We can’t get enough of them. But why?
YouTube is filled with millions of exciting videos from car chases to viral cat videos to explosions, but some of the most popular videos on YouTube these days are boring.
Like watching paint dry. One user uploaded a 10-hour video of paint drying and over 200,000 people have watched it. There’s a name for boring but interesting videos on YouTube: oddly satisfying. They often get lumped into the same category as ASMR videos which stands for “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response”.
Oddly satisfying videos don’t normally elicit a tingly feeling on our arms, neck, and head, these videos simply help us relax.
Popular ‘oddly satisfying videos’ are people cutting or carving bars of soap. People smashing things and playing with slime. There are hundreds of videos of people cleaning with a pressure washer or even a broom.
I spoke to two YouTube viewers who’ve seen the videos and even watched them occasionally. Neither could explain what draws people to them.
“I think to get your mind off something that makes you curious and entertains you,” said Lindsey Benda. “Yeah, just distracts you from your normal life.”
“It’s just cool to watch,” said YouTube viewer Payton Barlow, admitting it is a little strange. “It’s like soap or slime or something very weird. but I think it’s cool.”
Marketers and brands are taking notice of the interest in oddly satisfying and ASMR videos and are implementing the idea into new advertising campaigns.
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