Providing Kiwi youth with a new tool to help them live life one step ahead, New Zealand bank ASB and partner Youthline have released Bagels, a new song scientifically designed and tested to help ease anxious feelings.
The Monkeys Aotearoa, part of Accenture Song, alongside ASB and Youthline, have paired pop star BENEE with leading neuroscientists from Auckland University of Technology to compose Bagels, a song using anxiety-relieving elements.
The objective of the song is to be a free tool available to anyone who is feeling anxious or overwhelmed – by listening to the song, it can help ease these symptoms.
Using data and testing results by AUT, the agency briefed BENEE and her producer Josh Fountain to write a song using proven anxiety-relieving elements. These elements include guidance on musical keys, melody, tempo and chords. The song was then recorded by BENEE and evaluated by AUT professors to confirm it adhered to anxiety-reducing principles.
The Monkeys and leading New Zealand animation house Assembly also produced a music video for ‘Bagels’ that is as calming as the song. Using design principles based on scientific advice – from colours to shapes to eye movements – the animated video is visually relaxing for those who watch it.
‘Bagels’ is promoted via an integrated creative campaign appearing on social media, including TikTok and Instagram, along with digital, out of home and radio.
ASB’s chief marketing officer Helen Fitzsimons says: “Our partnership with Youthline is about delivering to our purpose and contributing meaningfully to the lives of all New Zealanders. With this campaign, we set out to create a tool to help our young people ease anxious feelings.”
“Alongside our partner Youthline and professors at AUT, we took the scientific findings and used them to create a new song that can help ease rangatahi in the moments they feel overwhelmed or under pressure.”
AUT lead professor Dr Dan Shepherd says: “We carried out neurological and physiological testing on 30 participants to test its effectiveness at reducing symptoms of anxiety. It works.”
The Monkeys chief creative officer Damon Stapleton adds: “We all know teenagers put their headphones on to escape the world so we wanted to tap into that insight to create a tool for them to help ease anxious feelings.
“The Youthline partnership is one we know ASB staff are incredibly proud of and we see them having a key role to play in supporting ‘Bagels’ and the wider creative campaign.”
BENEE says: “I think music is such a powerful tool to help with peoples’ mental health. Being open with mental health is important because it’s been pushed aside for so long. I love what Youthline do and what they stand for, so when I was asked to be a part of this project, I was excited.”
Revenue from the track’s streaming will be donated to Youthline.