See Me – Feels FM 2.0


Back in 2018, we were tasked by See Me, our long-standing client and Scotland’s body for tackling mental health stigma and discrimination, to create a campaign that got young people talking about their mental health. Focussing on 8-26-year-olds, this would be no easy task. We needed to empower young people to open up and share their thoughts and feelings as simply as possible, and if we could make it fun, bonus. 

This required a unique approach – we couldn’t talk at our target audience, we needed them to talk to us. Through initial research, we found young people were already talking about how they felt in their own way, using two expressive shorthands; music and emojis. Sharing song lyrics on social channels and replying to messages with a single character, reading between the lines revealed more than we anticipated.

How could we join this conversation? Could we create a platform that facilitated it?


FeelsFM was born – the world’s first emoji-powered jukebox. More than a music player, this online platform served playlists based on how you were feeling. While your selection was generated, our friendly, conversational chatbot asked a few more questions about the emoji of choice to tailor the tunes while gathering further insights. Young people were opening up more than they had before without realising, and in doing so were rewarded with a unique playlist saved to their Spotify account. 

In the first few months, FeelsFM had over 70,000 visitors, with 5,000 young people sharing valuable insights which would later be used to inform policy change in the Scottish Government. We even made prime time news. In the words of Shania Twain (sorry not sorry), ‘looks like we made it’.  Young people were engaging with the platform, opening up and sharing not only how they felt but also ways in which adults could help them feel better too.


Fast forward to 2021. Three years on and people were still engaging with FeelsFM – it was clear our online jukebox was more than just a one-hit wonder. But to our audience, 3 years is a long time. Primary schoolers had graduated to secondary school, secondary schoolers had graduated full stop. Feels FM dropped pre-Capaldi (imagine!), and ‘Blinding Lights’ was merely a glimmer in The Weeknd’s eye – to remain relevant, our jukebox needed dusting off and a bit of an update. It was time to get back into the (creative) studio (remotely) and work on the follow-up.


This wasn’t a reinvention, more of an evolution. Thanks to backend data, we knew what was working and what could be done a little better. So as well as updating the music library, we took this as an opportunity to tighten up the dialogue with our listeners – retaining questions that were answered every time and refreshing those that were getting skipped – after all, the objective here was still getting young people to talk. You listen to our jukebox, we’ll listen to you.


With fresh functioning came an even fresher aesthetic. Our second release became the bolder big brother to its pastel predecessor. More confident in colour and layout, this update felt a bit more ‘lived-in’. While we developed the new look and feel, digital innovation studio Neu worked on realising it, collaborating on builds, and where we could make the platform better.


Curating a new set of playlists meant more than swapping out songs. In the first iteration of FeelsFM, we asked listeners to choose which genre they wanted to hear. Rock, Pop, or RnB. Focus group research showed that in 3 short years, these were now dated – RnB no longer resonated (…don’t, we know), so genres became ‘moods’, which felt like a better fit anyway. Goodbye Rock, Pop, and RnB. Hello Fun, Quiet & Loud. As trends in emojis changed worldwide, we swapped a few of those out too, and of course, we welcomed Capaldi.


It wouldn’t be FeelsFM without some easter eggs. We wanted to create a space young people would want to explore and spend time in – the more familiar the space, the more likely we were to get open responses. So the most curious of users were to be rewarded. Hidden (in plain sight) beyond the jukebox is a handful of further features to explore – from games like etch-a-sketch and snake to useful resources on where to seek help if needed.


FeelsFM 2.0 is still very much alive and kicking, so the results are yet to come in. We’ll be sure to report back as soon as we know, but for now, why not step up to our jukebox and give it a spin yourself?


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