Recently, ASMR Social Videos (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), where such triggers like whispering, crumpling paper, or loud chewing produce a tingling sensation on the scalp and the back of the neck, have been having a moment in consumer brand advertising.
Michelob Ultra ran an ASMR ad featuring actress Zoe Kravitz talked softly into a microphone while tapping her nails against a beer bottle during the Super Bowl and brands like Taco Bell, IKEA, and KFC all have had prominent ASMR campaigns.
While ASMR has been slightly more under the radar for Media and Entertainment brands, the industry has also been utilizing ASMR for years on social media, often to great success. Here are some notable examples of how media brands have leveraged ASMR video, why it’s still relevant in promoting narrative content, and best practices around using ASMR video on social media.
Tip #1. For Trailers, ASMR Should Be A Tool Not The Focus
Traditionally, ASMR videos are the opposite of story-driven, as they’re largely consumed as background ambience to relax people like white noise or lighting a candle. However, for film or TV show trailers where narrative is more important, there’s an entirely different expectation for what ASMR should be.
For example, a teaser for Netflix series ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ generated 121K responses across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook between February 21 – October 14, 2019. It has all the hallmarks of an ASMR video, including a whispering voice, loud noises from inanimate objects like a creaking door, and minimalist visuals that draw attention back to the audio. Yet, at no point does the teaser or accompanying caption call out the fact that you’re watching ASMR, because the goal is to get the audience interested in watching ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ and not draw attention to how that’s happening.
If you’re using ASMR as a promotional tool in on social media in the context of a trailer for scripted content, there’s no reason to call attention to the ASMR.
Tip #2. Share And Label ASMR Scenes On Social Media
On the other hand, when sharing an entire ASMR scene from a film or TV show on social media, the audience becomes a lot more self-selecting, and ASMR should absolutely be called out in the video title. The film ‘Battle of The Sexes’ is a great example why.
Battle of The Sexes features a hairdressing scene that intentionally utilized ASMR. On September 22, 2017, the same day the film was released, The New York Times shared a video showing the entire scene where the film’s two directors talked over the footage to explain their use of sound.
It was a great earned opportunity to raise awareness of the movie, but it also led to an even better idea. Two months later, a fan uploaded the same scene with no commentary and ASMR in the video title, and got 549,874 video views on YouTube, which was nearly 10X as many views as the sanctioned video on the The New York Times’ YouTube channel received.
Basically, the audience who wants to analyze the audio of scene and the audience who wants to experience an ASMR scene is different—and there’s a much larger audience that wants to experience ASMR.
Projects that have ASMR scenes should release those scenes on social media ahead of the movie or TV episode’s release, and include ASMR in the title or caption. The quiet nature of ASMR makes it very unlikely there would be serious spoilers and it will only build interest for the project.
Tip #3. Playing ASMR For Comedy Pays Off On Social Media
Around the time when the 2018 version of the animated film ‘The Grinch’ was released into theaters, Universal Studios Hollywood shared an ASMR YouTube video of a live-action Grinch eating a raw onion. This video generated more than 3 million video views and 153K responses and was the theme park’s top performing content on social media that year.
Meanwhile, a ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ clip on YouTube where Maher and Moby started to do the show in ASMR to soothe themselves from the craziness of politics generated more than 231K video views and nearly 12K responses on YouTube. Additionally, the ‘Netflix Is A Joke’ account released a series of videos showing standup comics telling jokes in ASMR, the most successful of which featured Fortune Feimster and generated more than 4K responses on Facebook.
There’s no need to take ASMR seriously for it to be impactful on social media, and for the large audience segment that will never experience the tingling sensation it creates, videos joking about ASMR can be the most accessible.
Tip #4. ASMR Can Be Reused
While at first glance it might seem like ASMR could only be one time social media stunt for media and entertainment brands, in many cases the opposite is true. For many people, before ASMR even had a name, the PBS painting show ‘The Joy of Painting’ was where they first experienced the sensation. Bob Ross with his soft voice and the triggering brush and scraping sounds was an unintentional pioneer of ASMR and old episodes of his show have generated over 278 million video views on YouTube.
Another example of reusable ASMR-themed content is an ASMR Interview series that W Magazine has been doing, where celebrities answer questions on camera in a whisper, while experimenting with the sound of objects they’re handed. With different celebrities on camera every single time, the format doesn’t get stale–between October 15, 2018 – October 14, 2019, the series generated more than 62 million video views and nearly 1.5 million responses across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
As the audience that enjoys ASMR content are bulk consumers, brands that create a format that connects with genre enthusiasts will have them coming back again and again to watch the content on social media.
Tip #5. Many Types of Content can be ASMR Relevant
In the last year, a meme called ‘Reality TV Arguments: ASMR Edition’ has taken off Twitter, where the dialogue of famous screaming matches on reality shows like ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ and ‘Jersey Shore’ is rerecorded by fans with whispering. These dubs have generated millions of video views.
Given how crowded the social media space is for Media and Entertainment brands to get audiences’ attentions, ASMR social videos is a great way to help your project stand out. Through using a robust social analytics solution like ListenFirst, media brands get a clear picture of what’s working for the rest of the industry and what it will take to get your own social media content to the next level.
Want to learn even more about how ListenFirst can help optimize your content for the latest social media trends? Request a demo today!