SENSORY CHARGED VIDEO is a phenomenon and a new form of marketing that’s taking the world by storm. Fundamentally, SENSORY CHARGED VIDEO is a form of ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, but adapted for video marketing campaigns. In case you’ve been living under a rock, ASMR began back in 2009, when a YouTube channel by the name WhisperingLife uploaded what is widely considered to be the first ASMR video of a black screen with a voice that breaks the silence with a gentle close-up ‘hello’.
ASMR is the tingling sensation we get on top of our scale and down our spine from particular audio stimuli. Those we listen to with relaxing voices or certain sounds can trigger this in us, with different people finding certain sounds more stimulating than others. It’s been called close to euphoric. Some of the most common ways so-called ASMRtists elicit these relaxing physical sensations are by speaking softly into a microphone, tapping, chewing gum, and scraping. And since that first sensory video, hundreds if not thousands of new YouTube channels have popped up as millions tune in for mass tingle euphoria and relaxation.
With the widespread success of ASMR, many successful YouTubers making millions of leading brands such as Coca-Cola, IKEA, and Lindt have got in on the trend. By adapting ASMR and creating SENSORY CHARGED VIDEO for branding campaigns, brands of all kinds are supercharging a more personalised experience for consumers. These sensory videos make consumers feel the product through the seduction of sensitive sounds.
Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most recognisable and wealthiest brands, combined their iconic fizz, crack, and pop sounds and created a SENSORY CHARGED VIDEO of their own.
The power of SENSORY CHARGED VIDEOS lies in the ability for them to stimulate good feelings that consumers physically feel through a video. Combining the unique science of creating pleasurable sensations while people see their favourite foods, drinks, and other consumables through video elicits a much more personalised experience. It helps consumers experience and experience again their favourite products.
Using the Coca-Cola sensory video as an example, the wonderful sounds and sensations consumers get from that ad bring back memories of pleasure the last time they had a Coca-Cola. For brands, this heightened sensory experience triggers a more powerful desire to experience their products.
It’s also the case that these types of videos are more cost-effective. In general, the video imagery doesn’t require much. The gold is in the sounds. For brands, this means less time planning, less film role, and less time and effort trying to create storylines in different locations, which all adds up.
There’s also the novelty factor. After all, the average person is exposed to 6,000-10,000 ads per day. People naturally become numb to the same experience over and over again. With SENSORY CHARGED VIDEO, people’s curiosity is piqued. It’s new, and it works well with the targeted demographic of Millennials and Gen Z, who understand what it’s all about.
While the psychology behind ASMR has been known for a long time, general knowledge and its consumption, whether by a YouTube video or a marketing ad is a relatively new phenomenon. Given what we’ve spoken about so far, it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear SENSORY CHARGED VIDEO has been a success. When Coca-Cola, Lindt, and IKEA among many others are in on the game, it must be good. And it works so well right now because there are so many consumers of a younger generation who understand what sensory videos are and already relate to these brands.
The fact is, this technology and its implications for future marketing have only just begun. Brands, businesses, and marketers of all kinds are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest trend. If something works and increases sales, they will use it. As marketers speculate, we will likely see an increase in the amount of pleasurable stimulation brands can adapt for onscreen. It’s also likely we will personalised ads rather than general ads for the wider demographic. As we’ve already touched on, different types and levels of sounds stimulate people differently. In other words, while the tsss and crack of a Coca-Cola bottle being opened might elicit a pleasurable experience in one person, it might do nothing in another. And as VR, or virtual reality, becomes increasingly adapted for video games and home cinema systems, we will likely see it combined with SENSORY CHARGED VIDEO for the ultimate sensory experience.
Although the future of this technology looks promising, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. Because sensory videos work so well and have been so well received, there’s a chance the market will become oversaturated. If this happens, the novelty will wear off, and they’re likely to become less effective.
What’s more, the jury is out on whether or not overstimulating consumers with an overabundance of sensory videos will lead to a decrease in the wonderful tingles down the spine ASMR enthusiasts seek and marketers seek to expose. But, Dr William Richards, a professor at Shenandoah University says, ‘there are many signs indicating ASMR is not a fad or a temporary trend, but a new relaxation technique like yoga, deep breathing, and massage therapy.’ So, there’s also good money to be bet on SENSORY CHARGED VIDEO being around for a long, long time.
Big-name brands such as Coca-Cola have already tried and tested SENSORY CHARGED VIDEO with great effect. But, it’s not just household names that are using sensory videos.
One of the boldest examples of sensory videos being used for great effect was the Superbowl ad for Michelob Ultra’s Organic Beer Pure Gold. The Superbowl is one of the biggest and most sought-after opportunities to advertise in America. Each year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent by brands to get their product on the big screen.
While the Superbowl ads are usually as loud and as brash as the gaming event itself, Michelob’s Ultra Organic Beer Pure Gold ad harnessed the power of the quieter, more seductive, SENSORY CHARGED VIDEO. The short ad video clip featured Zoe Kravitz speaking softly into a microphone while tapping a Michelob bottle. This sensory video ad campaign used the soft and sensuous power of ASMR to line up perfectly with the healthier organic beer alternative product. And interestingly, this ad was overseen by Dr Richards.
It’s not only in America that SENSORY CHARGED VIDEO has been used already. In China, an ad was released for Sihua Dove chocolate that harnessed the power of the sensory ASMR experience. The ad features a woman tasting the chocolate, using classic ASMR sounds such as the crinkling of the chocolate wrapper and crisp snaps of the chocolate bar breaking. Just like in the Coca-Cola sensory video ad example, using the sounds chocolate lovers know and love brings back the feel-good sensations of one of the world’s favourite sweet treats. This is a powerful example of how a brand can help consumers capture the moment and return for more as they line up in-store to buy more of the product that makes them feel so good.
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