Opinion: Are ASMR videos the future of influencers in India?

Neha Puri

Neha Puri, CEO, Vavo Digital shares her opinion on the rising craze of ASMR, how brands use this trend, and how it is making its way into the future of influencers in India.

Food blogging is one thing but imagine being paid for chewing food on camera. It seems bizarre but today it is a thing which is helping influencers gain huge traction on social media. Influencers in western countries are adapting to a new form of content which is a result of ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response).

What is ASMR?

A tingling feeling that commonly starts on the scalp and goes down the back of the neck and upper spine is known as an autonomous sensory meridian response or auto sensory meridian response. It is an enjoyable type of paresthesia. In terms of how this is being used on the internet, it is something sensational. Hundreds of video creators film themselves doing everything from basic whispering to sophisticated sci-fi role-plays and constructing narratives involving time travel and demons in this part of the internet, and millions of viewers devour it all. 

Adoption of ASMR Amongst Influencers & Brands

16 million people watched a video of an influencer kissing and making mouth sounds. In only 24 hours, another video showing a lady eating corndogs covered in gooey mozzarella received 800,000 views. Today brands are hiring such influencers to expand the reach of their products/services by sharing an experiential video with the influencers which is a result of ASMR. 

IKEA, a duvet and pillow cover brand is collaborating with ASMR influencers. It is a product that has been available for a long time and does not appear to be particularly fascinating. While most corporations work with ASMR influencers, IKEA conducted considerable research before creating their own films. A woman runs her hands over the sheets in this video, smoothing them down or delicately disturbing the surface. Viewers may hear soothing, peaceful noises while they listen, demonstrating how pleasant it is to lie on their duvets and pillows. As duvets and pillows are used to relax, they elicited a similar response in their advertisement. This campaign is grabbing huge audience attention and has influenced several other brands to adapt to the same strategy. 

Various triggers cause people to experience ASMR. Some people love role-playing in which someone pays close attention to them and whispers, while others enjoy movies of relatively boring chores like spraying a water bottle, tapping, stirring a bowl of soup, or crinkling wrapping paper. Others are provoked by more intricate role-playing, which can range from a medical impersonation to a haircut.

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ASMR in India

ASMR is gradually picking up pace in the Indian influencer marketing space. Heli Ved, a YouTuber from Mumbai, posted a video on how to get ASMR using Indian household goods. “ASMR going to India,” one of the comments on Ved’s video says, indicating the phenomenon’s arrival into Indian popular culture.

The magnitude of ASMR’s growth in India can be estimated from the statistics that for “ASMR India,” Google now returns over 98 million video search results in 0.32 seconds.

The Indian audience is addicted to ASMR content and this is proven by several thousand people joining apps that work on the concept of ASMR. Every month, 600 Indians use Tingles, a US-based app for ASMR videos. Currently, the app has over 500,000 Android installations.

The world is always amazed by the new things happening in the space of the internet and influencer marketing. ASMR holds a scientific aspect to it, and since it helps relax human sensations such content is pleasing to watch and is known to help people relax. This is why such content is gaining huge traction on social media apps. 

How vast is the scope of ASMR?

ASMR has grown in popularity in recent years. There are many channels with hundreds of thousands of subscribers and dozens of videos with over a million views. More than 130,000 people subscribe to the primary ASMR subreddit, r/ASMR. It was covered by the New York Times, Washington Post, and BuzzFeed. CollegeHumor even satirized it, which is a fantastic ASMR video in addition to being hilarious.

Some individuals enjoy watching movies about cats. Some individuals enjoy seeing politicians scream at one another. Some people like seeing comedians impersonate news anchors, and they sometimes succeed. Some individuals unwind by watching recordings of someone whispering.

This demonstrates the internet’s most powerful feature: it’s capacity to connect people together in ways that were previously inconceivable.

This article is penned by Neha Puri, CEO & Founder, Vavo Digital.


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