Zippo has partnered with BuzzFeed to kick off a new campaign highlighting the company’s signature “click.” The partnership with Buzzfeed includes a series of videos using ASMR—autonomous sensory meridian response—to celebrate the famous sound of its windproof lighters.
According to PR Week, “the campaign also includes an earned media strategy, social media amplification, a limited-edition lighter range and influencer collaborations.”
BuzzFeed released the first Zippo-branded video called “People Make an ASMR Video for the First Time” that features awkward attempts at recording a relaxing voice over. Participants try whispering, cutting paper and playing with a Zippo lighter—the latter of which causes instant reactions. Open the cover, scratching the flint wheel and blowing on the flame all create sounds that the participants enjoyed creating.
ASMR videos are designed to relax the listener through soft, repetitive sounds, much like those nature CDs so prominent during the 90s. For many, hearing certain sounds also triggers a satisfying physical response such as tingling on the skin—often described as the opposite of uncomfortable goosebumps.
That distinctive click of opening a Zippo cover, it turns out, fits nicely into the exploding trend of ASMR videos online. Many creators already use the lighters to elicit relaxation and the aforementioned “tingling” sensation in its listeners. The opening “click” sound is so distinctive that Zippo was granted a sound trademark, joining an exclusive list of brands like NBC’s chimes, MGM Studio’s roaring lion and AOL’s “You’ve got mail.”
The trademark was filed due in no small part to the brand’s history of fighting “fakes,” highlighted by the dedicated page on Zippo’s website about brand protection.
ASMR elicits an emotional response, making it a lucrative platform for marketing. IKEA recently made videos for students returning to dorm life that featured hands smoothing crisp, cotton sheets.
“These videos focus on products that are relevant to college students and are meant to not only educate the viewer on Ikea products but also to help them relax,” IKEA media project manager Kerri Homsher Longarzo (then external communications specialist) told AList in a previous interview.
Renault teamed up with YouTube influencer ASMR Zeitgeist to record relaxing audio of an electric car. Zeitgeist taps on the frame, tires and rubs on the seats to illustrate the quiet nature of Renault’s Zoe model.
According to Tubular Insights’ ‘State Of Online Video Report,’ in Q1 of this year ASMR videos generated 4.2 billion views on YouTube, with 4 percent growth between March and April.