The Technical
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The Technical

ASMR: Bob Ross’ Secret To YouTube Success

An image of famous painter turned ASMR kin Bob Ross with his eezel

The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross aired between 1983 and 1994.

Long before the first line of YouTube code.

Throughout the series, Ross’ laid back approach to painting shined.

For example, Ross referred to any mistakes as “Happy Accidents,” quickly correcting them with a few brush strokes.

The New York Times calls Ross one of the most recognizable painters since Picasso.

But how did this former Master Sergeant find modern YouTube popularity from a low-budget television series?

A Voice For ASMR, And A Face For TV

The Joy of Painting found popularity in Muncie, Indiana, spreading across the United States to other countries such as Canada, Mexico, the UK, Netherlands, and Japan.

There is a special quality about the show.

Ross himself said most viewers don’t watch to learn how to paint, instead they watch to relax.

At the height of The Joy of Painting’s popularity in the US, a Japanese television company approached American television station WIPB to syndicate the show.

WIPB prepared a sample of the show without Ross’ voice, only subtitles, and the Japanese buyers rejected it.

Even though they couldn’t understand what he was saying, they wanted to hear Ross’ voice.

WIPB sent over a full sample and Japan became the second-largest market for the show.

ASMR & YouTube’s Love Affair With Bob Ross

The Joy of Painting and Bob Ross found modern popularity on YouTube, with thousands of daily views.

However, most of the comments left on Ross’ videos are not about the mountains he paints or techniques he uses, they’re about his voice.

How melodic he is, and how often it puts people to sleep, in the best way possible.

Bob Ross is linked to the ASMR video phenomenon.

ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response.

Jennifer Allen coined the term and founded

ASMR Darling is one of the top ASMR content producers on YouTube

You might know of ASMR YouTube artists who receive millions of views, and dollars, whispering into a microphone and producing all sorts of soothing sounds.

These videos give viewers “tingles,” running through their head and spine.

Tingles are relaxing and help most viewers fall asleep.

There is no science to support the existence of ASMR, but it received a lot of media coverage and a KickStarter raising funds for a documentary.

Bob Ross is an accidental king of ASMR, something he didn’t know existed during his show’s run.

The combination of his soothing voice and brush strokes litter each episode with ASMR triggers.

His personality is friendly and he produces an aura that he is standing in the room with you.

Bob Ross’ Personal Attention

Most ASMR videos focus on this “personal attention” factor.

But what makes Ross king?

It goes back to his voice.

Where most ASMR artists whisper, Ross speaks in a soft, quiet, calming tone, taking long pauses between words and sentences.

He exudes a warmth that cannot be mimicked.

He speaks directly to the viewer and is first and foremost task oriented.

The man loves to paint.

And this is what makes Bob Ross an unintentional king of ASMR and a modern YouTube star.



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Joe Scaglione

Joe Scaglione


A content writer interested in what everyone else is interested in.