- Reese Canada is jumping on the autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) trend with a branded feature-length film, according to a press release. "Reese: The Movie" stars five "ASMRtists" — online influencers who specialize in creating the sensory experience — including ASMR Darling, Gibi ASMR, Matty Tingles and two Canadians, ALB in Whisperland and Seafoam Kitten.
- In the movie, the brand tries to capitalize on parallels between what it calls the "Reese Ritual" — the methodical five-step approach to eating a Reese Peanut Butter Cup — and the ASMR sensation. ASMR is triggered in some viewers when they are presented sounds and visuals, such as whispering, tapping or having one's hair brushed, that induce a feeling of relaxation and tingles. "Reese: The Movie" will depict each step in eating a Peanut Butter Cup, from opening the package to sliding out the snack, with a special ASMR treatment.
- A 12-minute preview of the feature will be shown during a commercial break in the Season 3 premiere of "The Handmaid's Tale," airing locally in Canada on the Bravo network on June 9. The full movie will be available first on the Canadian streaming video service Crave beginning the same day, with a wider YouTube release on June 17.
ASMR began as a niche online culture on social platforms like YouTube, but has exploded in popularity in recent years, with the top creators commanding millions of views per video. Brands have naturally followed the eyeballs, and Reese Canada decided to pursue a feature-length film after discovering Google trends data that showed interest in ASMR videos on YouTube had grown locally almost ten-fold over the past five years.
Reese is not the first brand to jump aboard this whispering bandwagon in a bid to connect to the digitally savvy audiences that love ASMR. Michelob Ultra this year ran a Super Bowl spot where actress Zoe Kravitz whispered the ad's message closely into a microphone to accompaniment of lush natural noises in an effort to induce ASMR's characteristic tingliness in TV viewers. Last December, Zippo also teamed with BuzzFeed to create an ASMR video themed around the signature click of its lighters.
Reese could score points, not just for incorporating ASMR into its content marketing, but also for working with some of the most popular ASMR influencers on the effort, who have built-in followers that are likely eager for more videos. Whether they'll be willing to strap in for a feature-length film about quietly eating Reese Peanut Butter Cups remains to be seen. Teasing a film intended to induce relaxation and "chills" around a show as intense as "The Handmaid's Tale" could also create a bit of dissonance in viewers — or maybe that's the point.