Digital Mental Health Startups Go Big With TV Ads Around Super Bowl and Olympics

Two big names in the digital mental health space are going even bigger with ads around two of the biggest sporting events on the globe — the Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl.

San Francisco-based Headspace Health has a 30-second spot during the pre-game broadcast of the Super Bowl LVI hyping their “Love Yourself Like A Legend” campaign featuring award-winning singer, songwriter and Headspace partner, John Legend, according to a news release.

The ad feature’s Legend in silky sleepwear, lying on a fur rug in front of a romantically lit fireplace, and inviting the viewer to “sleep with him.”


“The timing is so perfect,” Amy Davis, Headspace’s vice president of global brand marketing, told Ad Age about the theme of the Super Bowl ad. “With Valentine’s Day falling the day after the Super Bowl this year and the ability to reach that broader audience and get Headspace on people’s minds as they’re thinking about how they can feel better and live a healthier happier life.”

The tongue-in-cheek ad hypes Headspace’s new sleep-aid content, accessible through its mobile app: a “sleepcast” and an eight-hour-long playlist curated by Legend.

The sleepcast is a podcast meant to help the listener fall asleep. Legend’s sleepcast features his narration of the history of an old concert hall, the release states.


Legend will also host five episodes of Headspace’s podcast “Radio Headspace.” The three- to four-minute episodes are meant to help listeners pause and find mindfulness and are released each weekday, the release states.

Headspace has partnered with John Legend for two years. The Super Bowl ad is the company’s first.

Headspace Health was born out of a merger between the wellness and mindfulness app Headspace and the remote mental health care provider The companies closed their merger, which valued the company at $3 billion.

Also based in San Francisco, Cerebral has a 1-minute spot that is running on NBC during the Winter Olympics featuring American gymnastics superstar Simone Biles. In October, Cerebral named Biles the company’s chief impact officer. The ad includes Biles talking about prioritizing her own mental health with the help of Cerebral’s app, therapy sessions and subscription medication delivery.

“Since she stepped away from competition in Tokyo [the Summer Olympics] citing her personal mental health, Simone has inspired millions of people who otherwise would suffer in silence to stand up and get the care they deserve and need,” Kyle Robertson, CEO and co-founder of Cerebral, said in a post. “That is what Cerebral is all about — and that is why we are so enthusiastic about our partnership with Simone as we work together to fundamentally transform access to high-quality mental health care at scale.”

On Wednesday, NBC announced that it sold out in-game ad spots, which could cost up to $7 million for just 30 seconds of airtime.

Both companies are flush with venture capital and private equity. Before its merger with Headspace, Ginger raised an estimated $211 million. Cerebral raised $300 million at its Series C funding round.

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