Keep Calm and Win the Election

Market Makers #1

Market Makers is a new series from Thoughtless Opinions that takes a look at recent marketing campaigns to see how they held up. If you see any campaigns you’d like me to make notes on, please let me know in the comments. Going forward these short posts will be for paid subscribers only, so if you are interested, please upgrade your subscription.

Calm Gets 4 Bulbs for Election Day

(You can learn about the bulb rating system at the end of this newsletter)

If you were watching election coverage on CNN, you almost certainly saw a little box, next to key race alerts with the Calm app logo.

The reactions on Twitter were pretty positive, with the odd person wondering if it was some sort of joke.

Personally, I found it brilliant. It was just the right mix of humor and sincerity during an incredibly tense, incredibly long,

What was the play?

Calm had a three pronged approach to marketing during the election.

First they had their logo being displayed during all the Key Race updates. This was similar in effect to how Konica Minolta sponsors the swing cam for the PGA.

Secondly, throughout the election coverage, they ran 30 second meditation ad spots which encouraged viewers to do nothing and remain calm. These have run before the election as well. I’ve always found them interesting and they frequently make me stop whatever else I’m doing well watching TV and pay attention.

Lastly, they offered tweets with suggestions to remain calm all throughout the election coverage.

How did it do?

The approach definitely worked. Some main highlights are:

  • App climbed 20 spots for popularity on the app store

  • Calm was the no.1 app in the US Health category of the app store

  • The app had over 11 million impressions on election day


Calm took advantage of the current political climate and did it brilliantly. It got people talking across social media channels, but more importantly, it added real business value. I think we’ll be seeing more from Calm when it comes to tense, real-world situations in the future.

The Bulbs Rating System

Since this is the first Market Makers newsletter, I’d like to introduce The Bulbs rating system. I’ll give each campaign between 0 and 5 bulbs. The higher the bulbs, the better the campaign.