What is ASMR and Why Does it Keep Showing Up in Ads?

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) videos are becoming weirdly popular marketing content.

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BY Kayla Matthews - 12 Sep 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

If you're looking for the latest marketing trend, look no further than autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR). More people are searching for ASMR videos than almost any other topic right now, making it one of the hottest trends around. Quite simply, ASMR is a sound that people have a response to. People often find the videos relaxing. There are about 5.2 million ASMR videos on YouTube and the people viewing them are from all over the world.

People are searching for these niche videos as a way to relax and some ASMR artists are becoming quite famous. If you visit YouTube and search for this phenomenon, you'll likely run across people with soothing-sounding names, such as GentleWhispering or the smooth tones of the old videos of artist and TV personality Bob Ross.

How can you apply this to marketing? There are a couple of ways you can utilize ASMR to advertise your brand.

Team Up with an ASMR Artist

Because ASMR videos are growing in popularity, some ASMR artists have gained quite a following and become influencers in this niche. With millions of followers, getting them behind your product also gives you access to those people. You can see which artists are most popular by the number of followers they have on social media and YouTube. YouTube also lets you see just how engaged their fans are and if they are responding to the videos of that artist.

For example, a beauty brand might have an artist use their products in a video or even just shout out to their followers that they are trying out the brand and that the brand is a sponsor of their work. A simple shout out from an influencer can drive thousands of visitors to your website.

In an ASMR video, an artist might unwrap candies and crinkle the wrappers to create a sound that will elicit the autonomous sensory meridian response. If you are a candy company, you could ask an artist to use your products in a video. Part of the video could focus in on the logo, and within the description, they might thank your company for the candies used in the video and include a link to your website. Some brands have already teamed up with ASMR artists to get additional reach for their companies. Dove candies create an ASMR ad using this technique.

Create an ASMR Video for Your Brand

If you really want to throw your company into ASMR marketing, consider making a video of your own. One example of this is Ikea's 25-minute ASMR ad. In the ad, "Oddly Ikea," the focus is on products for a college dorm room. The focus is on the products and not on the woman narrating the ad. She tells viewers to listen to the sound of the sheets as she runs her hand over them, for example. She repeats this with a variety of products.

This type of video works particularly well for a brand with a product to sell that could produce soothing sounds that will elicit that sensory response.

It's estimated that influencer marketing will turn into a $5-$10 billion industry within five years. With the influence of ASMR growing and artists taking on an almost-celebrity status, it's an ideal time to look into the genre as means of expanding your online reach. Maybe it is a trend that will go away just like parachute pants and MySpace. Or maybe it will continue to grow. Either way, now is a good time to take a closer look at ASMR marketing.