ASMR made it to the Super Bowl.
On Feb 3, 2019, an ASMR commercial featuring Zoe Kravitz and Michelob Ultra Pure Gold played during the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl.
In full disclosure, I was the ASMR consultant for the past couple of months to the creative and production teams behind the commercial. These individuals truly wanted to understand ASMR and represent it appropriately in the commercial – and I think they did a fantastic job, as do some ASMR artists.
The ASMR artist, Somni Rosae, sent me the following email:
“Hi Dr. Richard! Have you seen the new beer ad for the Super Bowl? Personally, I think this is the first ad I think the advertising agencies got it right. Cheers, Somni”
“I thought it was awesome. They hit the nail on the head. You can tell they did their research: They had the binaural microphones, had her whispering back and forth. They had tapping, nice sounds. They definitely watched content and had done their research on what ASMR is supposed to be. They, of course, blew it up, made it Hollywood, used a big budget, and so it was very cool. They were accurate.”
The video is currently posted on the YouTube channel for Michelob Ultra (it is the most viewed video on the channel) and contains positive comments from additional ASMR artists like ASMR Darling, fastASMR, Karuna Satori ASMR, The ASMR Ryan, ASMR Destiny, Holly ASMR, and Tyson ASMR.
The production was selected as one of the 10 Best Super Bowl Commercials by The Washington Post, Thrillist, and Oprah Magazine, and five months later was described as, “the prime example of an incredibly successful ASMR brand advertisement.“
How did the ASMR-inspired ad affect sales? “Azania Andrews, VP of Marketing for Michelob Ultra, said sales volume for the beer grew in the triple digits following the airing of the ad“.
My favorite article about the commercial was by Dr William Halligan, a dentist in San Diego who saw it and asked, “what in the world was this?” Dr Halligan then went searching about ASMR and even strapped a heart rate monitor on himself to see his physiological response to ASMR videos.
The Super Bowl commercial is linked below and here are some of the key ASMR elements to watch for:
- Positive personal attention. Zoe Kravitz is looking into the camera in a caring and personal way. She seems to already know you and has something helpful to share with you.
- Light whispering. She whispers in a gentle way, like a friend sharing a secret. She also pronounces key consonants crisply, like when she says, “So pure, you can taste it.”
- Gentle tapping. Her fingernails tap slowly on the bottle. Human brains register slow and deliberate hand movements as non-threatening and communicative. It increases our focus because it can indicate that the object may be valuable, helpful, or informative.
- No music. Did you ever notice most ASMR videos don’t have music? Some research studies have reported that music can inhibit ASMR. This makes sense because music tends to increase heart rate and emotional arousal, while ASMR tends to decrease heart rate and induce relaxation. Listen for the absence of music throughout the video – a rarity for a commercial.
- Relaxing environment. ASMR triggers are best when created and experienced in a relaxing, quiet, and safe environment. Most ASMR videos don’t occur outside, and this is because of interfering sounds, harsh weather, and the extra work of dragging equipment around. But the production team for the commercial took on those challenges and found a perfect spot in Hawaii that helps to relax the viewer.
Ready to view the commercial for the first time, or perhaps again?
- ASMR-inspired Super Bowl commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqU8ar4gSyI
Links to more commercials, celebrities, and ASMR:
Learn more about ASMR:
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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.