Slime. It’s the biggest crafting craze of 2018 and a rising video sensation. There were nearly 25 billion slime video views last year. Big box retailers are reporting glue shortages across the country.

Crafting brands are getting into the game, sponsoring content and making last minute products like sparkly glue to jump on the trend. That’s great. But, more brands need to look more deeply at trends like slime and its cousin ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response). Both offer an opportunity for brands to connect to consumers in entirely new ways, on video and in real life.

Are you taking ASMR seriously?

Visually stimulating slime videos are a part of a growing category of wildly popular videos that are being labeled ASMR. These videos offer little controversy and provide consumers with a calming time-out from real life. A small set of brands like IKEA and Dove created viral ASMR videos already. Michelob went so far as to create an ASMR Superbowl commercial.

These one-off commercials are not genuine attempts to be part of the trend but rather were created as tongue-in-cheek cultural references. Similar to slime, real ASMR videos are largely the domain of influencers, and they’re banking billions of video views with long engagement times from viewers that take the content seriously.

With such a trend that is mostly new content, with an unknown amount of staying power, most brands will see bigger rewards by advertising against the content rather than creating their own. Across billions of views, slime videos average 1.5x the engagement of YouTube’s average. To do that well, brands will need to reset their approach. Influencers are not impressed with advertisers to date. This ASMR influencer even created a video to try to teach brands to tone down the volume to better assimilate with ASMR content.

The glue that binds

The different slime video types appeal to different audience segments, which is good for a host of brand categories like beauty, retail and even fitness. The influencers creating content offer deeper audience insights that can help brands select the right type of content for their target audiences, and then create a retargeting strategy to further expand their scale. Broad targeting against the latest craze can be an ad spend black hole, but, for trends such as ASMR and slime videos, a little bit of data goes a long way towards creating a strategy that sticks.

Brands often see great success buying media against influencers in the beauty and fashion space with a growing category called “Get ready with me” videos. Brands are often able to specifically identify the demographics engaging with that influencer and get a read on the universe of other content by that creator who has similar watch times and engagement within those same demographics.

Staying on top of slime

Such new and varied trends like slime or ASMR need to be watched carefully. When content views skyrocket around particular events or themes, there can be serious brand safety risks if brands try to ride the wave without adequate monitoring. A recent focus on the role of comments on YouTube shows that even innocent content can contain elements that brands will need to review and refine regularly, especially when parts of the category appeal to kids.

Trending content like slime videos will attract new content creators nearly every day, who can take the genre in new directions. These new videos are nearly always brand safe, but may not be brand suitable, and so it’s still important to keep a watchful eye. For example, Some slime videos include makeup or branded toys like Play-Doh, which an advertiser might not want to advertise against for competitive reasons.

The magic of YouTube is that brands can connect with consumers on very new content topics and themes, well before most linear and traditional digital content creators catch on. Viewers and influencers both take the category seriously. It’s time for brands to do the same.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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