Unboxing – from trend to must-have: Is your packaging worth an unboxing?

29th April 2020|E-commerce, Trends|

The unboxing trend has taken the world by storm. Ordinary consumers are unwrapping gifts and packaging for everyone’s viewing pleasure. Product reviews on social media are also known as the internet’s word-of-mouth method. Unboxing has now become commonplace, which is of significance for many brands.

A Chanel paper bag and two packaged gift boxes are on the floor waiting to be unwrapped. A woman’s hand, with lovely burgundy-coloured nails, elegantly opens the packages one by one. Even though this is a 5-minute long, home-edited video, the quality is great. It sounds soft when the paper is opened. The woman is opening gifts that she has just bought. The comment thread speaks volumes, with plenty of praise and recognition for the lovely products.

This is a consumer “unboxing” product review and is an increasingly important part of marketing.

The video has been viewed at least 12,000 times in one year on YouTube. There are many people watching such (presumably) unpaid advertisements for these types of packaged products. The 12,000 views are just the tip of the “unboxing trend” iceberg. Some of the most popular unboxing reviews on YouTube have over 100 million views.

No, you didn’t read that wrong; there are over hundreds of millions of views.

How can brands and businesses take advantage of this trend, which has gone from being a fashionable phenomenon to an everyday occurrence?

A quick click on Google trends reveals that the trend is ongoing:

In this article, you can read about what unboxing is, and what it means for brands and businesses.

We address the following:

  • What is unboxing?
  • Is unboxing relevant for all products?
  • Why do we do it?
  • What does this mean for packaging and brands?
  • Additional things you can do to create value

What is unboxing?

Unboxing is about commenting on and/or documenting the experience by unwrapping gifts or packages on video. Most often, these videos are published on digital platforms that allow everyone to view them. But they can also be featured on closed channels, such as Snapchat, Facebook Messenger or similar, where the unboxing experience is only shown to friends or family.

One of the earliest examples of an unboxing video is from 2006, where a gamer from the US unwrapped a PlayStation 3 delivered from Japan. The video was of interest to others due to the console not being for sale in the US at that time.

Unboxing doesn’t just happen on YouTube

YouTube is not the only media platform involved. The videos are also being shared extensively on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. Many consumers share their buying experience in their Instagram story, for example. When brands and businesses make the purchasing experience personal and unique, consumers are more likely to share the experience with their friends and followers.

The popular US talk show host Ellen was very surprised to discover this trend, which she talks about in the video below: