The popularity of ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, videos has steadily grown since the phenomenon was first named in 2010. In fact, in 2019, “ASMR” was the top non-branded search term on YouTube with 2.9 million monthly searches. With all that traffic, it’s no wonder big brands have started to take notice and create ASMR-style videos that feature their products. To better understand this trend and to see if it could be a good fit for your brand, too, let’s take a closer look at what ASMR means and how brands have been using it to market their products.
What Is ASMR?
ASMR is a term for a relaxing sensation or euphoric feeling that some people experience when they see and hear certain audio/visual stimuli. It’s often described as a tingling feeling that starts on the scalp and runs down the spine. Other people experience deep relaxation from the same types of stimuli and report feeling so relaxed that they fall asleep. Not everyone experiences the ASMR phenomenon, but enough people do that it’s making a splash.
The term ASMR was first coined in 2010 by Jennifer Allen when she created a Facebook group looking for other people who experience this feeling. She found a huge community, and while there has been little scientific research done on ASMR, the popularity of videos made to create this response in people is undeniable.
The tingly, euphoric feeling or deep relaxation of ASMR is often associated with a variety of triggers. Those common in videos are whispered voices, the sounds everyday objects make when handled, fingernails tapping, and even quiet role-play of being doted on.
How ASMR Applies to Marketing
If your products are a good fit for this type of video, then adding a video with ASMR in the title to YouTube or with #AMSR on TikTok is a great way to introduce your product to a new audience, particularly if you’re targeting Gen Z or younger Millennials.
To do this well, think about how your buyers would use your product and how you could showcase that in an ASMR-friendly way. Show someone quietly enjoying your product or highlight the sounds hands make as they interact with it, or the sounds of the product itself. Think meat sizzling as it cooks, beer bottles clinking cheers, champagne corks popping or soda fizzing.
Make sure that your video not only features ASMR triggers but that it is also properly labeled and hashtagged with the keyword ASMR to get shown in the right places to the audience you’re intending to target.
Let’s look at how a few big brands are using ASMR to feature their products in clever new ways.
Examples of ASMR in Marketing
Michelob Ultra – “Pure Gold”
Probably the most famous example of ASMR in marketing is this Michelob Ultra ad from the 2019 Super Bowl called “Pure Gold.” You know that ASMR in advertising is mainstream when it’s featured during a Super Bowl commercial. In this commercial, actress Zoe Kravitz showcases Michelob Ultra using classic ASMR triggers of whispering, tapping and more.
KFC – “Finger Lickin’ Good Vibes”
In many movies, the sound of rain is actually the sound of chicken or bacon frying. This video from KFC (likely highly inspired by this 2015 Storyblocks/Audioblocks ad), blends ASMR with a little humor in pointing out pointing out the similarities between the sound of the rain and the sound of chicken frying. This video works for a broad audience, because even if you aren’t affected by the ASMR sensations, you can still enjoy the levity and ingeniousness of the ad itself.
Behr Paint – Behr ASMR Series
You might not have thought about paint being an appealing ASMR product, but Behr excellently showcases the sounds of flipping through paint swatches, stirring paint, and even taping off trim in this video. And all throughout, you’re getting an up-close look at a variety of Behr’s colorful paint options.
Interestingly, this video isn’t true ASMR. While styled in the same way, the sound in this video is done through foley, which is a term for everyday sounds added to video. In other words, the close-up sounds have been edited into the video in post-production, but it still offers an ASMR effect.
Coach – “The Sounds of Craftmanship”
Coach has an ingenious take on ASMR in this video where they share the sounds of one of their leather bags being cut, sewn and detailed. Not only is it relaxing and oddly satisfying, but the imagery also shows the care and hand detail that goes into each one of their high-end bags.
This video also seems to have edited the sounds in during post-production, but as you can see (and hear) the effect is still stunning.
A great example of quick ASMR for social media, Stroh’s Beer does short videos on their Instagram that highlight the cracking of a can of beer and the fizzy carbonation as it’s poured into a glass. While traditional ASMR doesn’t include music, these videos do, which combines a mass appeal and entertainment factor, while still leveraging tingle-inducing sounds. Watch it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B6TfRXKlqQN/
In summary, if you sell a product and are looking to reach new consumers (especially a younger audience) ASMR could be a good trend to join! Our video team can help you develop your next creative marketing video—ASMR or otherwise. Reach out today to start a conversation about video and motion graphics.