Zoë Kravitz's ASMR-Themed Michelob Ultra Super Bowl Ad Is Dividing the Internet

The controversial commercial introduced the strangely erotic ASMR trend to the masses.
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During the Super Bowl, Michelob Ultra ran a 45-second commercial for their newest  "organic" beer starring Zoë Kravitz, introducing the masses to the internet trend called ASMR.

Though many may have heard of it before, they might not have experienced it until the ad ran on TV and made ASMR mainstream.

In the commercial, Kravitz gently whispers into a microphone, taps her nails on the bottle, slowly rolls the glass around a wooden table, and audibly pops off the cap and pours it into a glass. 

Paired with stunning visuals of waterfalls, trees, and mountains, it makes for a “full sensory experience” that illustrates “the power of an organic beer to help people reconnect with nature.”

But what's so great about whispering and other noises? Why is ASMR so popular? 

Well, for starters, ASMR is short for "Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response," and was first coined in 2010 by a woman named Jennifer Allen

It refers to a tingly sensation of pleasure and deep relaxation induced by sounds and visuals including breathy whispers, tapping, turning book pages scratching, and even chewing.

In one of the first scientific studies about ASMR, researchers described it as “a … sensory phenomenon, in which individuals experience a tingling, static-like sensation across the scalp, back of the neck and at times further areas in response to specific triggering audio and visual stimuli. This sensation is widely reported to be accompanied by feelings of relaxation and well-being.” 

Throughout the past few years, ASMR videos have become increasingly popular on the internet, and some have hundreds of thousands and even millions of views from people who swear by it for tingly relaxation.

On YouTube, users upload videos that are hours long of them drumming their fingers on a microphone, stroking the camera lens with paint brushes, cutting hair, and eating loudly into the microphone.

For example, here's an ASMR video of a cat eating:

But frankly, not everyone is particularly into ASMR, and some actually think it's uncomfortable. I personally find it unbearable, but for others, it apparently works. A UK study found that ASMR provides temporary relief from depression and chronic pain, and helped participants deal with stress. 

Before the ad ran during the Super Bowl, it was posted on YouTube on January 28th and has over 13 million views, but according to social media analytic firm Brandwatch, the commercial received mixed reviews on Twitter and the majority were negative.

Business Insider states that "Michelob Ultra was mentioned 4,200 times and more than 54% of the tweets were negative, according to the firm. At one point, 750 tweets a minute were flying around about the brand."

What do you think about ASMR? If you love it, here's one more video for you to enjoy.