Shhh..keep this sponsorship category quiet

By
Daniel Conn
,
CRO @ ThoughtLeaders
October 21, 2020


There is one content category that above all else doesn’t want to make too much noise. ASMR or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (none the wiser) is one of the great quirks of the internet age. Legions of fans turn up in their droves to hear the magic of fingernails scratching things, or crunchy things being crunched.

In this report we’re going to be looking at the commercial side of ASMR and why it may be too good a category for brands for us to keep quiet about.

A brief history

ASMR isn’t as new as you may think. Most people if they were being honest hadn’t heard of it before a couple of years ago but the content category itself can be tracked back at least 10 years:


Early originators weren’t doing it as a one off either, there were repeated mentions from these early trendsetters. We can also see that the topic has been covered widely. We are tracking almost 3500 content creators that have addressed the subject all time. As we can see from the chart below the trend shows no signs of stopping in fact it has accelerated in 2020.



For comparison for the term Yoga we are tracking 12094 creators so whilst there are many more for Yoga its clear that ASMR is still a very widely covered subject matter.


Audio….visual?

Intuitively ASMR comes across as a predominantly audio based content subject, its literally in the name. Therefore we might think that podcast would be the ideal profile for ASMR content.


It doesn’t quite play out that way:


Almost 90% of all the creators that talk about ASMR do so on YouTube so its clear that the visual element is also important in the content. 


Does ASMR get the ROAS?

Looking into the commercial data around ASMR we can see that there are brands who have led the way in exploring this content vertical.


We built a list of 33 of the top ASMR YouTubers with over 10k mentions of ASMR between them on their content. These guys are the ASMR elite.


There are 127 brands that have featured in some way on the 33 channels. Above we can see some prominent brands that do alot of sponsorship like Betterment, Raycon, ExpressVPN and more.

When we dig under the hood of the data for these brands and compare the data to their general performance data we can see some interesting insights.


We can see that Betterhelp came to the ASMR party way back in 2016 but most of the big name sponsors didn't really come into the space until 2019 so this content category is still very much in its nascency for sponsorship


Betterhelp has only been in 12 of the ASMR channels to date but has been there on average 37 times compared to their overall YouTube presence. Raycon has been an incredibly aggressive sponsor on YouTube in recent times and since their first appearance on Sept 4 2019 they avg 4 mentions per channel on the 23 ASMR channels they have appeared on. That is higher than their overall all time average of 3 mentions per channel.

Dollar Shave Club, GlassesUSA and Helix Sleep have all matched their overall avgs despite this being a new content category for them. This is highly encouraging for any marketers looking to explore this space.

If you’d like to see if ASMR can be a fit for you come have a chat with us.