ASMR Films Tackle Realities Of Homelessness

Northern Ireland's leading homelessness charity has released a series of ASMR focused films to force viewers to consider how the sounds they find the most comforting can be the same ones that keep homeless people awake at night.

The innovative new campaign has been launched by Simon Community NI, with prominent ASMR influencers to use their platforms to encourage followers to consider homelessness from a different perspective.

As people tune into ASMR videos from the comfort of their own homes, often as a type of sleeping aid, the series hopes to strike empathy towards those who don't have a safe and secure place to sleep in. The films turn concepts such as 'the relaxing sound of rain' and 'the crunching sound of a plastic bag' into a shocking contrast.

Using the films, the charity hopes to raise awareness about the dire circumstances of those experiencing homelessness and is urging people to help them fight the issue after 205 people died while homeless in an 18 month period in Northern Ireland.

Watch the short films here:

Speaking about the concept of the campaign, Ciarán Corr, Communications Manager at Simon Community said they hope to utilise the heightened empathy towards homeless people throughout the winter.
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He explained: "Keen to have our voice heard during the season, we partnered with Ogilvy to think differently about homelessness and reach out to new audiences with a concept that challenges.

"ASMR's popularity has experienced an exponential growth of late, with the music of Billie Eilish and the endorsements of Jake Gyllenhaal, Gigi Hadid and Cardi B resulting in millions of online video views for a trend that has firmly cemented itself as part of popular culture. This Winter, Simon Community will deliver the charity's message to an international stage by becoming part of this YouTube and social media phenomenon."

For those who experience ASMR, the sound or visual will result in a tingling sensation beginning on your head and travelling down your spine. The feeling has a cult following, with millions of viewers using the videos to help them fall asleep each night.

Jim Dennison, Chief Executive at Simon Community NI said of the initiative: "After supporting the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's homelessness deaths project and discovering the number of victims in Northern Ireland, our charity has become committed to raising awareness on a local and global stage. I meet with clients on a regular basis who because of different circumstances have had to sleep outside, in their car or in derelict buildings and it has long lasting impacts on a person's mental and physical wellbeing. While homelessness spirals further out of control, our hope is that this innovative film series will use sound to make noise!"

Dennison added: "Moving speedily in to 2020, Northern Ireland faces the very real prospect of no functioning Stormont, MPs distracted by Leave Vs Remain arguments and no decisions being made on the continuation of Welfare Mitigation – a vital safety net for vulnerable people living on the breadline. On the horizon, we are predicting a rise in poverty with more people spiralling into homelessness, addictions and worsened mental health."


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