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  • Writer's picturealiciacranwellmarketing

When opening becomes too mundane a word, we coin a new one - The 2017 Unboxing Phenomenon

Discovering Youtube's unboxing phenomenon was certainly out of the ordinary for a standard day at work, but there was something that spoke value in these weirdly wonderful videos.

I began watching them, stumbling coincidentally upon the leading unboxing channel, aptly called "Unbox Therapy". The $3000 Bluetooth Speaker episode was the first to catch my attention. The packaging for French Company, DVLA's innovative and slick design spoke elegance, excellence and made "the whole experience" as the channel's star commented. Truly mesmerised by these videos without even having realised it, I continued to watch it through to the end, but was left dumb-founded as to what I could possibly do with this trend. How could I make it valuable for the blog? In all honesty, most of the channels, particularly the more amateur ones, have no interest in the packaging whatsoever. Comparatively, if you have the time to trawl through a vast number of them, you will find that you can collate some understanding of what consumers look for with their packaging, and even better, is that it is very much product specific. Particular brands would do well to keep an eye on this phenomenon to learn about consumer responses to their packaging, as well as the products themselves. 

E-commerce is a developing sector in the industry, we are still learning and improving. That being said, it is essential for brand reputation that the packaging arrives on time and undamaged, just the same as if the consumers were to pick it straight off the shop shelf. This is precisely the review that @Chirhomin made on his luxury barber box: "thanks to luxury barber box for taking care of their box and shipping it quickly." He also commented on the elegant magnetic front flap which drew his attention by being quite distinguished from the average e-commerce box. The consumer still desires the full shopping experience, despite not leaving their house. Worse is that they can't see the packaging until it arrives, so in the sea of standard, unattractive packaging, it is often vital to stand out, as you would in-store. This also includes durability and quality of the box. One comment from a pizza unboxer was "when stuff gets delivered, it gets soggy", so indirectly they commented on the quality of the packaging their pizza supplier used to ensure that the grease from the food did not ruin the food in transit. 

The primary comment made by almost every vlogger that passed reviews about the packaging was in regards to the logo and excitement added to the unboxing ecperience by the presentation of the graphics on the box. For example, The Unbox Therapy demonstrated the limited edition pizza hut trainers, the pie-tops. The name itself is creative, yet only subtly hinting at the product inside, something he quite liked. The pizza hut logo remained consistent and supplemented the deeper pizza style box that the shoes were delivered in. Upon opening, the ancillary packaging also remained consistent, with tissue paper protecting the shoes stating "enjoy", beneath which the trainers featuring the pizza hut colour-way and logo were revealed. 

One thing that struck me, despite that vloggers did not necessarily comment upon it; being more interested in reviewing the products themselves for their viewers, was the amount of excess packaging used in shipping. Many cheap products from China, such as those you can buy from Wish (if, dare I say, you take that risk) were wrapped in oversized plastic bags. These did not protect the products, nor did they suggest that the products were particularly good quality and much of the plastic was wasted. Comparatively, asos in one video had packaged 3 pairs of trainers in the boxes, in a sort of box constantine. This shocked the buyer, meaning their trainers had been exposed to potential damage, but "all to ensure that they can fit as much into the one bag, asos." I was undecided as to whether the vlogger was as such disappointed, or simply surprised, but optimising packaging space and forcing packaging are two quite disparate approaches to ensuring that waste is minimal and costs are kept lower. The consumer's products have to be safe, and that includes ensuring boxes remain in tact. 


Here are some links to the unboxing videos I watched, namely those quoted in this article:

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