Unboxing is a hugely popular trend that started with the dawn of YouTube and other video hosting platforms. It quickly gained mainstream popularity in the ‘00s and is steadily growing ever since.
There’s no doubt that unboxing videos arouse viewers’ anticipation and curiosity by allowing them to visualise the product on the screen, prompting them to buy it if they enjoyed the whole on-screen experience.
Watch our co-founder Axel Gekiere explain what an unboxing video is
Unlike a product review, a conventional unboxing video doesn’t go that much into details of the product itself. It’s not about the technology, specifications or performance. Instead, the video focuses on the most fun, enjoyable, and entertaining part of getting a brand new gadget: opening the box, inspecting it carefully, ripping out the foil, and having fun with it while it’s fresh out of the pack.
It’s like opening your Christmas gifts – but by proxy, on Youtube and as a part of a massive audience sharing comments and opinions.
Google Trends graph showing interest over time for the term ‘unboxing’ that is steadily gaining traction in online searches during the last few years
Since the unboxing concept is so simple and easy to follow, there are thousands of unboxing channels on YouTube alone. Some of the most popular ones, like Unbox Therapy that focuses on tech gadget unboxing, publish up to few videos per week, have a steady base of subscribers and regularly reach around 1.5M views per video.
But surprisingly, technology, while still a major unboxing trend, is not the only one that’s popular or notable in terms of views. Channels focusing on other items like children’s products, including toys, can easily reach over 1 billion views. Ryan’s World is an excellent example of a channel producing unboxing videos. It features an adorable toddler unboxing new toys and getting overly excited about his new cars, models and games. His videos reach hundreds of millions of hits almost instantly for a good couple of years now.
Unboxing is less about what the product itself is and more about the joy of unwrapping something new and exciting.
Almost any product will find its unboxing niche, as long as it follows some basic rules. Do you want to make sure that you are getting 110% out of your unboxing videos? Here are a few tips from us:
- Always surprise your viewers and drive them in with quirky, beautiful and sustainable packaging: use every bit of the box to its full potential
First impressions count, so make sure that the initial impact of your product packaging and box design is simply exceptional and unforgettable.
When it comes to unboxing, the box itself is always the hero of the first part of the video. How it looks like, what’s it made of, how it feels to the touch – it all matters to the viewers. Since the audience has to rely on the influencers’ narration for everything that is not readily visible, it is wise to focus on visuals and graphic design more than on other aspects first.
The devil is in the details.
New eBay reusable box design showing a great, ‘pro-green’ use of all the available surfaces
Put some effort not only in the easily noticeable elements. Encourage exploration and investigation of all the box’s surfaces. Make sure to include a hidden message on the bottom of the box. Decorate the inside. Reward the viewer with fun, memorable and shareable features that are hard to spot. This will help you stir the conversation in the comments and bring you some additional views.
- Make it more shareable and exciting by combining multiple unboxings into a massive haul video: promote more products at the same time
Another trend that is taking off at an alarming speed is making haul videos. Merging multiple product experiences into one long video is comparable to binge-watching a TV series. Feeling the anticipation for the new items, getting excited that there are still more boxes to unwrap, and finishing with a huge view full of brand new, unboxed stuff. It’s every viewer’s dream.
There are even professional YouTube haulers out there that don’t make standard unboxing videos anymore and instead focus on $100-$1000 worth of products per video to make their channels more specialised, exciting and competitive.
Google Trends graph showing interest over time for the term ‘haul video’ that recently skyrocketed and shows no signs of stopping
If your brand has multiple products or product categories, making a haul video can bring much more value for you, than focusing on just one product.
This is especially true if you are launching a brand new item or line. By featuring a new product in a haul, you can not only promote the up-and-coming item but also revive the interest in other products in your range.
- Don’t forget about the little things: capitalise on the unboxing experience by including extras, freebies, and unexpected surprises
What every viewer expects from the unboxing video is the core product. What every viewer wants are all the small extra bits and pieces that make the experience interesting and more personal.
A simple handwritten thank you note inside the box will make the video that much interesting, but including a beautiful product sample, exclusive offer or a discount code that viewers can use later on may just score you a few orders and happy clients.
A handwritten note from the business founder is an extra touch that can potentially sway the viewers
Think strategically in terms of including extras in your packages that can be potentially unboxed on video. Including an actionable item inside the box that is being sent to an influencer or a media portal can not only bring you views and social media engagement but also potential purchases.
If you decide to go with a promo code, make sure that it’s big, bold and easy to remember. It will probably appear on the screen for just a few seconds, so use that opportunity well. Also, make sure that the code doesn’t expire anytime soon – YouTube unboxing videos can be discovered and revisited long after they are first published.
If you include product samples to lure the viewers in, make it obvious that this is the gold standard that every customer can expect from their box. You don’t want to disappoint new clients when their package is much more empty and much less exciting than the one they’ve seen unboxed online.
- Be crystal clear on what your expectations are: define your goals and core metrics
Last but not least – when making an unboxing video, you have to make sure that you are not going in blind. Making a video for the sake of uploading one to your social media channels is just not good enough anymore.
Define your expectations and know exactly what you want to achieve.
Without a clear direction, you can’t focus your creative process or measure the actual success of your videos. It’s very easy to lose sight of what drives value for your brand if it’s not set in stone.
If the comments and general feedback about the box and the product are what you’re after, then you can encourage it by mentioning it at the very beginning of the video. Similarly, if you’d like your viewers to share your content with their friends, you can prompt them with a clickable share button.
By solidifying the metrics they are important for you, you will be able to not only take steps to maximise on the potential key things during the video production stage, but you will also be able to accurately measure your unboxing video performance.
Are you ready to tackle the exciting world of unboxing videos? Let us know what worked for you best and what kind of challenges did you encounter in the comments.