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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Mental Health Moment - “Breathe” Spot

Finalist in Animation


America is in the throes of a Mental Health crisis, and not everyone has the means or access to afford professional mental health maintenance or help. The objective driving this work was to remind our audience that there are things you can do for your mental health every day that won’t cost you a dime and can immediately diminish feelings of stress and anxiety. You’re actually doing it right now while you’re reading this - Breathing.

The mission of our “Mental Health is Health” campaign is to provide resources and tools for viewers to take real action to support their mental health or the mental health of loved ones. We consulted with the world’s leading Mental Health non-profit partners who all determined that breathing is an easy action for people to take that doesn’t require money, much training or isn’t something that is mired in stigma.

For this specific spot, we dove deep into science - choosing a color palette reflective of the Psychology of color - calming, soothing tones. For the soundscape we approached the audio branding house AudioUX, challenging them to compose a soundtrack that uses The 528 Hz Solfeggio Frequency - which has tremendous health benefits - such as opening the Solar Plexus to allow for better breathing and inducing calmness. Textured Binaural Beats draw the listener’s focus in. Buck, our design partners, developed animation that intentionally, along with the audio, turns this spot into a controlled breathing exercise.

Strategy and Execution

The biggest challenge for this spot - was to break through a crowded “wellness” landscape - and introduce our viewers to the concept of taking mental health action. Stigma, Shame, Fear of Judgement, and Cultural Barriers still remain great obstacles to overcome if we are going to change the Mental Health narrative in America.

So everything in this spot was designed to avoid stigma and was based purely on science - especially the audio, so our work with AudioUX became a vital component to the spot’s success. We also wanted to intentionally be disruptive - to make our spot stand out visually on social feeds and on air when broadcast. We bookend the spot with a mnemonic composed to draw focus and instill tranquility - so the viewer goes on a journey while viewing or interacting with this content - AND inadvertently takes a mental health action without even knowing it.

We also wanted to be loud when we launched this spot - so we decided to premiere it on Mental Health Action Day - a day that MTV Entertainment Studios created in 2021, to shift people’s focus from awareness to real mental health action taking. Mental Health Action Day receives a tremendous amount of press exposure, so this was a perfect day to launch this spot and amplify it behind the power of our Social footprint and Comms team.


Every one of our brand social and series channels posted the spot, and it ran once per hour across each and everyone of MTV Entertainment Studio’s 9 linear channels - MTV, VH1, Logo, Comedy Central, CMT, Smithsonian Channel, Paramount Network, Pop TV, & TV Land. It was also featured throughout the day on our sister network CBS.

In total, the linear spots ran 270 times on Mental Health Action Day alone, and also had 8.3 Million Impressions on Social - while also driving a significant spike to our Mental Health is Health website - where people can get real help for their mental health.

In an MTV Consumer Insights study from last June, the MTV team reported that Mental Health is Health was among the most recognized Mental Health resources for young adults. People knowing there is a place to turn to in times of need is really our biggest win overall.


Video for Mental Health Moment - “Breathe” Spot

Entrant Company / Organization Name

MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks


Entry Credits