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Beyond the box: The unstoppable trend of unboxing videos – 25 billion views later


YouTube and unboxing videos go hand in hand. In fact, last year there were more than 25 billion views of videos with ‘unboxing’ in the title (YouTube). It’s a trend that has taken the internet by storm, with people tuning in to watch others creatively unpack products, revealing what’s inside to eager viewers.

Unboxing videos tend to include the opening of a box and the unboxer’s thoughts, as the items inside are revealed and reviewed one by one. Unboxing videos allow viewers to see products in detail before making a purchase, showing how they look, their features and, of course, the perks or pitfalls of their packaging, all of which help to decrease consumers’ perceived risk of purchase. These videos are an effective way to advertise new or trending products, providing viewers with information that could inspire and give them the confidence to make a purchase themselves. After all, 62% of unboxing video viewers were interested in the video because they were planning to purchase the product (Internet Retailing).

In this blog post, we look at the popularity of unboxing videos and how providing the ultimate unboxing experience through planet-friendly packaging can beefit brands of all sizes and supercharge their success.

Undeniable appeal

There is no denying that unboxing videos have become a cultural phenomenon, with millions of viewers watching worldwide. Whether it’s unboxing a brand-new ready-to-drink beverage, designer clothing or a monthly supplements subscription box, viewers are drawn to the anticipation and discovery that comes with an unboxing video.

The buildup to the unboxing experience creates a sense of excitement and anticipation as viewers eagerly await the product’s reveal and the YouTuber’s opinion. Watching someone unbox a product makes viewers feel as if they’re part of uncovering a new product and discovering its features first-hand, rather than purely through promotional efforts like adverts. Unboxing videos help to evoke the joy of first experiences. The visual and auditory elements of an unboxing video – such as the sound of crinkling paper-based packaging and the satisfaction of seeing a fully branded packaging box being opened with ease – take this to the next level.

First impressions count

Packaging is more than just protection for products; it’s a key part of the overall customer experience. First impressions really do count with packaging, and the unboxing experience can influence customers’ perceptions and emotions towards a brand and its products. Creative packaging designs enhance this experience, transforming the unboxing of products into a memorable and enjoyable moment for consumers – one which they’re keen to share with the billions of potential consumers waiting to watch. And, with 82% of people having been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a video (Wyzowl), it’s vital to make the unboxing of your product stand out.

See how we enhanced the unboxing experience for high-performance weatherproof clothing brand, Dryrobe, helping to boost their brand awareness and reputation here.

 Satisfy the senses

Fit-for-purpose packaging protects products during transit, making sure they arrive in the same condition they were packed. Paper-based packaging, in particular, also offers a tactile and sensory experience. The texture of the paper and the option of added premium finishes such as matte varnish, adds a sensory element to packaging. Plus, it’s also lightweight and easy to handle, with adhesive-free, easy-to-tear options available to make the opening process easy for all customers.

By incorporating elements such as unique shapes, bold colours, different textures, and interactive features, it’s possible to grab customers’ attention and create anticipation and excitement, making the unboxing experience really stand out to viewers. And, with 49% of people depending on influencers to make recommendations (Digital Marketing Institute), the opinions about the products and packaging that get shared online really do matter.

Packaging for everybody

Accessibility and inclusivity are a key focus in the unboxing world, and many YouTubers speak exclusively about accessible packaging and its ease of use.

Accessible packaging is a key part of demonstrating brand inclusivity and catering to the diverse needs of consumers. Individuals with reduced mobility or impaired vision often encounter challenges when interacting with traditional packaging designs, but accessible packaging addresses this by modifying the design with this in mind.

For example, easy-open mechanisms ensure it’s easier than ever to unbox a product. Similarly, using high-contrast colours and Braille helps cater for those with vision impairments. By implementing these accessible features, brands can ensure products are available to a wider audience, promoting inclusivity and enhancing the overall customer experience. After all, 62% of Gen Z believe increased diversity is good for society and empathy and accountability are highly regarded by this group (Pew Research Centre), with 80% saying it’s important for brands to embrace diversity and inclusion (Hooley Brown).

Do well by doing good

Sustainability is paramount in today’s society, with eco-conscious shoppers expecting brands to offer packaging that shows they’ve considered the impact it has on the planet. 75% of consumers are more likely to purchase brands that offer green or sustainable products, and 49% said they would pay more for sustainable packaging and delivery (Deloitte Global). This expectation for environmentally-friendly packaging solutions, especially those made from recyclable materials means that paper-based packaging not only addresses the environmental concerns associated with traditional packaging materials like plastic, but also allows brands to align with customer values and satisfy their demand for commerce with a conscience.

Recyclable packaging can add to the unboxing experience by conveying a sense of authenticity, transparency, and social responsibility. Brands that prioritise planet-friendly packaging can differentiate themselves from competitors, and deeply connect with eco-conscious shoppers as they unbox a product. The key lies in showcasing your commitment to the environment without compromising packaging design, functionality, durability, and overall performance.

See what consumers had to say about the importance of sustainable packaging in our street interview here.

Powerful and profitable for businesses

Investing in the eCommerce unboxing experience can be hugely beneficial for businesses, especially for consumer engagement and long-term brand success. Unboxing videos offer businesses a way to boost brand awareness and strengthen customer relationships. By showcasing products in engaging and visually appealing ways, brands can reach a wider audience online.

Unboxing videos create intrigue and positive impressions, driving interest and encouraging customers to share their experiences with others. 87% of people now use social platforms when making a shopping decision (Modern Retail), so it’s vital that satisfied customers spread the word about the unboxing experience, packaging and product on their social media and in their real-life social circles, helping businesses to build a growing bank of brand advocates. This is more likely to lead to repeat purchases and organic growth.

At Smurfit Kappa, we work with brands to boost their customers’ unboxing experiences to help them reap the many rewards that come with positive and shareable customer experiences. Whether you’re offering luxury goods or perishable products, our experts are on hand to design powerful packaging that customers not only want to unbox but also want to share with the world.

Get in touch today!


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Ruth Evans

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