CNN's Nerve-Jangling 'Key Race Alerts'? Sponsored by the Meditation App Calm

Election Day phase two started Wednesday morning when Americans awoke to find the jury still out on who will be the next president. In what may be 2020's best advertising so far, the Calm meditation app sponsored CNN's Key Race Alert coverage for a small reminder to stop and breathe, even when the election stress seems unbearable.

A spokesperson from Calm told Newsweek the app's decision to sponsor the CNN coverage came from the uneasiness throughout 2020. "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," they said via email. "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."

In addition to a logo for the app being shown during CNN's coverage, the app aired a few commercials that asked viewers to breathe and relax for 30 seconds. Relaxing scenes, like rain or a beach, were featured with the moment of pause.

Calm App
The Calm app logo is featured on a soothing background. Christi-an Slomka/Calm

Some viewers applauded the decision to offer moments of stress relief during the otherwise tense evening. Others thought the partnership was ironic and comedic, given the fast-paced and unpredictable nature of election night. The difference in opinion was seen throughout Twitter conversations on Tuesday.

CNN’s election coverage being presented by the Calm app might be the funniest thing that has ever happened.

— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) November 4, 2020

I appreciate that the CNN coverage is sponsored ("brought to you") by the Calm app lol

— Traci Lee (@traciglee) November 4, 2020

Smart ad buy from @calm on CNN during election night.

— djWHEAT (@djWHEAT) November 4, 2020

The @calm app telling us to do nothing for 30 seconds on @CNN... you gotta be kidding #ElectionNight

— Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) November 4, 2020

Hello I am at an airport and the TVs are playing something called 30 seconds of calm from CNN and it’s just footage from beaches in the Bahamas so I would like to do that job next thank you

— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) October 30, 2020

Just saw the @calm TV ad on CNN, just rain pouring down in a forest. Nothing else. That is exactly what the founder showed me in his app back in 2014 w/ @spencerchen in North Beach. Ugh, missed that one bigly.

— Semil (@semil) November 4, 2020

CNN keeps giving race alerts with an ad in the corner: "sponsored by the Calm ap."

— Evie Blad (@EvieBlad) November 4, 2020

CNN is like "stay calm" then wildly flips to "NEW PROJECTION" while playing war movie music

— Kevin Farzad (@KevinFarzad) November 4, 2020

Calm is a meditation and sleep-promoting app that encourages users to slow down, center themselves and relax. In addition to normal meditation prompts, the app has specific series that target unique life experiences. The app also has "sleep stories" which feature whimsical and relaxing tales to help listeners fall asleep. For added interest (and an additional fee), famous voices like Matthew McConaughey and Harry Styles continue to the storytelling.

The app's Twitter feed was full of useful tools on Tuesday, and continued with the uplifting content on Wednesday, too. Some tweets, like this one that suggested sensory ways to dismantle anxiety, were retweeted hundreds of times.

Feeling anxious?

Try grounding yourself by naming

- 5 things you can see
- 4 things you can hear
- 3 things you can feel
- 2 things you can smell
- 1 thing you can taste

— Calm (@calm) November 4, 2020

And Calm is still offering tools for stressed-out Americans all week long. The spokesperson explained their resource hub is currently offering more free coping and calming tools. You can access them here.

Though Calm has free features, not all content can be unlocked without a subscription. The app is currently offering 40 percent off of Calm Premium in addition to the free tools. This appears to be a deal that only applies to an annual membership, which is normally $69.99 per year.