What does whisky now have in common with soda, fried chicken, chocolate, crackers, furniture, and cars?
Yes, ASMR-inspired commercials.
Scottish distillery Glenmorangie, which focuses on producing single malt scotch whiskey, has rolled out three campaign videos which incorporate ASMR triggers.
The company explains the major goal behind the ASMR-inspired campaign on their website,
“…by harnessing the scientific phenomenon of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) to create three captivating visual and audio experiences, Glenmorangie attempts to depict the complex tastes of Glenmorangie Original, the elegant spice of Glenmorangie Lasanta and the rich sweetness of Glenmorangie Signet through sounds and imagery alone.”
Glenmorangie did more than just watch a few ASMR videos for inspiration, they funded an ASMR research project to help guide the production of their videos.
The funded research resulted in a publication by Emma Barratt, Charles Spence, and Nick Davis. Barratt and Davis were the co-authors of the first ASMR research study published in 2015.
Their latest Glenmorangie-funded study is titled, “Sensory determinants of the autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR): understanding the triggers” and was published October 6, 2017 in PeerJ.
And here is the funding credit at the end of the paper,
“Funding for this research was supported by The Glenmorangie Company Limited trading as Macdonald & Muir Limited. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.”
Glenmorangie explains on their website some of the findings of the study and how the data were incorporated into the production of the three videos,
“…they found that triggers which might bring Glenmorangie’s Highland surroundings to life, could include close-ups and sounds of natural wood textures, native flowers and plants, natural stone textures, wide shots of running water – or the sound of soft tapping on whisky bottles.”
Each video is less than 3 minutes long, encourages the viewer to use stereo headphones and has a text description which begins with,
“What if you could feel the explosive spice and melting sweetness of Glenmorangie Signet without a drop of whisky ever touching your lips? Immerse yourself in this ground-breaking film, part of a series which, through the phenomenon of ASMR, brings the sensorial nature of whisky to life online.”
A different whisky is the focus of each video.
The first video is titled, “Feel the taste of Glenmorangie online THE LASANTA” and it included sounds similar to a brisk wind, drops of fluid, a thick metal pipe dragging on concrete, liquid flowing over ice, and I think I heard a subtly whispered, “shhhhhh.”
The second video is titled, “Feel the taste of Glenmorangie online SIGNET” and it seemed to contain the sound of a large granite stone being dragged, a deep rumble, the tinkling of small metal particles, and a very slight sound of crinkling.
The third video is titled, “Feel the taste of Glenmorangie online THE ORIGINAL” and I heard string plucking, water flowing, water drops, explosions, and some scratching-type sounds.
The visuals in each videos are gorgeous, abstract, and intriguing. Atmospheric music seemed to ebb and flow in each video and conveyed drama, discovery, and wonder.
Would I describe them as ASMR videos? No, not for me. It seemed that only about 10% of the sounds were typical ASMR trigger sounds. Most of the sounds were too dramatic and increased alertness rather than induced relaxation. The visuals were too abstract and felt more like a sci-fi movie or a special effects showcase.
The biggest surprise to me was the amount of music that was woven into each video. This is somewhat contrary to the research findings they funded which stated the following in the publication’s discussion,
“Most respondents agreed that background music does not add to the experience of ASMR media, and in the majority of cases prevents the viewer from experiencing tingles.”
Do I think these are poorly done marketing videos for Glenmorangie whiskies? No, not all. They are bold, rich, and amazing visual and auditory experiences which wrap a contemporary and cool atmosphere around the products and company.
Heck, after watching their videos I’m tempted to try their whisky and I don’t even drink alcohol.
But after and during their videos I didn’t feel relaxed, soothed, calmed, tingly, comforted, or ready to fall asleep.
Although the videos may not go viral in the ASMR community, they still may do a good job of boosting the sales and perception of Glenmorangie whisky.
Learn more about the story and research behind this whisky campaign:
- Read the full story behind the videos HERE.
- View the whiskey Videos HERE.
- Read the funded research study HERE.
Explore other ASMR-inspired commercials by these companies:
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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.