Can you hear that? It’s the sizzling, smacking sound of sensory videos overtaking the digital marketing world.
If you don’t know much (or anything at all) about autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) videos, you’d better catch up. They’ve been circulating since 2010 but just recently hit mainstream viewership. ASMR was the top non-branded YouTube search term in 2019, at one point garnering 8.2 million searches in one month. There were more searches for ASMR than for music. The genre is turning college kids into millionaire celebrities, and even big brands are trying it on for size.
Merriam-Webster defines ASMR as “the ‘tingly feeling’ that travels from the head downward that some experience in response to certain sounds, feelings, or descriptions. These can include soft whispering, crinkling paper, or a gentle touch.”
Researchers from the University of Sheffield found that those who experience the phenomenon had significantly reduced heart rates while watching ASMR videos compared to people who do not experience ASMR. They also showed significant increases in positive emotions including relaxation and feelings of social connection.
“Lots of people report experiencing ASMR since childhood and awareness of the sensation has risen dramatically over the past decade due to internet sites such as YouTube and Reddit,” says Dr. Giulia Poerio of the University of Sheffield’s Department of Psychology.
Not everyone experiences ASMR “tingles,” which makes ASMR videos so polarizing. You either love them or you hate them, it seems. And those who do experience ASMR aren’t all triggered by the same things. Some people love food sounds, others prefer scratching/tapping/clicking sounds, still others just want someone to whisper sweet nothings to help them fall asleep.
Ready to find out if you’re susceptible to ASMR’s enchantments? Try watching Gibi ASMR’s “Dark & Relaxing Tapping & Scratching” video during which she PLAYS WITH A PIECE OF TOAST.
Get in on the Act
Ready to catch the ASMR wave? You could always sponsor or advertise on a popular ASMRist’s YouTube channel, but why not get more creative? If you have a great camera and exceptional audio equipment, you’re just one tantalizing idea away from ASMR stardom.
A few brands have already blazed a trail for you:
- There’s Reese’s feature-length “Reese the Movie: A Movie About Reese” starring five of YouTube’s top ASMRists whispering around a table and, of course, eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups…with 617,000 views and counting.
- Ikea’s “Oddly Ikea” 25-minute ASMR video is confusingly disturbing. I guess in a good way since it has 2.7 million views.
- Applebee’s Grill & Bar has more than 72,000 views of various meats sizzling on the grill for one hour.
- But then the Beef Council scored more than 82,000 viewers with its 2-hour “Drool Log” holiday video of prime rib roasting over an open flame.
- And do you remember Zoe Kravitz’s ASMR commercial for Michelob Ultra during the 2019 Superbowl?
Pokemon just jumped on the bandwagon as well. With millions of viewers up for grabs, it might be worth consideration. Who’s ready to scratch and smooch your way to pure branding gold?