Sounds that feel good – online multisensory market communication

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Reigning doxa within marketing theory and practice holds the assumption that the best way to get the attention of future customers is through a ‘the louder, the better’ approach. However, quieter, more subtle and aesthetic approaches are emerging from the periphery. This article will demonstrate this new marketing trend using an audio-visual ad from the chocolate brand Dove as a case and framework to describe how the still rather newly emergent online phenomenon ASMR is merged with commercial contexts. First, we introduce the Dove case and then ASMR, which we define as both a sensory and a social phenomenon. Second, we contextualize ASMR and the specific ad from Dove in relation to the notion of the attention economy as well as the contemporary paradigm of participatory culture and Web 2.0. On the basis of this, the article focuses on two central questions, namely: (1) What is the Dove ad really tapping into? Is it the sensory aspects of ASMR itself? Or is it rather the techno-cultural community of ASMR and its potential for peer endorsement? And (2) what potentials and problems, does the use of ASMR in a commercial context present? Finally, the article will discuss whether it is time to revisit older debates on subliminal influence and manipulation.
TidsskriftMarketing Theory
StatusAfsendt - 10 sep. 2018

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