As its name suggests, ‘Unboxing’ videos are those where somebody unboxes a product from its packaging. Usually, the person who is doing the unboxing goes to great lengths to describe the product in its entirety. Unboxing videos also may involve an incredible soundscape to appeal to the senses similar to most ASMR videos. We wouldn't go so far as to say there is an art to unboxing videos, but we would say that it is a craft to be mastered for anyone building an online channel with hopes to get noticed by brands!
Individuals who create unboxing video content have built a solid viewership of followers that is attractive to brands, thus turning themselves into what is known today as an 'Influencer'.
Youtube is the most popular platform for Unboxing videos. Although it’s true that since Instagram IGTV appeared, some influencers made the leap, however, Youtube is still the favorite place where unboxing videos are found and watched by a bigger audience.
It's important to note what Unboxing videos are not. They are not product 'reviews.' Though, you could say it might include a review of the packaging if you want to get technical. But at the core, unboxing videos are more about the unveiling of the product itself and announcing it to the world, like a digital debutant coming out party, but for a product.
Because essentially, the product is being featured in a video and shown in all its glory, one could consider the Unboxing video as a "type" of advertisement. However, since influencers create this type of video, they are not the typical form of advertisement and while they can be entertaining, they wouldn't be considered branded entertainment either.
Influencers give proximity feeling towards the audience since in the end, they are not superstars and we can feel related to them. As a brand, this is an interesting point of view for your marketing campaign that you need to take care of. It will always depend on which is your brand identity and your campaign goals.
The Unboxing Audience
Since ‘Unboxing’ videos can be considered as a new type of advertising, the audience may be more specific. The main audience is people who are early adopters or have an interest in the new products/trends of a market. They are also popular between young generations as ‘Generation Z’ and the rising ‘Generation Alpha’ (who are people born after 2010 until now).
A commonality in Unboxing videos is that the product is most often a new release or just launched by a brand, or it's hot and trending on the market. Who wants to see an unboxing video it’s a product that was launched a couple of years ago? The exception would be if the Influencer is comparing an old model with a new model –or if it's an unboxing of a rare, vintage product!
Different categories are the most popular:
- High tech consumer goods: This category can include smartphones, tablets, computers, cameras, earphones,... Brands find it to be an effective way for people to see the product in use during the first days of its release. See any Unboxing Therapy video on Youtube.
- Beauty/Fashion: Unboxing videos with makeup, fashion apparel and accessories are a category of their own. Makeup unboxing is HUGE and so is clothing. Influencers that unbox and try on new fashion items go into great detail and great lengths to showcase the item are called shopping hauls. When shopping haul videos appeared on YouTube around 2010, shoppers had purchased their own garments to unbox, try on and show. Today influencers usually don’t choose the product, brands send it to them as part of their product launch campaigns because of their appeal to a wider audience. Sometimes Brands even become a sponsor for the Influencer's channel and offer production support.
- Gadgets & appliances: Regardless of the subject matter; for the house, the car, back-to-school or consumer goods, gadget and appliance unboxing videos are very popular. For example, school material becomes trending during August since school is starting. These types of videos help make purchase decisions. So it is always in the best interest of the Brand to include influencers in their launches.
- Kid's Unboxing: Kid's toys and games unboxing videos are incredibly popular because children feel excitement and elation while watching the short unboxing videos. They feel included in the unboxing as if they are participating in something special and new. For brands, this can be an extremely powerful tool. Kids unboxing videos have become so popular that Youtube had to step in to establish some basic controls over unboxing content for ethical reasons that are very important to consider for the welfare of children.
A good example of unboxing videos are the famous Youtubers Lewis George Hilsenteger and Jack McCann from Unbox Therapy. They started 10 years ago with unboxing videos of tech devices and gadgets. Nowadays their channel is a reference for early bird technology geeks.
There can also be ‘Unboxing’ videos with other different types of products, but those are the four most popular categories.
It’s also interesting to consider that the growth of e-commerce and the growth of ‘Unboxing’ videos are correlated. Since the e-commerce boom started, this Unboxing content has become a new, unique and effective format to consider in e-commerce advertisement strategies.