How Are Brands Using ASMR Content to Engage Customers

Brent Barnhart

May 30, 2021

Brent Barnhart

May 30, 2021

Trying to wrap your head around the popularity of ASMR content ?

Trust us: you’re definitely not alone.

But hey, social media is all about understanding and capitalizing on trends. Although it may have grown from a niche audience online, ASMR content is booming right now.

For evidence, look no further than the 10+ million ASMR-tagged posts on Instagram or the staggering 100+ billion TikTok views under the #ASMR tag

If you don’t quite “get” ASMR or the Internet’s fascination with it, we’ve got you covered. 

In this guide, we’ll break down in plain English what ASMR is and how brands are using ASMR content at large.

 

What is ASMR, Anyway?

Let’s kick things off with a quick definition.

“ASMR” stands for “autonomous sensory meridian response.” Soft, subtle sounds and motions can trigger a calming or pleasing sensation in some people (sometimes known as “tingles”). ASMR content is centred around producing satisfying sounds and motions for the viewer to experience, typically presented in video form.

If you want a more in-depth look at the science of ASMR, check out this video:

 

ASMR content has exploded in popularity over the past couple of years, but it’s more or less been around since the dawn of video content. From “satisfying” videos (see below) to soft-spoken narrations (think: Bob Ross), the idea behind ASMR isn’t necessarily breaking news.

 

However, the nature of modern ASMR content is admittedly strange to folks who’ve never encountered it before. 

By nature, many ASMR videos are in-your-face and intimate. While some people simply rely on ASMR content to relax or sleep, others are interested in the roleplay or parasocial relationships with content creators.

But as odd as it may seem, ASMR content is ridiculously popular. There’s no shortage of trending creators with millions of views on YouTube alone, not to mention ASMR TikTokers and Instagram personalities.

Furthermore, the “frisson” created by ASMR content is a powerful force for brands. Beyond emotional ads that tug at our heartstrings, there’s no other type of content that can produce as strong a physiological response as ASMR can. For brands, that’s powerful.

And despite popular belief, not all ASMR content has to be “weird.” In fact, we’re actually seeing more and more massive brands using ASMR content in some way, shape or form.

 

What Are Some Examples of ASMR Content?

Now that we’ve spelled out the concept, let’s look at some examples of traditional (and off-the-wall) ASMR content that we see from creators and brands alike.

Perhaps the most straightforward type of content for creating “tingles” involves touching surfaces and textures. You can almost view this as a sort of evolution of old-school content formats such as unboxing videos. The difference is that the narrative about the products being presented is replaced by high-quality audio.

Then, there’s “whispering” and roleplay-style content. This typically involves a creator softly speaking to viewers directly, incorporating props that produce satisfying sounds. Although some whispering content is sensual, it’s surprisingly mainstream and advertiser-friendly in some cases. Many of these videos center around calming and/or reducing anxiety.

Oh, and we can’t talk about ASMR content without bringing up mukbang videos. A trend from South Korea, conventional mukbang content involves watching (and listening to) people eat food. Although foodie videos have traditionally been popular on YouTube, mukbang videos often involve exotic foods or massive meals. Mukbang-related content is currently all-the-rage on TikTok.

 

How Can Brands Leverage and Create ASMR content?

At a glance, the idea of brands getting on board with ASMR might seem bizarre.

But as noted earlier, we’re seeing it more and more. Below are some ways that brands are taking advantage of sensation-centric.

 

Product Usage and How-To's

Simply put, certain industries lend themselves to ASMR content that involves their products. This includes:

  • Beauty, skincare and makeup

  • Home goods (particularly related to sleep)

  • Food

  • Art and painting

  • Fashion

If you’re already interested in video marketing and have a high-quality microphone on deck, you might be surprised at how easy it is to create ASMR videos implementing your products. For example, ASMR makeup tutorials have practically taken over Instagram.

Unboxing and Packaging Videos

As noted earlier, unboxing videos are sort of a precursor to ASMR content. Whether it’s influencers unboxing your own products or showing off the packing of your own stuff, this is a more “conventional” approach to ASMR that brands can work with.

 


Sponsored Content

This is the big one for brands.

Keep in mind that there are tons of ASMR influencers out there on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. If your product is the right fit for ASMR content, getting a shout-out is pretty seamless. For example, sleep brands might sponsor whisper content, food brands can sponsor mukbang videos and so on.

 

 

 

What are Some Good Examples of Brands Using ASMR Content?

We totally understand if you think that the ASMR trend is way too strange for your own brand.

Then again, ASMR really has become mainstream and so many big brands are on board. We’ll wrap things up with a few prime examples.

This journey from Audi Australia is a creative yet brilliant use of ASMR. The video below highlights how low-hanging ASMR content can be, especially if you’re focused on relaxation and helping your audience chill.

 

This video from H&R Block manages to poke a bit of fun at the ASMR trend while creating some tingles in the process. Self-awareness and humor can definitely take away some of the awkwardness that comes with producing ASMR videos.

 

Finally, this bedroom tidy-up video from Ikea is a simple example of how to show off your products in action using ASMR. The act of tidying is both satisfying from both a visual and audio perspective, creating a sense of calm and comfort.

 

 

Does ASMR Content Make Sense for You?

No matter how weird ASMR might seem, the Internet’s obsession with “tingles” is impossible to deny.

If nothing else, this is a prime example of how seemingly niche trends evolve on social media. Likewise, ASMR is an illustration of how brands can hop on trends and get more eyes on their products at the same time.

And if you’re looking for help with your social strategy or coming up with fresh campaign ideas, make sure to contact Hello Social today.

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