The singer recently teamed up with hospitality chain Hyatt for its new “For a World of Understanding” ad campaign, which launched Sunday during the Oscars. In the inclusivity-driven spot, the Grammy-nominated star covers Burt Bacharach’s classic “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” backing clips that show people from all walks of life coming together around the world.
“It was great to see a brand with such a big name and such a presence globally to use this platform to spread this kind of message, especially in this time when people need encouragement,” Day, 32, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “They need to feel like they’re being heard. But we also need to encourage people to be more understanding of others and to be willing to listen and to be willing to empathize, and that’s what the core of this campaign is about. I was looking forward to being a part of that movement.”
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The retro soul performer — who is currently preparing the follow-up to her 2015 breakthrough Cheers to the Fall — hopes viewers come away with a little bit more compassion after seeing the clip.
“Part of the reason I enjoyed it so much is because the commercial seems very selfless; you don’t know it’s a Hyatt commercial until the very end,” she says. “The goal here to me is changing people’s perspectives about each other and getting them to understand that we need each other. And in order to function at our highest, we need to value each other, and that is the goal of this campaign: empathy, understanding.”