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e-commerce film social media

Unboxing videos boom in holiday season; why the psychology matters

Unboxing videos
Unboxing videos from vloggers Eleventh Gorgeous

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.

Net-a-Porter's #thenetset still content back in 2013
Net-a-Porter’s #thenetset still content back in 2013

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.

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business data Editor's pick film social media

From the archive: Unilever’s ‘All Things Hair’ provides stellar example of big data in action

unilever_allthingshair

In December 2013, Unilever launched a YouTube channel in the UK dedicated to hair. All Things Hair, as it’s called, generated over 17 million views and an average viewing time of one minute and 51 seconds, in its first six months.

Today it has nearly 180,000 subscribers, and remains one of the strongest examples of big data being used effectively.

Created in conjunction with agency Razorfish, it is filled with hair styling tutorials from leading video bloggers (vloggers), including the likes of Zoella and Tanya Burr. That content isn’t arbitrary however, rather selected based on Google searches.

Unilever partnered with the search giant to gain real-time insights into what exactly people are looking for knowledge on. There are 11 billion searches about hair on Google every year – 30 million each day – making it a rich pool to draw from and enabling the company to predict what solutions, problems and styles people care about.

That information is sent to the vloggers – many of whom have several million followers in their own right too – who are paid by Unilever to create the tutorial content incorporating brands including Toni & Guy, Dove and VO5.

Speaking at Cannes Lions last year, Unilever chief marketing and communications officer, Keith Weed, said: “The content is relevant, useful and authentic. It’s a really cool application of big data, based on what is actually big insights.”

It’s also a great example of merging together real-time search data with influencer and content marketing. Cleverly it does so in a way that retains an authentic feel, rather than a hardline promotional one.

Some recent example content:

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Blocks e-commerce film

Clarins leverages make-up tutorial trend in interactive paid digital campaign

clarins_youonlybetter1

Beauty vloggers (video bloggers) have been using YouTube to publish tutorials about how to apply make-up for many years now, but the trend seems to have hit the mainstream recently in a big way.

Michelle Phan has accumulated over 6.8 million subscribers on her YouTube channel since its launch in 2007. Earlier this year she was one of a number chosen to star in a campaign for the platform promoting its ‘creators’. It’s not just passionate fans watching her ‘how-to’ videos; in a study released last October, Google found over half (55%) of beauty shoppers watch online videos while researching beauty purchases. Moreover, 50% of Millennials, specifically, watch beauty videos on YouTube.

Needless to say, brands have been working out how to get involved. Originally, they tried to gain exposure through these vloggers by sending them free merchandise to test, resulting in ‘hauls’ featuring multiple products reviewed in one video. This is not unique to the beauty industry; it’s also common practice for fashion and health vloggers.

Beyond gifting product, beauty brands have since found multiple other and more creative ways of leveraging this trend. Last August, L’Oréal launched a make-up line designed by Phan (view the video about her product here). Last month, Too Faced cosmetics announced Dulce Candy Tejeda, another highly popular vlogger, as brand ambassador for its Better Than Sex Mascara. The recent Daisy Dream campaign from Marc Jacobs also saw numerous vloggers enlisted to share their dreams with followers also via YouTube.

Now Clarins UK is approaching the tutorial trend by creating three of its own how-to videos. Named “You, only better. Instantly”, the clips are part of a paid advertising campaign that’s featured on key digital media like ELLEUK.com. Anchored by an interactive pop-up on such sites (as screengrabbed below), the videos offer the viewer the ability to “uplift your look” in either five, 10 or 15-minute increments.

A slider tool showcases the three different make-up looks first and foremost, with the videos explaining how to achieve them, and the products needed to do so, featured alongside. Digital advertising may often be regarded as intrusive, at its best only capturing attention for a limited period of time, but this campaign, not only for its visual impact but its interactive element, creates more of an engaging feel than regularly seen.

On the Clarins UK microsite, the 90-second videos are placed top, with a different slider underneath providing users with a before and after look at the model. The YouTube videos are also annotated with links to buy the product being used. The experience works on both desktops and mobile, making it ideal for on-the-go viewing, and for that digitally-native consumer Clarins is evidently targeting.

Clarins_youonlybetter

Clarins_5minutes

Clarins_10minutes

Clarins_15minutes

Categories
business data Editor's pick film

Unilever’s ‘All Things Hair’ provides stellar example of big data in action

unilever_allthingshair

Big data might be one of those phrases we’re all now used to hearing, but finding examples of those truly using it effectively (and willing to talk about it) are few and far between.

Enter then Unilever’s All Things Hair, a YouTube channel from the UK that really speaks to real-time relevance thanks to true data insights.

Created in conjunction with agency Razorfish, it is filled with hair styling tutorials from leading video bloggers (vloggers). That content isn’t arbitrary however, rather selected based on Google searches.

Unilever partnered with the search giant to gain real-time insights into what exactly people are looking for knowledge on. There are 11 billion searches about hair on Google every year; 30 million each day – a rich pool to draw from, enabling the company to predict what solutions, problems and styles people care about.

That information is sent to the vloggers – many of whom have several million followers in their own right too – who are paid by Unilever to create the tutorial content incorporating brands including Toni & Guy, Dove and VO5.

Speaking at Cannes Lions this year, Unilever chief marketing and communications officer, Keith Weed, said: “The content is relevant, useful and authentic. It’s a really cool application of big data, based on what is actually big insights.”

It’s also a great example of merging together real-time search data with influencer and content marketing. Cleverly it does so in a way that retains an authentic feel, rather than a hardline promotional one.

Accordingly, the channel has generated over 17 million views and an average viewing time of one minute and 51 seconds, since it launched in December 2013.

Some example content: