Do you love the sound the needle makes as you pull it through your fabric? Do you find the clicking of knitting needles to be soothing? If you do, you’re not alone. In fact, there’s a whole online world dedicated to creating those sounds for the purpose of relaxation. It’s mostly on YouTube and the phenomenon is called ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response.
ASMR is a tingly feeling you get down the back of your neck when you hear certain sounds (it doesn’t work for everyone so if this sounds alien to you, that’s okay!). Squishing clay, brushing teeth or hair, folding towels, or even whispering can evoke this feeling in some people. According to my 15-year-old daughter who is a big fan of ASMR videos they’re most effective when you’re wearing headphones.
In September I spoke with Renee Froerer, Director of Visual Marketing at Darice, who watches industry trends to find new product opportunities for the company. Renee explained to me that ASMR is actually a craft trend as well as an overall YouTube phenomenon and I’ve had my eye on it ever since. I think there’s a definite opportunity here for craft brands to create ASMR videos as a way to increase brand awareness and market their products while also offering a pleasurable experience to all the ASMR fans out there.
Think about an ASMR video as something new to add to your current content creation mix. If you monetize your videos directly on YouTube with ads you can do that with your ASMR video. Or monetize them indirectly by putting a link in the description box below the video to products available in your ecommerce shop. Also, create a 60-second version of the video to post on Instagram.
Thankfully ASMR videos are super simple and the production value doesn’t have to be high as long as you have a good mic (remember sound is really important) and a steady camera. Start by thinking about the materials your products are made from, or alternate ways your product might be used. How could you create relaxing sounds plus interesting visuals with the materials you use every day?
Here are 7 examples of ASMR videos that show off craft materials or products, plus some extra ideas for each one to get you started.
That sound when you plunge your hand into a bucket of beads? That’s what this video is all about. Other ideas include buttons, googly eyes, small stones, and gems.
Mixing paint colors with a brush or palette knife makes a pretty satisfying noise and that’s the focus of this entire video. Other ideas include prepping screens for silk screening or stamps for rubber stamping.
In this video Sophie doodles while whispering. First, she spends some time digging through a bucket of Sharpies to select just the right one. Then she smooths out the newsprint. And then she just repetitively draws all over it. Other ideas include drawing or shading with pencil or charcoal.
Cutting paper? Super simple, but the sound is pretty great, especially when you use a multi-blade scissors. How about a hole punching video? Or cutting out shapes using an X-ACTO knife?
This is literally an hour long video of someone cutting soap into little bits. (Personally, it stresses me out because I’m afraid that blade is going to slip, but that’s just me.) Lots of Etsy sellers make soap and other bath and beauty products (chapstick and lipstick, moisturizers). Creating an ASMR video is definitely an interesting marketing idea!
There aren’t very many ASMR yarn videos out there so there’s definitely room for more. This whispered basic knitting tutorial has 47,000+ views right now and dozens of positive comments. How about yarn dyeing? And, of course, crochet. Weaving, too!
Again, not a ton of ASMR cross stitch videos out there, but both cross stitch and embroidery really lend themselves well to this trend. That sound when you pull the needle through the fabric? So satisfying.
So what do you think? Do you watch ASMR videos? Would you like to try creating one?
June (PlanetJune) says
That’s so interesting, Abby. I’ve had several comments on my YouTube channel suggesting that I should make ASMR videos as my voice is so relaxing, but I don’t experience the ASMR feeling at all, so I find the concept a little bizarre. I’m not planning to do anything with it, but if people want to watch my crochet tutorials because they enjoy my voice, that’s fine by me. 🙂
Interesting! There really don’t seem to be many ASMR crochet videos out there so if you ever wanted to make one yours would likely be popular!
I don’t experience the ASMR phenomenon (I have some sound sensitivity issues so my reaction is more often the opposite), but I find the whispered tutorials remarkable. I’m reminded of the adage about if you want people to listen, whisper. What an interesting idea these would be! I’ve bookmarked the knitting one to watch later, so thank you for sharing this!
That’s true. When I was studying for my master’s in education and doing my student teaching I had a mentor who had perfect classroom control. She actually had something wrong with her vocal cords and couldn’t talk very loud, yet the kids listened to every word she said. Whispers are pretty powerful (even if I do find them to be a bit strange on video).
I think ASMR videos with people talking are weird. Like comedy. I cant take them seriously, reminds me of the SNL skits “NPR Delicious Dish ” radio show. I do enjoy oned that are more visual like squishing paint and the like.
My 11yo loves them.
I agree that the whispering ones are so strange! To research for this post I watched A LOT of ASMR videos and wow are there some weird ones out there.
Sandi James says
I find ASMR to be torturous. I could never be a spy because it would take about 10 seconds of it for me to break.
Honestly, I don’t really enjoy the sounds either, but my daughter absolutely loves it so I know that it really works for some people!
Rebecca Mezoff says
I love it! Thanks for writing about this Abby. Tapestry weaving makes some really interesting sounds, I have a good mic, and I’m going to try this! I’m not fond of the whispering for teaching, but the sounds of the materials is fascinating and I can see using bits of this in bumpers in my teaching videos.
Oh excellent! I’m glad to hear it. There aren’t very many (or any?) weaving AMSR videos so I think this is great!
Leah Day says
I have also considered making ASMR videos too. The one issue is with making a video or series wildly different from my usual videos. It honestly makes people angry when they watch a video expecting a tutorial and it’s an hour long podcast and I’d bet ASMR would need even more explanation. Still worth a try. I could whisper while running my treadle! LOL!
It’s true that your usual audience might not be so happy with a different sort of video. That’s a hurdle to overcome.