Size-inclusive fashion subscription service Gwynnie Bee has teamed up with Amazon Alexa to offer an interactive voice activation feature that members can trigger when unboxing their purchases.
“Gwynnie Bee is leading the charge in using conversational interfaces to deliver a highly personalized and interactive member experience,” says George Goldenberg, EVP of technology, data & operations at Gwynnie Bee. “We find these types of experiences deepen our relationship with our members and increase their level of engagement with the service”.
The experience takes customers through different everyday scenarios where the brand’s service can be put to use. For example, a customer could say to Alexa: “Hey, Alexa, ask Gwynnie Bee to unlock my weekday adventure.” This triggers a story about how an intern spills coffee on the customer’s Gwynnie Bee dress, and upon returning the garment to Gwynnie Bee, the brand will pay for dry cleaning, free of charge.
By adding this feature to its service capabilities, Gwynnie Bee is reassuring its customers about the level of convenience it provides, while distinguishing itself from other subscription rental competitors.
As customers expect an increasingly seamless experience, voice is becoming an important tool to bridge the gap between a physical product and a digital platform. Gwynnie Bee’s announcement comes two months after H&M launched a partnership with the Google Assistant that suggests interior design inspiration and mood boards for every room of the house.
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The Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), which works with journalists and organizations to bring to light human rights abuses and corruption, is tapping into the millennial behaviour of unboxing videos to highlight one of its causes.
To do so, the foundation teamed up with Jacques Slade, a YouTube personality known for videos where he unboxes sneakers to a 851,000-strong audience, to highlight the plight of modern slavery.
Slade’s video begins with a disclaimer explaning that he was sent a mystery box and viewers should stick around to learn a really important message. He then proceeds to open the package, to reveal a high-end shoe box where the word “Humanmade” is replaced by “Slavemade” once it is fully opened. As the pair of shoes is revealed so are stats about modern slavery, which can be found on the shoe’s tongue, laces and soles.
Stats disclose that slavery still exists in 161 countries and counting, while also highlighting that less than 2% of slaves will ever be rescued. Slade then shows the shoe’s dust bag, in which a printed letter addressed to him and his viewers explains that they do not expect people to stop buying sneakers, but rather to stop and ask themselves: “What is the human price of the products you buy?”
Slade, whose core audience is men aged 13-24, explains that he was initially contacted by a creative agency on behalf of an “unspecified nonprofit organization” to take part in a video about forced labour, and that was the extent of what he knew prior to recording the video.
The stunt aimed to tap into an audience who is highly engaged about their passion, which in this case is owning and cherishing limited-edition footwear by the likes of Nike and adidas.
As part of the campaign, the organization is asking for donations towards its fight against slavery and human trafficking. Donations will go towards funding media coverage, training and mentoring journalists in specific geographies with a high prevalence of slavery, and bringing frontline activists to the Trust Conference where they would learn new skills.
Foot Locker turned to Snapchat for an augmented reality unboxing experience this festive season.
Unveiling the new Gatorade AJ1 sneakers from Nike’s Air Jordan, the initiative gave thousands of fans an early 3D view of the design before they launched on December 26.
Users were able to tap on the creative work developed by BBDO New York to change the colour of the sneakers popping out of their Christmas wrapping. The Snapchat Lens also allowed them to explore the product by looking up close, around and inside them, as well as then “take them for a walk” across the space they were otherwise stood in.
For those feeling the most curious, they could then explore their surroundings for hidden AR extras like a basketball hoop and a vending machine releasing bottles of Gatorade.
Unboxing videos, where products are unwrapped and described in an informative and entertaining format, prove most influential in the run up to the holiday season, according to packaging supplier Rajapack.
Views from October through December run at 1.5x that of other quarters, totaling 34% of the year, which lends even more credence to the argument for seasonal packaging and ensuring perfection in every product shipped out.
The craze began back in 2006, when the new Nokia E61 was unveiled on camera as it was pried out of its packaging. The trend only picked up from there, with marketers and internet fame seekers alike jumping at the chance to reveal products fresh from the box, be it electronics through to toys and of course, luxury, fashion and beauty.
In 2015 alone, over 6.5 years’ worth of unboxing videos were uploaded to YouTube. Searching the video hub today yields over 53 million search results, at time of writing.
The better-produced videos are also achieving massive viewership. FunToyzCollector sits at the number three YouTube position with over 11.6 billion views, for instance. And the unboxing hobby can prove quite lucrative: another giant in the toy unboxing space, DC Toys Collector, raked in $4.9 million in 2014.
For brands, the profit component is much greater as each video contains the possibility to convert a viewer into a customer. Psychologist Diana Parkinson believes: “It’s the best, and cheapest form of advertising ever. These videos make us drool and desire what may well be unattainable.”
But why does all of this excite the viewer when they’ve got nothing to personally unwrap? According to Rajapack, our brains contain Anticipation Circuits that fire up when we see something building to a boil. Combined with a Mirror Neuron System that sets this in motion for other’s anticipation, we feel personally stimulated watching these videos. We go through the experience with the person on camera. “[It’s] totally voyeuristic, there is no material reward, only transitory visual reward,” Parkinson said.
The key to creating a coveted product and a successful unboxing video turns out to be as much about the box itself as its interior offerings. Author Martin Lindstrom of the New York Times bestseller, Buyology: How everything we believe about why we buy is wrong, claims this as truth for all buying experiences.
In building appropriate anticipation, the brand needs to factor in the packaging’s aesthetics, its sounds and even its tactile quality; all of which will be recounted to the viewer. This is something Apple does particularly well on all fronts, as featured in the above video example which has over seven million views.
This proves even more crucial in the luxury market where the consumer buys an experience with a product, whether opening it privately or with millions across the web.
Fashion brands have long jumped on this bandwagon, of course, not only thinking about ensuring they’re offering high quality packaging but also how to benefit from the unboxing phenomenon directly. Net-a-Porter for instance leveraged its consumer champions by encouraging them to use the hashtag #thenetset on social media back in 2013, long before that same name became the company’s social commerce channel. While this was primarily pushed over Twitter and Instagram, the content at the time noted growing use of YouTube for unboxing by their fans.
The strongest effect of the psychology of unboxing and product videos, stands in the authenticity of these non-branded vloggers – in the notion of user generated content. According to Google findings in partnership with TNS and Ogilvy, there are particularly strong yields in the beauty market, where 66% of recent purchasers noted YouTube as a product visualisation aid pre-purchase.
In a fragmented digital marketplace, brand ambassadors and social media influencers have become commonplace. Potential customers look to these figureheads for insight. Another Google study revealed that 62% of people tuning into these videos do so once they’ve begun researching a particular product. As an animated reel of product reviews, these unscripted clips have become the modern day version of word of mouth.