- PepsiCo brand SodaStream partnered with Jonathan Van Ness of Netflix's "Queer Eye" to create a video that parodies ASMR, according to details shared with Marketing Dive. ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, is an internet trend in which a video features soothing sounds like a person whispering to help viewers relax.
- The SodaStream video prompts viewers to put on their headphones as Van Ness says, "I know the holidays can be so stressful, so I wanted to show you some of the sounds that make me feel very very very relaxed." He then pushes down on the SodaStream several times to make sparkling water.
- The spot, Van Ness's first ASMR video, has a humorous tone as the celebrity tosses cucumbers into his water, taps the tune of "Jingle Bells" on the side of the SodaStream bottle and runs his hair over the microphone. The content appears on YouTube and Instagram.
SodaStream is capitalizing on internet trends in a humorous way by enlisting a popular TV personality to create an entertaining video that aims to break through the flurry of ads during the holidays.
Many consumers turn to ASMR videos to help them experience tingly feelings and relax or even fall asleep, with leading ASMR influencers garnering millions of YouTube hits. Brands have been experimenting with ASMR videos in the past year as a means to engage consumers by delivering multisensory experiences, a trend that's also evident in the growing number of brands developing sonic brand identities and experiential marketing tactics.
SodaStream's approach appears to be more of a parody of this trend, with Van Ness's delivery highlighting ridiculous ways to be more relaxed. For example, he asks for a cucumber and calls it "the most relaxing vegetable."
Bringing Van Ness into the video campaign is a savvy move from SodaStream, which has the potential to get in front of Van Ness' large fan base that includes 4.8 million Instagram followers and more than 800,000 on Twitter — not counting viewers on Netflix, where his show "Queer Eye" resides. Van Ness has also served as an ambassador for beauty brand Biossance and is nail polish line Essie's first non-female ambassador.
The ASMR campaign arrives at a time when PepsiCo, which acquired SodaStream in 2018 for $3.2 billion, has ramped up its marketing spend to drive sales as soda consumption steadily declines.
Brands leveraging the ASMR trend include Reese Canada, which hired five "ASMRtists" to star in a movie about the so-called "Reese Ritual" — a five-step approach to eating a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in an ASMR style. Bacardi played up the sounds of bartending in an ASMR-inspired "Sound of Rum" video, which featured a soundtrack of the rhythmic drink-making sounds. Anheuser-Busch brand Michelob Ultra enlisted actress Zoe Kravitz in a 45-second Super Bowl ad where she taps the bottle softly and whispers while pouring the beer into a glass. Renault, Harley-Davidson, Ikea and others have also tried their hand at this type of video.