Women-Owned Wellness App Shine Debuts First TV Campaign

Droga5 helps bring the brand’s inclusive ethos to life

WOC meditating
Shine was founded by a Black woman and a half-Japanese woman. Shine
Headshot of Minda Smiley

Shine, a self-care app founded by two women of color, has debuted its first major advertising campaign.

Created pro bono by Droga5, a TV spot called “The Reckoning” is airing nationally on broadcast and cable channels. The video will also run on social platforms. Filmmaker Christian Padron directed the spot and Ryan Marie Helfant served as director of photography.

Shine, which includes meditations, podcasts and other self-care tools, caters to BIPOC men and women. Much of its content focuses on mental health challenges faced by members of marginalized groups. For instance, one meditation focuses on “representation burnout,” a term that refers to exhaustion that comes with being the only person of a particular identity within a group.

“We started Shine four years ago, fueled by the frustration that wellness was almost always portrayed as a one-dimensional, homogenous persona. It didn’t feel like anyone was speaking about what it looked like to live ‘well’ with our life experiences, skin tones, body types, financial access—or even our personalities,” said co-founder Marah Lidey, who is Black. “That’s why, as we enter these final months of 2020, we believe this is a crucial time for more people to know that a space like Shine and inclusive mental health support exists.”

Shine co-founder Naomi Hirabayashi, who is half-Japanese, said she and Lidey are “really selective” about who they partner with. Hirabayashi said they in part chose to collaborate with Droga5 on the campaign because of the agency’s diverse team that “understood from their own experience what it feels like to be overlooked in the mainstream wellness space.”

“It’s not every day that the Agency of the Decade generously offers up the opportunity to work pro bono together,” she said. “We’ve been fans of Droga5’s work for a long time, and we’re proud we got to work together to highlight the importance of mental health support for people who have been overlooked, disregarded or ignored for far too long.”

In recent years, Droga5 has perhaps become best known for its work with the New York Times. The publisher’s ongoing “Truth” campaign created by the agency shines a light on the hard work done by its journalists. At last year’s Cannes Lions, the campaign took home the Grand Prix in the Film Craft category.

Elena Knox, creative director at Droga5, said the concept for Shine’s campaign stemmed from the story of its founders and their reasons for creating the app.

“They didn’t see themselves or their experiences in the mental wellness space and thus felt excluded from those who ‘deserved’ daily self care,” Knox said. “So we decided to highlight that problem as a level set with our audience to acknowledge that struggle and introduce Shine as an inclusive space to heal.”

Shine currently has more than four million users around the world. The app offers a free version as well as subscription-based one that costs $11.99 per month or $53.99 per year.


@Minda_Smiley minda.smiley@adweek.com Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.
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