ASMR. It’s suddenly everywhere… and you might not even notice that you’ve seen it. But what actually is it, and can brands or profiles utilise it to reach new viral audiences?

Autonomous sensory meridian response, also known as ASMR, is an experience where your body gets static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically beginning on the scalp and moving down the back of the neck and upper spine.

Japanese journalists have used the snappy but inaccurate terms “brain orgasm” and “whisper porn” for it too… Which is, well… off putting! YouTube is home to more than 13 million of these videos, which, once you seen a few will pull you straight into a rabbit hole of odd-ness.

ASMR triggers range from popping and crunching sounds, soft sand sounds, whispering, fabric or something that’s pleasing to the eye such as hair being cut or a meal being cooked or eaten.

It’s recommended to wear headphones while engaging with the videos, as it intensifies the sensation by making it feel surround sound, and allowing you to feel deeper engaged with the sound.

There’s literally something for everyone. If you’re a foodie there’s eating nuggets (42 million views), if you’re slightly OCD there’s organising make-up (290,000 views), and how-to videos (10 million views) and everything in-between.

Now, brands are getting in on the act too, especially food brands! Burger King wants you to know how enjoyable the crunch into their burger is, so created that mouthwatering feeling through an ASMR advertising.

This also helped users align the brand with the sound, and the product alongside a satisfying experience, whether by sound or by imagined taste. It’s using pretty normal advertising content and elevating it to a whole new experience making you imagine feeling, smell and even taste of what is being seen or heard!

KFC UK also got in on the act, check it out here.

It’s a pretty dynamic format, and in another industry IKEA tried out ASMR a with an advert which led to 27% more sales on the type of products shown in the ad which focuses on a bedroom setup.

If that wasn’t enough, even men’s grooming has been upgraded with an ASMR twist. Lynx offered to give men lessons in ‘manscaping’, with a set of films that used ASMR to immerse the viewer in the shaving experience.

While watching, viewers can enjoy immersive sounds of shaving foam being sprayed, bathrobes being dropped, and a razor scraping over hair.. As well some pretty suggestive imagery. Err.

Does it work? Kind of… Thought I can’t imagine many people relax whilst shaving, but prove me wrong!

Overall, ASMR is an exciting experience that is swelling in scale. On Instagram alone there’s 6.7 million posts featuring the #ASMR hashtag, and with ASMR-influencers now becoming as big, if not bigger, than some musicians it’s a trend that’s worth keeping an eye and ear on! (get it…)

It allows brands to use traditional and digital media such as video, or static imagery while overlaying with super high quality sound.

In a world and online space that is so fast paced and constantly moving, it allows viewers to take a break and build an emotional or physical connection to people and things. It’s also exciting for marketeers as you’re not targeting by demographics, but by how people experience.

With so much happening, slowing down and doing the very opposite could really work for you. But it is limited…

Not everyone is on board with the tingling feeling, and it could leave viewers turned off or even confused, therefore it is important to ensure you still have something relatable or interesting in your content to captivate and convert them.

If your content is right, and you’re creating food, lifestyle or experience-focused content for your brand… it could be the perfect new content stream to consider!

What do you think of ASMR? Are you a fan, or do you have an ASMR-influencer fave? Let me know in the comments below…