Sounds become protagonists with ASMR Marketing

In our daily life we are surrounded by millions of sounds: some more annoying, others much more tolerable and still others almost relaxing, sometimes so effective as to make you shiver or even sleep. 

This is what led to the success of one of the most popular trends on the web with over 45 million thematic videos: we are talking about ASMR, a sensory phenomenon that has gone viral in recent years and which has prompted many iconic brands to exploit it for their campaigns of marketing.



Coined in 2010, the term ASMR is the acronym for Autonomus Sensory Meridian Response and consists of a physical response to a sensory stimulus that would cause a form of deep relaxation, resulting from listening to certain sounds or seeing particular hand movements.

In fact, as suggested by Heather Feather, a popular ASMRtist with more than 500,000 subscribers on YouTube, these stimuli are defined as triggers because they are able to trigger fast and sudden sensations and can be of various types:


  • Auditory triggers: they are undoubtedly the most popular, they consist of movements made by the hands on objects or surfaces recorded by professional and extremely sensitive microphones. They are able to amplify the sound and make it even more intense. In addition, the so-called “whispering” videos, which consist of whispered stories capable of generating millions of views on YouTube, also belong to this category;


  • Visual triggers: these mainly concern the hand movements associated with cooking, make-up or hair styling tutorials;


  • Role play: these are real role-playing games based on particular sounds and tones of voice typical of ASMR videos.



If until a few years ago it was a phenomenon that involved a small community of fans, today this type of video has millions of views, especially on social networks such as YouTube and TikTok, where real ASMR influencers have been created.

The media coverage of this phenomenon has led many companies to take into consideration the potential that sound branding can have in their marketing strategies. For this reason, numerous brands have decided to offer consumers authentic sensory experiences, through commercials or content for social media.



One of the most revolutionary experiments was that of IKEA, which in 2017 launched the “Oddly IKEA” campaign (click here to see it), which consisted of an ASMR video lasting 25 minutes, aimed at introducing university students to the products that they could have accompanied them in their college experience.

Another example of sound branding is definitely the Nutella commercial “There is time for us”, in which users are transported to the typical weekend breakfast, enhancing the sounds and noises in order to make the experience even more relaxing.

The use of ASMR videos for cosmetic and beauty products is also very common. This is undoubtedly the case of Head & Shoulders and its 2019 commercial in which Federica Pellegrini softly whispers the advertising claim and recalls the relaxing sound of the hands in her hair (click here to see it).

Finally, one of the most innovative brands in the world could not be missing: Coca Cola, which once again stands out for the originality of its advertising campaigns.

In fact, in the 2019 commercial “Try Not To Hear This”, he decides to insert some scenes without audio, inviting consumers to imagine the typical sounds of uncorking a bottle or opening a can which, inevitably, are associated with Coca Cola products. The video aimed to offer a real sensory experience by stimulating the feeling of thirst in users (click here to see it).



Although many scholars question the scientific evidence of this phenomenon, there is no doubt that the future scenarios of advertising will see numerous sensory branded content techniques as protagonists, inspired by the ASMR trend.

Even on social networks, content of this type seems to increase daily, just think of the podcasts with relaxing and comfortable sounds from Spotify or the most recent example of the Clubhouse app, a social based solely on voice, which seems to have encountered many positive opinions from of users due to the presence of auditory triggers.