How These 5 Brands Are Tapping Into ASMR

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

ASMR videos rack up millions of views by serving up soothing sounds and visuals to stressed out young consumers—and brands are increasingly using the niche trend to create some calming marketing…

We’ve been tracking the rise of ASMR for some time, and the soothing trend shows no sign of slowing down. Millennials & Gen Z teens are relaxing with ASMR videos—short for autonomous sensory meridian response—that rack up hundreds of millions of views on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. In fact, according to Instagram’s annual report, ASMR made the biggest mark as a niche community in 2018 with viral trends like soap cutting and slime making a lot of noise for a mostly silent trend. The videos can feature a variety of activities that result in quiet, comforting sounds that for some result in a tingling feeling—whispering, soap cutting, paper cutting, and, of course, slime smooshing, are just a few.  We even talked to one startup that’s working to turn the internet sensation into a series of in-person experiences.

Why are they such a sensation? Gen Z and Millennials are the most stressed, anxious generations to date—and they’re looking for ways to escape the noise of the world and calm their minds. Our trend In Their Heads explored their increasing interest in mental health, mindfulness, and mini stress relievers. Watching or listening to these oddly satisfying snippets is just one way mental self-care needs are being met digitally (coloring books and meditation apps as just a couple of other examples.) The founder of Whisperlodge told Ypulse, “A lot of people…use ASMR to relax and calm their anxieties, so I imagine the stress and uncertainty of being an intersectional human in any country in 2018 also drives people to find an affordable and safe way to self-soothe.” In a recent survey, 15%…


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Quote of the Day: “I think we’re already seeing alcohol lose its health halo. Next, the assumption that alcohol is essential to a good, sophisticated life will fade.”—Joy Manning, Deputy Editor, Edible Communities (Medium)

“The doofus dad” TV stereotype is being remade for role-resisting Millennial parents. Inept at care-taking and almost everything else, the tired stereotype is saying its last “D’Oh!” as The Simpson’s Homer Simpson and Peppa Pig’s Daddy Pig get replaced with a new wave of capable fathers like Bluey’s Bandit. The switch could have a real impact on the way kids understand family life, with one research fellow explaining, “The media reflects reality and also constructs reality.” (SMH)

Apple's new subscription gaming service Arcade will cannibalize its own App Store downloads—and that’s a good thing. Downloads in the App Store are on the decline, despite mobile gaming maintaining popularity and raking in revenue. If Apple can turn Arcade into young gamers’ go-to for mobile play, they’ll be poised for success that could outstrip even Apple TV and Apple Music. (The Motley Fool)

Gen Z music artists are “post-genre.” Mixing several influences into one song has become a way for rising artists to set themselves apart, and thanks to self-upload services like SoundCloud, they don’t need music industry exec’s approval. Meanwhile, the Genreless Generation can curate blended playlists via Spotify to fit moods and occasions rather than “rock” or “pop” and are streaming has also globalized their content consumption, so U.S. genres are no longer a limit. (Vice)

Carl’s Jr. has a CBD-infused burger that costs exactly $4.20. The chain restaurant is giving fast food a Cannabis Infusion, but only at one Denver, Colorado location, and only for one day. The Rocky Mountain High Cheese Burger Delight packs 5 mg of the chemical that won’t get you high. CBD is the trendy ingredient du jour, with 57% of 18-36-year-olds telling us they’re interested in trying it, and the chemical has made its way into everything from lotion to La Croix-like beverages. (LAT)

Axe is challenging masculinity with “bathsculinity.” The brand has been blurring gender lines for the Genreless Generation for years now, and their latest series of YouTube spots is showing that men can take baths, too. They’ve enlisted comedian Lil Rel Howery, who takes bubble baths surrounded by candles in the humorous videos. And they couldn’t be more on-trend: bath time is seeing a surge as a salve for Millennial anxiety. (Marketing Dive)

Quote of the Day: “I think for a cohesive strategy and for really helping to build awareness as well as grow the market size for new things, there's definitely digital and social media. But also, there has to be this in-real-life element.”—Alicia Yoon, Founder, Peach & Lily (YPulse)

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