ASB & Youthline launch Bagels by Benee a new song to help ease anxious feelings via The Monkeys Aotearoa

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AUCKLAND, Today: Providing Kiwi youth with a new tool to help them live life one step ahead, The Monkeys Aotearoa, ASB and Youthline have released Bagels, a new song scientifically designed and tested to help ease anxious feelings.

The partners have paired pop star Benee with neuroscientists from AUT to produce the song. 

The objective 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 NZ 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 on social media, including TikTok and Instagram, along with digital, out of home and radio.”

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 chief marketing officer Helen Fitzsimons said: “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.”

AUT lead professor Dr Dan Shepherd said: “We carried out neurological and physiological testing on 30 participants to test its effectiveness at reducing symptoms of anxiety. It works.”

The Monkeys CCO Damon Stapleton said: “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.”

Benee said: “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.


Client: ASB
Chief Marketing Officer: Helen Fitzsimons
Brand Experience Lead: Bianca Osborne
Marketing Manager, Community Partnerships: Hannah McHugh
Executive Manager, Commercial Partnerships: Mark Graham
Senior Social Media Manager: Jasmine Taggart
Senior External Communications Manager: Hannah Searle
Social Media Specialist: Christienne Jauregui
External Communications Specialist: Bisera Martinovska
Associate Marketing Manager: Samantha Wootten


Chief Executive Officer: Shae Ronald
Clinical and Services Manager: Joanna Madsen
Fundraising, Marketing and Communications Manager: David Baker
Partnerships Specialist: Tiffany Eastgate

Agency: The Monkeys Aotearoa, part of Accenture Song
Chief Creative Officer: Damon Stapleton
Chief Business Officer: Storm Day
Head of Strategy: Tom Sykes
Senior Strategist: Craig McLeod
Head of Integrated Production: Rosie Grayson
Group Business Director: Ruth Coulson
Senior Business Manager: Olive Broughton
Creative Director: James Conner
Creative Director: Christie Cooper
Senior Art Director: Liz Richards
Senior Copywriter: Nick Dellabarca
Art Director: Jack Close
Copywriter: Zak Hawkins
Design Lead: Lucinda Fortescue-Hansen
Senior Finished Artist: Lisa Stowers
PR Consultant: Kimberley Kastelan

Music production partners
Songwriter/Artist: Benee
Songwriter/Producer: Josh Fountain
BVs: Tiare Kelly
Vocal engineer: Doug Clarke
Mix engineer: Aaron Short
Mastering engineer: Chris Chetland
Manager, CRS Management: Campbell Smith

AUT: Dr Daniel Shepherd, Dr Mangor Pedersen, Dr Amy Kercher, Geet Vashista.

Production partners
Production Company: Assembly
Director: Matt Von Trott
Lead Art Direction and Animation : Josh Fourt-Wells
Art Direction and Animation: Frankie Principe
3D Animator: Elliot Stronge
Motion Designer: Will Bardebes
Executive Producer: Jane Oak
DOP: Darryl Ward
Photographer and retouching: Frances Carter, Loupe Agency
Agent: Emily Moon, Loupe Agency

Design Agency: One Design
Videographer: Finn Cochrane
Grade: Pete Ritchie
Online: Creature Films
Sound Mixing: Liquid Studios

Media partners: Dentsu NZ, Acquire NZ, Search Republic

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