ASMR - Subculture Documentary


or: An examination of the rise of one of Youtube’s most niche genres and the people who watch these videos.

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what is asmr? - “Are you talking about ‘whisper porn’?”

I didn’t understand what people were getting from ASMR… was it sexual? No doubt that there is an influx of younger, attractive women who make these videos on Youtube, but a part of me knew that there had to be more than just a physical attraction to an industry with over 13 million videos and many more viewers. I wanted to better understand the people who were watching these videos, how they were engaging with the community of watchers, and how ASMR could be used in the future.


Watch the trailer for the film here:

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The people will welcome you in.

There certainly is a stigma surrounding these videos, but those who watch are making an effort to tear it down. Everyone that I spoke with was so excited to be discussing ASMR and the benefits that they got from watching them. In my opinion, it came from a desire to be understood and to share this thing that has helped them and that they enjoy with the rest of the world.


Brands are taking note.

As it goes, advertisers have found a way to take advantage of this emerging trend. Ikea was one of the first to capitalize on ASMR, but many others have followed suit, from KFC to Kit Kat. Whether more of a Public Relations play or a real trend to take note of, advertising is the first avenue that is introducing ASMR into the mainstream.


The lifespan of ASMR.

There was one big question that spawned from my research: where does this go from here? With a rise in holistic wellness and more content aimed toward sleep beginning to gain traction, is this the way that this content will move forward or the beginning of something bigger? Are the machinations of the platform too limited to begin something larger, or have we only seen the beginnings of ASMR?

watch the full video below:


Category and Consumer Research / 1-on-1 Interviews / Video Editing / Sleepy-video Watching