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Headspace makes TV ad debut to offer unemployed Americans free subscriptions

Headspace has unveiled its first-ever TV campaign, designed to promote the meditation app’s offer of a free, year-long subscription to anyone who has been laid off in the US.

The brand tapped Miami-based creative agency Gut to produce the 30-second commercial. True to the app's aesthetic, the spot features bright colors and animated graphic characters who turn from stressed out to chilled out with the help of meditation.

The ad is narrated by Andy Puddicombe, the former Buddhist monk who voices the majority of Headspace’s guided meditation courses. Caroline Pay, the company’s chief creative officer who joined from Grey London in 2018, led on the campaign's creative.

It’s the first time the company has funneled ad spend into TV. Headspacehas historically concentrated on digital advertising as well as owned and earned media, while Mother New York previously created an out-of-home campaign for the brand.

Now, it is joining the growing number of brands trialing TV duringthe coronavirus crisis, which has driven broadcast prices down as big spenders such as Coca-Cola abandon advertising.

Headspace is ostensibly making the leap in order to promote the ‘Headspace Promise’ – a commitment to providing free mental health resources in times of crisis.

As part of the pledge, the company is offering free one-year subscriptions for all currently unemployed in the US. Those who have been laid off can access meditation content by filling in a form on the Headspace website.

Those who take advantage of the offer will also be able to access the six meditations that comprise a new collection called ‘Living Through Unemployment’.

Headspace is already offering free subscriptions to American, British and French public healthcare providers, as well as primary and secondary teachers in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK.

“While meditation and mindfulness can’t change our circumstances in life, it can help us change our perspective on those circumstances,” said Rich Pierson, chief executive and co-founder of, Headspace. “And, now more than ever, that’s an incredibly powerful skill to learn.

“As a company dedicated to improving the health and happiness of the world, we take our responsibility to help support people’s mental health very seriously. It’s our promise today and for whatever tomorrow brings."

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