Music + Mental Health + Advertising

Originally written Jun 21, 2017.

Like most, music has always been a huge part of my life. Personally, I grew up listening to old Led Zeppelin records with my dad. But as I got older I began to expand my taste in music. I fell in love with Hip-Hop.

Before I chose a life in advertising, I worked in the mental health field with real patients needing actual help. It was incredibly rewarding because I felt like I was making a real impact. I even contemplated going to medical school. We all know life is constantly in flux, and sometimes one needs to pivot, or in my case do a complete 180 (but that’s a story for another time.) Nevertheless, I’m still conscious of what happening in mental health.

I also really appreciate when my love of music, passion for mental health and life in advertising collide. It’s even better when it’s in a positive way.

Here’s how it happened:

Hip-Hop artist, Logic — a modern day rapper with a real talent for storytelling recently released his third studio album, Everybody. Overall a great album but one track sticks out the most. The 10th track.

According to Spotify, his album’s 10th track is undisputedly the most popular. Since its release, it’s been played over 82 million times, which is more than double the plays the album’s initial single. As of 6/19/17, the track ranked 15th on Spotify’s United States Top 50 most played. Why?

It’s a tragic, but captivating story about contemplating suicide, finding hope, and then leading to recovery. It’s not unusual to find songs that tackle heavy topics. But mental health? Suicide? It’s not really a formula for a club banger.

What makes this track even more special is its title — “1–800–273–8255.” The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

According to a Billboard Music interview with Frances Gonzales, the Director of Communications for The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, they were well aware of the song ahead of its release date. Logic and his people had reached out in hopes of a partnership. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline gladly granted Logic permission to use their number as the song’s title.

This isn’t your typical brand + influencer partnership, but it’s one I can truly get behind. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline saw a large increase in calls the day the album was released. I would be remiss if I contributed the increase in calls solely to the song’s release. But there’s no doubt in my mind that someone was touched by his song and chose to seek help.

It’s an unconventional execution that has the ability to add real value to those who come in contact with it. And isn’t that why we’re in the Ad business — to find unique ways to reach and connect with people? To add some sort of value to their life? And in this case maybe even save a life?

Great song. Great opportunity. Great partnership.

Update coming soon.