Sport Clips and PLAY Audio Agency used ASMR in immersive audio ads to illustrate the relaxing effects of the MVP Haircut Experience. Through a data driven approach they created, qualified, and targeted a suite of creative assets that delivered both brand awareness and sales lifts.


As the leading hair care franchise in the U.S. dedicated to men and boys, Sport Clips’ top priority is for customers to feel comfortable, relaxed, and refreshed. As a result, it was essential for the renowned brand to convey these key tenets through its audio assets in order to resonate with its target audience of men ages 18-49. This was of particular importance because the MVP Haircut Experience is unique to other haircuts in providing the ultimate relaxation experience that includes a neck and shoulder treatment, hot steamed tea tree-scented towel, massaging shampoo and haircut that leaves the customer feeling fully refreshed and confident as he steps out of the store.

Sport Clips and PLAY Audio Agency wanted to understand how their messaging could cut through the noise in the audio space, using emotional and physical attributes elicited through sound. The goal of including ASMR was to allow a listener to hear and feel the MVP Haircut Experience rather than simply tell them about it through more traditional advertising.

Through a series of immersion exercises including a binaural recording of the MVP Haircut Experience as well as very detailed capture of every service in anechoic chamber, PLAY Audio Agency and Sport Clips developed a full understanding of the nuanced and unique nature of all sound that represent the Sport Clips brand.The ASMR technique aligned well with both the sounds of the brand as well as the consumer target.

Additionally, Sport Clips and PLAY Audio Agency used client feedback to gauge their success and a set of in-depth brand immersion exercises to identify the ASMR style of production as a unique way to reach its target audience. Additionally, Sport Clips sought to identify and test a voice that accurately represents its brand and values within its audio advertising creative. To do this, they utilized Veritonic’s audio creative measurement capabilities to identify and optimize the voiceover selection to maximize brand awareness, intent, and engagement among target male listeners in the U.S.

The unique use of a tranquil, soothing voiceover combined with the sound of steaming towels, trickling water, and snipping of scissors was successful in transporting listeners into the MVP Haircut Experience. The insights provided by Veritonic’s creative testing and measurement solutions showed that 100% of the audio ads tested scored at or above their average benchmarks for Intent, Engagement, and overall Veritonic Audio Score.

Qualitative research conducted into consumer experience identified the moments of the MVP Haircut Experience that were the most relaxing as well as differentiated from the competitive set. This positioned ASMR style of activation perfectly as the listener base for ASMR falls mainly male and 18-26; right in the middle of the prime prospect for the Sport Clips brand.

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