important for brands to provide comforting messages to consumers who are facing enormous disruptions during the pandemic. More than three quarters (77%) of consumers said they feel more positive about brands that are making an effort to support society during the crisis, according to a survey by Twitter. About half (52%) of respondents said seeing and hearing ads gives them a sense of normalcy, but only 7% said brands should keep their normal tone in their marketing messages. Striking the right balance is important for mobile marketers as they seek to engage consumers during a stressful period.
Interestingly, the "Sesame Street" videos will not be part of Headspace's app. Headspace grossed $56 million in 2019, a year-over-year revenue increase of 33%, according to TechCrunch. However, the effort could help improve consumers' impressions of the brand as they show interest in what brands are doing during the coronavirus pandemic.