Relax and Enjoy This Horse ASMR From Lexington Tourism

Sorry, we meant to say 'Neigh-SMR'

Hank the horse nibbles down on a variety of snacks for your listening enjoyment. VisitLEX
Headshot of David Griner

It all began with a pickle.

When Kentucky agency Team Cornett saw that a YouTube clip of a woman eating a pickle had received more than 20 million views (it’s currently at 26 million), the creatives were inspired to try a similar approach to ASMR—but this time with a horse doing the chomping.

Why? Because one of the agency’s clients is Lexington tourism office VisitLEX, which promotes the Kentucky city as “the Horse Capital of the World.” So Team Cornett pitched it to the tourism department’s marketing vp, Gathan Borden, who gave it the green light.

And thus were we gifted with this audio masterpiece: “Neigh-SMR,” a 2-minute clip of a horse named Hank eating things.

Obviously a bit of a satire of the ASMR marketing trend that has swept up brands from Ikea to KFC—and even made an appearance in this year’s Super Bowl—”Neigh-SMR” is about more than just poking fun at a fad, its creators say.

The video also elevates the role of audio, which is often overlooked in tourism marketing, says Team Cornett creative director Whit Hiler.

“This approach is unique in the tourism space because most destinations focus on promoting the sights. The sounds of a destination are often neglected,” Hiler says. “We saw this as an opportunity to do something fun and different while playing on the phenomenon of ASMR. Folks can watch this video, and if they decide to visit Lexington, they can go out to the Kentucky Horse Park or one of the 400 horse farms surrounding Lexington and experience this in real life – which is a really awesome experience. These horses are amazing animals.”

Speaking of Kentucky Horse Park, the famed equine destination played a big role in making the ASMR video a reality. The venue provided the set, talent (Hank) and handlers.

“The shoot went really smooth. Hank was fantastic,” Hiler says. “The end product came out way better than I thought it would. It gave me the tingles.”


Leslie Miller – Senior Account Planner
Whit Hiler – Creative Director
Dave Jones – Art Directior
Jonathon Spalding – Senior Copywriter
Bailey Klutts – Account Coordinator
Allie Plata – Associate Copywriter / Voice Over
Ian Friley – Kong Productions
James Friley – Kong Productions
Richie Wireman – Assistant Director
Kentucky Horse Park – Mindy Welch, Barn Manager Parade of Breeds
Kentucky Horse Park – Trellie Griffith, Equine Staff
Kentucky Horse Park – Angel Antonaccio, Equine Staff
Kentucky Horse Park – Kerry Howe, Marketing Director
Kentucky Horse Park – Hank the horse
VisitLEX – Gathan Borden, VP of Marketing

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."