Content Matters

WTF is ASMR?

May 1, 2019


ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response – and has been described as a sensory response to auditory and visual stimuli that results in pleasant tingles and a feeling of well-being.

As early as 2009, the then-unknown sensation received a clinical name (thank you, Jennifer Allen!) and started taking root in YouTube. In that time, it’s grown to a massive phenomenon garnering millions of views. It’s so popular that it even graced television’s most commercialized event (thanks to Mic Ultra).

The New York Times referred to it as a “brain orgasm” – but it is not necessarily – or at all – sexual in nature. So, what are these videos like? There are many, many subgenres that include whispering, unwrapping crackly plastic packaging, tapping, chewing, cutting soap and playing with slime. Viewers have indicated that they find these videos soothing and relaxing. The Internet is weird. So are people. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

To give some context to ASMR’s popularity, take a look at the most viewed videos (as of April 2019):

116MM views

81MM views

If it’s on YouTube, OpenSlate is watching it. For some time, we’ve been tracking ASMR’s popularity and assessing its quality and safety. So, is it safe? Generally, yes. In a sample of 155K+ ASMR videos, OpenSlate found fewer than 3% flagged for any kind of safety and suitability concerns. The content is largely vlog-style tapping, chewing, and other auditory delights for relaxation.

Is ASMR right for your ad campaigns? It depends. While the brand safety flags are low, there are lots of different variations – and some may be too weird for your brand. To learn more, reach out to your OpenSlate representative. 





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