Virgin Atlantic releases ASMR video to tempt flyers back onboard

The airline wants to give passengers a ‘magical tingly feeling’

Cathy Adams@Cathman
Tuesday 13 April 2021 12:39
Virgin Atlantic launches travel ASMR video

As the travel industry readies for take-off next month, an airline has launched a travel-inspired ASMR video to tempt flyers back to the cabin.

The three-minute-long video, released by Virgin Atlantic, showcases the sights and sounds of travel; from the pop of the champagne cork in the plane cabin to the sway of the wind in palm trees.

ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a state that some people experience when they hear or see triggers such as whispering, light touch and beautiful imagery. It causes a tingling sensation, often starting on the scalp and moving down the spine.

The evocative video starts with waves lapping at a beach with the narrator saying: “Sound triggers memory.

“Put your headphones on, sit back, relax and dream of where we will be flying with you next.”

A woman is seen, masked-up, at the airport checking in for a flight: VS131 to Barbados.

Sounds in the “tingly” video include a check-in agent flicking through passport pages; opening the overhead luggage bin; the seatbelt being fastened; and cream being spread on a scone.

Corneel Koster, chief customer and operating officer of Virgin Atlantic, said that the “concept of ASMR and giving people that magical tingly feeling, is the perfect tool to remind our customers of the travel experience that awaits them when they come back to the skies with us”.

“Whether it’s the ubiquitous clicking shut of the overhead locker, or the familiar routine of the safety demonstration, it’s the sensory memory of these moments that our customers long for, heading off on their well deserved holidays, starting a fabulous adventure.”

“Scientific research supports claims that ASMR is something that can make people feel relaxed,” says Dr Giulia Poerio, Psychology Lecturer at the University of Essex.

“People with ASMR show significant reductions in their heart rates when watching ASMR videos, reductions comparable to other more well-established stress alleviating techniques such as mindfulness and music therapy.

“ASMR-tingling is associated with increased activation in brain regions involved in emotion, empathy and affiliative behaviours. As a result, ASMR has been likened to caring behaviours – suggesting that ASMR activates neurological pathways involved in socio-emotional bonding. This idea is somewhat supported by research showing that ASMR videos increase feelings of social connection.”

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