An update on the data collected from the Dove Chocolate ASMR-inspired commercials

ASMR Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response UniversitySeveral months ago I reported about Dove Chocolate releasing two ASMR-inspired marketing videos.

The videos were well done and it was exciting to see a big name company incorporate ASMR into a marketing campaign.

I was even more excited by a report that they collected physiological data from viewers of these videos and the data will be made publicly available – as announced in an online article on October 23, 2015,

“Dove partnered with Guokr, a popular science platform in China. The two films were put to rigorous scientific testing to ascertain whether they really did have physiological effects that simulate pleasure in viewers. The results are currently being studied by neuroscientists and will be made public in the coming months.

The online experiment is also available on Iqiyi, so a user can track your heart beat whilst watching the films on a dedicated campaign page. “This is about harnessing cutting-edge technology to tell a beautiful Dove story of a pleasure seeker,” commented Howard Mok, ECD of BBDO Beijing.”

After I published the initial blog article about the Dove ads on November 10, 2015, I immediately reached out to representatives of Dove Chocolate and BBDO to find out more about the physiological data which was collected.

I initially received some promising replies.  Several people said they would look into it and get back to me.

The most detailed response I received was from one of the BBDO representatives.  I asked him if I could quote his replies in a blog article on this site and he said “yes”.

Below is his email to me with my questions in bold.   The email was sent to me on November 15, 2015.

“Hi Dr. Richard,

Nice to hear from you!

It’s my pleasure to explain our ASMR campaign to you!

1. Why did Dove/BBDO decide to create ASMR-style video ads?

In the past years, BBDO has been helping Dove brand to communicate the brand core information” silky smooth” to consumers, the “silky smooth” not only refers to the product experience but also the feelings of happiness that female got what she is looking for.

That’s hard to describe by word, so we have been telling this via stories in the form of TVC. But this year we want to try it in a new way, we want consumers feel the “silky smooth” instead of being told.

And we found that the experience of ASMR is quite similar to the experience of eating Dove chocolate, which you will feel happy and relaxed when the chocolate melts on your tongue slowly…

Also ASMR is new to public, which will drive a lot of young people to watch.

Besides, we can leverage the process of chocolate production and consumption to show the high quality of Dove chocolate, and to communicate the upgraded “silky smooth” .

2. What ASMR resources were used to create these terrific videos?

In the ASMR videos, we leveraged sound stimulation, visual stimulation and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) to create those two videos.

You can see a lot of close-ups of the two celebrities in the video, the expressions in the face, the eye contact, and smiles…that’s visual stimulation.

And the creak and crack sound of milling toasted cocoa beans, the sound of AngelaBaby sucking her finger, the tiny sound of cocoa liquid flows, breaking Dove chocolate… that’s the sound stimulation.

And there is a shot of AngelaBaby places several 43g Dove chocolate in order. Some people feel good when they see those packs being placed in good order. That’s how we leverage the OCD to make people feel relaxed.

3. What interesting stories can be shared about the production of these videos?

Hi Dr, sorry, I was not in the shooting site when producing these videos. But I will ask our producer to see if she can share more.

4. What scientific studies were done with these videos?

We asked a mainstream online wiki community –Guokr to hold an offline experiential event for Key opinion leaders to experience ASMR, and there are two psychology doctors to explain ASMR and record the ECG (electrocardiogram )of all audiences.

Then they will show us the response we made during watching the videos and tell us what kind of stimulation works for us.

5. As a scientist and researcher, I am most excited about the scientific data that was collected from these videos. I would be honored to be able to share that data on my website when the data becomes available.

Since the data was ECG, after the event, those doctors kept them. Now I am afraid that data is not available, sorry for that disappointment. But I can ask Guokr and see if the doctors could share those pictures of ECGs to us or not.

And in order to help you better understand our creative rationale, I attached our PR write up for your information.

Hope this answers your question.”

I did not initially receive any further information about the production or physiological data from this kind and helpful BBDO representative but I have sent another request.


April 26, 2016 Update: The wonderful BBDO rep has sent me the ECG tracings.  I responded back and requested some details of the experimental conditions and their interpretations of the ECG tracings.  If able, I will share another update when this information is available.

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Click HERE to read the initial blog article and to watch the ASMR-inspired videos about Dove Chocolate.

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This post brought to you by ASMR University.  A site with the mission of increasing the awareness, understanding, and research of the Art and Science of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.

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