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Unboxing Videos Unboxed: From Trend to Mainstream Marketing Phenomenon

Unboxing Videos Unboxed: From Trend to Mainstream Marketing Phenomenon
Joe Tobin
Unboxing Videos Unboxed: From Trend to Mainstream Marketing Phenomenon
Joe Tobin

After bouncing around tech start-ups and university literature programs, Joe has finally settled down as Billo’s Head of Content. Joe now spends his days writing ads about ads, teaching clients how to craft killer content, and combing through our web copy with a bold red Sharpie.

unboxing videos

In the digital age, the concept of “unboxing videos” has transcended from a niche hobby to a cultural phenomenon, captivating millions of viewers across the globe.

These videos, which showcase the process of unpacking new products, have not only changed the way consumers engage with brands but have also created a new frontier in digital marketing and consumer psychology.

This blog post delves deep into the world of unboxing, exploring its origins, its appeal among influencers and consumers, and its impact on marketing and buying behaviors.

The Rise of Unboxing Videos

Unboxing videos first gained popularity on YouTube, becoming a genre in their own right around the mid-2000s.

What started as consumers sharing their excitement and initial impressions about their latest purchases has turned into a strategic platform for influencers and brands.

The simplicity of the concept—a video capturing the first moments of a product’s unveiling—belies its profound impact on viewers and the market.

Why Watch Someone Else Unbox?

At its core, the allure of unboxing videos is multi-faceted, appealing to viewers for several compelling reasons:

Anticipation and Reward: Unboxing mimics the psychological thrill and reward pattern similar to receiving a gift. It triggers a release of dopamine, the feel-good chemical in the brain, making viewers feel part of the experience. This simulation of the gift-receiving process keeps viewers excited and engaged throughout the video.

Detailed Insights: These videos often provide more detail than standard product images or descriptions, giving consumers a better sense of the product’s look, feel, and function before making a purchase decision. This level of detail can be particularly valuable for online shoppers who lack physical access to the product.

Honest Reviews: Many unboxing videos include initial reviews and first impressions, which can feel more trustworthy and less polished than traditional advertisements. This authenticity is crucial as it helps viewers make informed decisions based on the unfiltered opinions of the presenter.

Community and Interaction: Unboxing videos create a sense of community among viewers who share similar interests. The comment sections under these videos are often filled with discussions, opinions, and further engagement, allowing fans to connect over shared enthusiasm for products or brands.

Educational Value: Beyond entertainment, unboxing videos can be highly educational. They often demonstrate how to set up or use a product correctly, discuss features that aren’t immediately obvious, and provide useful tips that might not be included in the official manuals. This makes them an invaluable resource for customers who want to fully understand what they’re buying.

The Psychological Appeal of Unboxing Videos

Unboxing videos have not only taken over popular streaming platforms with their intriguing content but also tapped into deep psychological triggers that captivate a wide audience. Here’s a closer look at the psychological elements that fuel the appeal of these videos:

Curiosity and Anticipation

The fundamental allure of unboxing videos lies in the human instinct for curiosity. The act of slowly revealing the contents of a box mimics the excitement and suspense of opening a present. This anticipation builds as viewers wait to see the unknown, making the eventual reveal deeply satisfying. This sequence mirrors the psychological pleasure associated with surprise and new discoveries, holding viewers’ attention from start to finish.

Dopamine Release

Watching unboxing videos can stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter often associated with the pleasure and reward centers of the brain. As viewers anticipate and experience the unveiling of new products, this chemical release can create feelings of joy and excitement, making the viewing experience emotionally rewarding.

Social Connection

Unboxing videos often create virtual communities of like-minded individuals who share similar interests in products or brands. This social aspect is reinforced through interactions in the comments section or during live streams, where viewers can engage in real-time. Such interactions foster a sense of belonging and community among viewers, enhancing the enjoyment of shared experiences.

The Joy of Discovery

There is an inherent joy in the discovery that comes with unboxing new products. Viewers are drawn to the first look at a new gadget, beauty product, or novelty item, enjoying the thrill of exploration and the initial impressions that come with it. This joy of discovery not only keeps viewers engaged but also stimulates their interest in similar products and videos.

Relatability and Trust

The influencers who present unboxing videos often build a rapport with their audience, making their reactions and reviews seem more trustworthy and relatable. When an influencer shows genuine excitement or disappointment, it resonates with viewers, making the content feel more authentic. This relatability is crucial for maintaining viewer loyalty and trust, which are key components of influencer effectiveness.

Aspirational Viewing

Many viewers are drawn to unboxing videos as a form of aspirational content. They watch these videos to experience products they might not be able to afford or justify purchasing themselves. This kind of viewing allows them to vicariously enjoy luxury items and the latest technology, providing a form of escapism and a glimpse into a lifestyle that they aspire to attain.

The Anatomy of an Unboxing Video

Unboxing videos may seem straightforward at first glance, but they are crafted with specific elements that enhance the viewer’s experience and engagement.

A typical unboxing video can be dissected into several core components, each serving a unique purpose in the narrative and structure of the content. Here’s a breakdown of what makes up the anatomy of a successful unboxing video:

1. Introduction

  • Purpose: Sets the stage for the video, introduces the product, and builds anticipation.
  • Elements: A brief greeting, an overview of the product(s) to be unboxed, and sometimes a teaser about what to expect during the unboxing.

2. The Unveiling

  • Purpose: The heart of the video where the product is revealed, generating excitement and fulfilling the viewer’s anticipation.
  • Elements: Removing the product from its packaging, which might include taking off plastic wraps, opening boxes, and revealing the product layout inside the box. This part is often done slowly to maximize anticipation and detail.

3. First Impressions

  • Purpose: Provides initial thoughts and reactions to the product, giving viewers an authentic sense of its features and aesthetics.
  • Elements: Discussing the look, feel, and any immediate standout features or potential concerns about the product. This is typically spontaneous and can vary greatly depending on the product type.

4. Feature Exploration

  • Purpose: Dives deeper into the product’s functionalities and unique selling points.
  • Elements: Turning the product on (if electronic), demonstrating how it works, and going through the key features. For non-electronic items, this might involve assembling parts, showing different angles, or comparing it with other similar products.

5. Review and Commentary

  • Purpose: Offers a more detailed evaluation of the product, adding value through personal insights and expertise.
  • Elements: Discussing the product’s usability, performance, and how it compares to previous models or competitors. This section often includes pros and cons, which are crucial for viewers making purchase decisions.

6. Additional Content

  • Purpose: Enhances the main unboxing with extra information or related content.
  • Elements: This might include mentioning accessories that come with the product, warranty information, available variants, or additional services offered by the brand.

7. Call to Action (CTA)

  • Purpose: Encourages viewer interaction and engagement beyond just watching the video.
  • Elements: Inviting viewers to like the video, subscribe to the channel, follow on social media, or comment with their thoughts and questions. Some influencers also include links to buy the product or promotional codes.

8. Closing Remarks

  • Purpose: Wraps up the video neatly, reinforcing the influencer’s brand and the video’s key messages.
  • Elements: A summary of thoughts, thank-you notes to the viewers and sponsors (if applicable), and a tease for upcoming videos or content.

All About Influencer Unboxing Videos: Personal Brand = Real Engagement

Influencer unboxing is a specific subset of the unboxing video genre where popular social media personalities showcase new products to their followers. This process not only capitalizes on the influencer’s reach but also on their perceived authenticity and trustworthiness. Here’s how influencer unboxing works and why it’s become a critical strategy in modern marketing.

Collaboration and Sponsorship

This forms the backbone of influencer unboxing, where brands partner with influencers to create excitement and buzz around new products.

Brands typically send new products to influencers for free, sometimes even before they are publicly available. These can include high-tech gadgets, beauty products, or lifestyle items. In return, influencers agree to create an unboxing video that features the product prominently.

Personal Touch and Authenticity

Influencers are expected to infuse their personality into the unboxing experience, making it unique and relatable to their audience.

Influencers often narrate their genuine reactions and first impressions. This personal touch is what sets influencer unboxing apart from traditional commercials or advertisements, as it provides a candid look at the product through a trusted figure.

Detailed Exploration and Review

Offers a thorough insight into the product, beyond the surface-level features.

Influencers go beyond just showing the product; they test it, often live, and share detailed feedback. This might include demonstrating how to set up the device, software interface walkthroughs for tech gadgets, or trying on and styling clothing items. This phase is crucial as it showcases the influencer’s expertise and critical evaluation, adding depth to the unboxing.

Audience Engagement and Interaction

To build a connection with the audience and encourage direct interaction regarding the product.

Influencers invite comments, questions, and discussions about the product from their viewers. They may ask their audience about what they like or dislike about the product, or if they should review similar products in the future. This engagement helps in building a community around the influencer’s content, further boosting credibility and reach.

Affiliate Marketing and CTAs

To convert viewership into sales through direct calls to action.

Many influencers include affiliate links in their video descriptions or offer discount codes. These links direct viewers to online stores where they can purchase the products themselves. Influencers typically receive a commission for each sale made through these links, making this a mutually beneficial arrangement for both the influencer and the brand.

Follow-Up Content

To maintain interest in the product and provide additional value to the audience.

Influencers may create follow-up content that addresses questions raised by viewers or provides updates on their experience with the product over time. This can help maintain audience interest and provide a more comprehensive view of the product’s performance and value.

Unboxing Videos on YouTube: A Platform for Engagement and Beyond

YouTube is undoubtedly the epicenter of the unboxing video trend, providing a platform with vast reach and a built-in community that makes it the ideal place for these videos to thrive. However, the trend has expanded beyond YouTube, touching other social media platforms where different formats and interactions come into play.

YouTube’s Comprehensive Features for Unboxing

YouTube supports high-resolution videos up to 4K, ensuring that products can be seen in great detail, which is crucial for unboxing videos where texture, color, and first impressions matter.

Live unboxing events have become increasingly popular, allowing real-time interaction between influencers and their audiences. This feature helps build anticipation and creates a communal viewing experience.

YouTube has also made it easier for viewers to purchase products directly through the platform via links embedded in video descriptions or overlay ads, effectively shortening the consumer journey from discovery to purchase.

Monetization and YouTube’s Role

YouTube offers various monetization options like AdSense, where creators earn money from ads displayed on their videos. Sponsorships from brands also play a significant role, where companies pay creators to feature their products.

Creators often use affiliate links in their video descriptions, earning a commission for each sale made through these links.

Brands might collaborate directly with creators for special unboxing videos, which can include exclusive previews of new products, enhancing viewer interest and engagement.

Unboxing Videos on Other Platforms

While YouTube remains a powerhouse, other platforms also offer unique opportunities and formats for unboxing videos:


Instagram’s focus on visuals and stories makes it perfect for short, engaging unboxing clips and live sessions.

The use of hashtags and stories can increase the visibility of unboxing videos, while features like polls and Q&A in stories engage the audience interactively.


TikTok’s algorithm favors entertaining and engaging content, making it ideal for creative and quirky unboxing videos that can go viral. The platform supports short videos that are perfect for quick, captivating product reveals.

The spontaneous nature of TikTok content encourages immediate reactions and shares, rapidly spreading unboxing videos across vast networks.


Facebook’s diverse user base and the ability to share videos across communities and groups make it a great platform for unboxing videos aimed at niche products.

Facebook’s live video feature is also beneficial for real-time unboxing events, allowing interaction through comments, reactions, and shares.


Originally known for gaming streams, Twitch has expanded to include live unboxing videos where influencers can interact with their audience in real-time.

The platform’s live chat feature enables a dynamic interaction as viewers can ask questions and offer instant feedback during the unboxing.

Top 10 Unboxing Influencers You Should Be Watching

Unboxing videos are not just about the products; they’re equally about the personalities who bring these experiences to life. Here’s a look at ten of the best unboxing influencers who have mastered the art of engaging content, each bringing their unique style to the genre.

1. Unbox Therapy

Lewis Hilsenteger, the face behind Unbox Therapy, is perhaps one of the most recognized unboxing influencers. With millions of followers, Lewis unboxes everything from the latest smartphones to unique gadgets, giving his audience a thorough look with a dose of charisma.

2. iJustine

Justine Ezarik, better known as iJustine, has been a major player in the tech space for years. Her unboxing videos are detailed and filled with excitement, which helps demystify complex tech for her large audience.

3. Marques Brownlee

Marques Brownlee, also known as MKBHD, offers some of the most polished tech reviews and unboxing videos on YouTube. His detailed analysis helps viewers understand the true value of the tech he unboxes.

4. Safiya Nygaard

Safiya Nygaard is known for her quirky and detailed unboxing videos, especially in the beauty and fashion sectors. Her approach combines humor with thorough product testing, making her videos both informative and entertaining.

5. Dave Lee

Dave Lee, who runs the channel Dave2D, focuses on unboxing and reviewing laptops and mobile tech. His calm demeanor and in-depth knowledge make his reviews highly valuable for anyone looking to buy new tech.

6. Casey Neistat

Casey Neistat is known for his dynamic style and cinematic quality, which extends into his unboxing segments. While not solely an unboxer, his occasional tech unboxings are eagerly anticipated for their creativity and honesty.

7. TheRelaxingEnd

If you’re into gaming, TheRelaxingEnd is a must-watch. Known for his meticulous unboxing of gaming consoles, controllers, and accessories, he adds a calming, almost ASMR-like quality to each video.

8. Liza Koshy

Liza Koshy brings her infectious energy to everything she does, including unboxing. While she’s more known for her comedic sketches, her unboxing videos are filled with humor and surprises, making each product reveal fun and engaging.

9. Linus Tech Tips

Linus Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips is a heavyweight in the tech community. His unboxings are incredibly detailed, often enhanced with performance benchmarks and back-to-back comparisons, making them a tech enthusiast’s gold mine.

10. Rosanna Pansino

Best known for her cooking channel, Rosanna Pansino occasionally delves into unboxings, especially with kitchen gadgets and tools. Her cheerful presentation and clear explanations help viewers understand exactly what they’re getting.

What Makes These Unboxers Stand Out?

These influencers stand out not only for their ability to engage and entertain but also for their expertise and trustworthiness. They offer viewers first-hand looks at new products, detailed reviews, and personal insights, making them go-to sources in their respective niches.

Whether you’re into tech, gaming, beauty, or general gadgets, these creators have set the bar high for unboxing content, influencing purchasing decisions and trends within the industry.

Watching these influencers can give you a better understanding of a product’s day-one appeal and long-term viability, all while keeping you entertained. If you’re curious about the latest products hitting the market, subscribing to these channels is a great way to stay informed and entertained.

The Unboxing Trend: Here to Stay?

The unboxing trend has shown remarkable longevity and adaptability. It evolves with changes in consumer behavior and technological advancements. With the rise of virtual reality and augmented reality, the future of unboxing could shift into even more immersive experiences.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

The adoption of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in unboxing videos could transform the viewer experience by allowing them to interact with products in a virtual space.

VR lets users feel like they are physically handling the product, while AR can project how items like furniture might look in a viewer’s own home. These technologies enhance the realism and detail of the unboxing experience, helping consumers make more informed decisions and reducing online shopping uncertainties.

Sustainability Concerns

With rising environmental awareness, consumers are increasingly favoring brands that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. This shift is pushing companies to adopt eco-friendly and minimalist packaging strategies, which use less material and incorporate recycled or biodegradable components.

Highlighting these green packaging solutions in unboxing videos not only appeals to environmentally conscious consumers but also promotes sustainability in the broader retail industry.

AI-Driven Customization

AI can be used to tailor unboxing videos to individual viewer preferences, potentially altering the content in real-time based on viewer reactions or past behaviors.

For instance, if an AI system learns that a viewer is particularly interested in specific product features, such as the camera quality of smartphones, it can dynamically adjust the video to focus more on those features during an unboxing.

Interactive Elements

AI could also introduce interactive elements to unboxing videos, such as on-the-fly Q&A where viewers can ask questions during a live unboxing, and AI can provide real-time answers by pulling information from a knowledge base or triggering specific responses from the influencer.

Predictive Analytics

By analyzing viewer data and engagement metrics, AI can help influencers and brands predict which products will be most appealing to their audience, which in turn can influence future unboxings and product development. This not only ensures that content creators are delivering content that is likely to perform well but also helps brands align their products with consumer expectations.

Unboxed and Ready to Engage!

Unboxing videos have transformed from a simple video format into a powerful marketing tool and a source of consumer insight. They satisfy the modern consumer’s desire for transparency, detail, and community.

As technology advances and consumer preferences shift, the unboxing video will undoubtedly adapt, continuing to play a significant role in the intersection of technology, marketing, and consumer behavior.

Unboxing videos are more than just a passing trend; they are a reflection of the changing landscape of consumer engagement and digital content. Whether you are a brand, an influencer, or a consumer, understanding the dynamics of unboxing videos can provide deeper insights into the digital economy and its impact on consumer habits.

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