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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Can You Feel the Advertisement Tonight? The Effect of ASMR Cues in Video Advertising on Purchase Intentions

Published: May 25, 2021


Laura De Kerpel, Ghent University; Anneleen Van Kerckhove, Ghent University; Tina Tessitore, IESEG School of Management


ASMR is a sensory experience characterized by pleasant, physical tingles in the head and spine. Although not everyone experiences those tingles, ASMR is also often associated with feelings of relaxation. Nowadays, the popularity of videos where ASMR experiences are deliberately evoked, has increased substantially. This has also caught the interest of brands, that now start to include ASMR cues in their advertisements; though it remains unclear whether this is an effective way to approach consumers. Our introductory study first shows that ASMR videos, in general, are indeed perceived as relaxing. Furthermore, two experiments demonstrate that including the four most successful ASMR cues (whispering, personal attention, crisp sounds, and slow movements) in advertisements leads to both an increase in consumers' feelings of relaxation and purchase intentions. We also find evidence that this positive effect of ASMR (vs. traditional) advertisements on purchase intentions can be explained by an increase in flow state.