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4 Big Brands Using ASMR in Their Video Marketing

4 Big Brands Using ASMR in Their Video Marketing Blog Feature

Nick Bennett

Account Executive, Partnerships & Events, Retains 16 HubSpot Certifications, 8+ Years Experience in Customer Service & Marketing Strategy

February 4th, 2019 min read

If you’re not familiar with it, ASMR has been around for about nine years now.

The concept first showed up in a Facebook group in 2010 that set out to understand what would soon become an auditory phenomenon.

Since then, it has become so popular (I’m talking subscribers in the millions) on YouTube and Instagram, big brands have started to take notice, using the sensory elements of their products to appeal to a younger, techier (albeit millennial) audience.

In fact, "ASMR" is currently the top non-branded search term on YouTube, with 2.9 million searches monthly. That's something to sit up and pay attention to. 

Wait, What is ASMR?

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, but it is referring to the static-like or tingling sensation you get on your skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine (typically described as “low-grade” euphoria) when you hear -- well, at this point, anything at a very high quality and through headphones.

At its surface, ASMR does not seem to possess much value to marketers.

But then why would brands want to do this? Is it because everyone else is doing it? Well, probably, but there’s more to it than that.

Why Do Marketers Care About The ASMR Audience?

ASMR is a new frontier for marketers. It gives you the opportunity to think about your product from a sensory perspective, rather than just features.

In other words, it’s not just a lighter, a beer, a bed sheet, or even a piece of chicken, but something that elicits a physical response.

ASMR taps into the sensory experience of using your product; the little things that make it memorable or delightful but may often go overlooked.

As marketers, we are constantly trying to connect the dots between the way the products or services we market and the way they make our customers feel.

Often times we rely on the anecdotal evidence to illustrate those points. However, now, with tactics like this, we're seeing brands uncover ways to truly explain and share the experience that is doing business with them before money is exchanged.

Furthermore, ASMR is an investment in the millennial market, as 18 - 24-year-olds comprise about 50% of the interested audience.

Sounds great, right? How can you do it?

Check out how four big brands are experimenting with ASMR marketing below:

1. BuzzFeed & Zippo


Capitalizing on the iconic clicking sound Zippos make when they are opened and closed, this was a prime candidate for the ASMR audience.

Zippo is using this recognizable sound to connect with their audience and create a sensory memory.

2. Oddly IKEA


IKEA is going directly after college students here.

Showing off their “college collection” in this video, IKEA is really hard selling the ASMR-ness of the everyday objects students have in their dorm.

With over 2 million views at the time of writing this, another ASMR YouTuber takes note of the rising trend.

Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 3.11.40 PM

3. Finger-Lickin' Good Vibes


This one is by far my favorite, and not just because it’s good on your ears.

Frankly, it’s good sound design, too. Every time you hear rain on a TV show or movie, it probably chicken (or bacon) frying.

Now, it’s definitely a stretch but KFC is trying to connect the dots between relaxation and eating their chicken and about halfway through its hard to figure out which one you want more.

4. The Pure Experience


This one, you may have noticed, is a bit more produced than the others. That’s because this is a Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Super Bowl 53 ad that aired during the Super Bowl this past Sunday.

Regardless of production value, this ad plays off of the same sentiment that Zippos did: our product makes great sounds and we want you to hear it and think of us.

The only downfall is that the ASMR effect may have been lost on the viewers during a Super Bowl party…

Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 3.33.53 PM

By Now You’re Probably Thinking, “This is Ridiculous.”

And maybe it is -- but just a little.

What isn’t ridiculous about all of this skin-tingly goodness is that there is a distinct trend of more brands tapping into it to see if they can connect more deeply with millennial audiences.

ASMR offers a new, psychological way of making your product irresistible to buyers and while it may seem unusual, I think it’s only a matter of time before it becomes quite commonplace.

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