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Out-of-the-Box Marketing: Unboxing Videos

By Lisa Merriam
AMA New York Board of Directors

Unboxing videos are a marketing phenomenon that just keeps growing. Videos of real people, opening products for the first time and authentically reacting, attract a huge audience and move product.

  • 90,000 people search “unboxing” on YouTube every month.
  • 40 unboxing video have over 10 million views each
  • The top earner on YouTube is an unboxer—to the tune of $22 million a year—a kid named Ryan who simply opens toys on camera
  • Candace Payne videoed herself opening a Chewbacca mask in a Kohl’s parking lot garnered over 1 million views in the first day, caused the mask to sell out everywhere, and earned her hundreds of thousands of dollars
  • Considering that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, your video can reach billions of views

Here is how to make an unboxing video campaign work for you.

  1. Create a great box. Make your packaging interesting and consider adding some extras that make people ooh and aah. Consider the box, the filler or wrapping paper, the colors, even sounds and smells—think drama.
  2. Find the right people. Look for influencers in your niche and ask them to open your box. You might incentivize them with free product or a stipend, although the best unboxers are people who are just interested in your product. Be sure to get a video release that allows you to publicize their video and re-use it in other media for other purposes.
  3. Ask for real video. That means, not on a designed set, with regular lighting and sound. A phone video (think of the mom in the car opening the Chewbacca mask) is more powerful than an Oscar-worthy set design.
  4. When you have video that works, spread it beyond YouTube. Ask the box opener to post the video on review sites. Share it on your social media. Use it to train sales people and consultants. Recut it for internal use. Be sure to use the latest search engine optimization techniques to make it findable.

Authenticity is core to effective branding, and word-of-mouth remains as impactful as it ever has been. Unboxing videos are a marketing tactic that delivers both aspects in your marketing strategy.