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Chinese Sihua Dove ASMR ad campaign – Angelababy

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Published on Apr 16, 2016

To that end in 2015, Dove reshaped the physical format of their iconic bar to provide its customers an easier melting, even more silky and peasurable experience. BBDO Beijing took on the task to communicate this whole new upgraded silky smooth pleasure experience via an experimental idea that could change the way Dove does communication.

We asked ourselves the question: What if our communication didn't just tell the audience how silky smooth Dove chocolate is, it actually made them feel it? How could Dove fulfill this radical ambition?

We've all experienced that feeling of tingles travelling down the spine. They may be triggered by the softest of touches to your skin, a whispering in your ear, a mesmerizing repeating visual, or something else. Some certain sensory stimulation seems to trigger a strange phenomenon in humans that is described in a spectrum of ways from ticklish to pleasurable. Pleasure that could be analogous to the tingling of silky smooth pleasure which consumers feedback upon eating Dove chocolate.

The challenge is that different people seem to respond to different cues, so BBDO Beijing had an idea to capture all those audio-visual triggers on a film to simulate the pleasurable feeling in as many people as possible simply by watching it.

In fact this is the thinking behind an incredibly popular sub-culture of internet videos under the genre ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), which attracts millions of followers worldwide for its most famous content makers. BBDO spent hundreds of hours studying the wealth of available ASMR videos online to understand the cues that seem to work best, and then apply them in to two high quality video productions using Dove's main TVC celebrities: Angelababy (above) and Li Yi Feng (below).

It is the first time globally any brand has tapped into this growing genre of video content. And the first time ASMR videos have been made to such a level of production values. In the first of the videos, Li Yi Feng uses a low soft voice to describe the process by which Dove chocolate achieves such a silky smooth texture through slow and repetitive grinding of the cocao beans, and watching the paste oozing out hypnotically.

In the other, Angelababy shows us her OCD habits upon eating Dove chocolate combined with hyper-realistic sound design of her opening the crinkly wrapper, the snap of the bar and her teeth biting into the chocolate. This sensory overload together with her ethereal whispering voice draws the viewer into her intimate chocolate experience.

In order to validate this world first ambition, Dove partnered with Guokr, a popular science platform that is seen as an authority in China for making science understandable and accessible. The two films were put into rigorous scientific testing to ascertain whether they really did have the physiological effects that simulate pleasure in viewers, the results of which will be studied by neuroscientists and made public soon.

Furthermore, iQIYI launched a simplified interactive version of the experiment for mass public to experience where the viewers heart beat could be tracked while watching the films on a dedicated campaign page. The results for each viewer are shown at the end of the experience, and may be shared on social media.

Through this activity, Dove and their partners BBDO, MediaCom and @PR, are proud to be experimenting with the format of their content to interest the public in new and engaging ways, and hope to give "silky smoothness" a whole new level of affinity and understanding in China.

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