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What’s this ASMR internet craze?

We hate to say we told you so, but we have written on our blog, and spoken with numerous clients about the ‘power of sound’ over the years. It’s something we are truly passionate about here at ED Creative as you can create amazing reactions and responses purely with sound alone.

Having no visuals with a marketing campaign is not unfavourable. It’s an opportunity to capture the imagination and take it on an audible journey into their psyche.

Enter the new craze of “ASMR” sweeping through the internet like an irritatingly addictive earworm wrangling its way into our sensory nerve-endings.

ASMR isn’t something new of course. Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. It can be caused by visual or touch triggers, but the one that seems to have been captured within the world wide web is audio. ASMR can be triggered by a variety of sounds such as whispering in someone’s ear, or hearing someone speak quietly, close-mic. Or it can be non-vocal from typing on a keyboard and tapping nails on a desk to rain hitting a canopy and chopping vegetables. And in recent months, it has become something of an obsession with many people watching hours of You Tube videos of people doing these menial yet intimate tasks. Search ASMR on You Tube and you’ll find hours of footage with millions of views… It’s amazing what the human brain craves when it comes to audio.

However random, and however unusual these sounds might be upon first hearing of the craze, one thing unites them all – The power of sound.

When it comes to creating radio commercials, podcasts and documentary content with our marketing clients, we always hope to create an emotional response. Something that entices the listener to take action once they’ve heard it. We need them to be emotionally engaged in what they are hearing to enable their head and their heart to make the decision to part with their cash.

However, ASMR is different as it provokes a physical response in one’s body. It’s something we have no power over, and yet is incredibly effective (and a little bit creepy, we must say)!

In recent studies of the feelings experienced by those affected by these peculiar sounds include tingling on their scalp, neck and spine and unusual ‘shivers’ akin to feeling a very mild electric current.

Whilst this may be yet another internet craze we will look back upon with pure confusion and astonishment, there’s no denying that we all have a sensitivity to things we hear, and when the right words, the right sounds and the right context comes together, it can create a truly remarkable reaction in the listener.

Still not sure what ASMR is? We’ve put together a short audio clip here of an example. However, we don’t profess to be superb ‘ASMRtists’ (yep, that’s what they call themselves!), so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t trigger the responses mentioned above.