The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

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By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

August 11, 2017 | 2 min read

Swedish retail giant Ikea, is looking to promote itself as a provider of rest, by running Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) ads online showing the relaxing benefits of its home goods.

The company has run a peaceful ad showing college dorms gently being made up, as muted and distinctive sounds provide immense satisfaction.

Why has the company created an ad that runs a real risk of putting viewers to sleep? The ad's creators - Kerri Homsher from Ikea and Della Matthew from Ogilvy - told The Drum: “We’re always looking to showcase how Ikea solutions make a better everyday life for the many people. And we’re most successful when we can pair our unique perspective on life at home with things that are happening in popular culture.

"It felt like a perfect match: ASMR videos typically focus on household items, and that’s what Ikea does best."

The 2017 Ikea Back to College campaign will run primarily across digital and social channels and TV, however, the ASMR material has found a home on Ikea USA’s YouTube.

It is the brand's first experimentation with ASMR content, running as an extension to the TVC.

“We knew that ASMR videos are very popular, especially with young people, college students and Ikea coworkers," said the duo.

“So we put two and two together. Our products are designed to help people every day. Our dorm room solutions help students relax after a long day. So we thought of content that does the same.”

Emphasising touch may drive footfall to the extensive stores, which provide a sensory experience like that of the ads, Homsher, said the format of the videos allows Ikea "to deliver product benefits, such a sustainable features or details of product quality, in a new fun way, so we certainly would love if these videos inspired fans to visit their local Ikea store to interact with the products in person.”

"We hope this demonstrates to everyone who watches that Ikea has solutions that make your home work better. But really, we hope it does what it supposed to do: help everyone who watches it relax a little.”

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