Calm’s hilarious CNN ad campaign sent the meditation program flying up App Store charts

November 6, 2020

Meditation app Calm sponsored an hilarious marketing campaign during CNN’s coverage of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results this week—and it seems to have paid off for the business, according to a report by TechCrunch.

The app—which on most days offers mindful meditations, peaceful sounds and sleep stories—bought time during CNN’s “Key Race Alert” coverage to remind viewers s of the need to relax while ballots are counted.

According to data from third-party app store analytics and marketing firms, Sensor Tower and App Annie, these CNN advertisements appear to have helped substantially boost Calm’s downloads (as determined by the app’s chart rankings.)

On iPhone in the U.S., App Annie says Calm moved up 20 ranks from the day before Election Day to reach number 79 overall across both apps and games in the United States. It also reached number 1 in the U.S. Health & Fitness category.

Meanwhile, Sensor Tower found that the app moved up again on November 4—climbing 51 spots to reach number 68 among the top free iPhone apps on the U.S. App Store.

The firm notes that this is the highest the app has ranked since July 21, when it hit number 60—a jump that was likely boosted by the release October 30, it didn’t appear to have an impact the way that Styles’ Story had, Sensor Tower told TechCrunch.

A spokesperson for Calm explained the company’s decision to run the CNN ad campaign was about associating its brand with the anxiety that its meditations and relaxing sounds help to address.

“We understand the uncertainty of this election cycle can be a source of anxiety for many of us, especially as it coincides with an ongoing pandemic,” the spokesperson said, adding, “Our goal during CNN’s Key Race Alerts was to provide viewers a moment of Calm, and a reminder to take a deep breath during a stressful night.”

The company declined to confirm the third-party estimates, however.

In addition to CNN, the company ran Election Day ads on MSNBC, E!, HGTV, IFC, Freeform, the Discovery Family Channel and the Discovery Life Channel.

Research contact: @TechCrunch

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