The anticipation in unboxing

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Published 7 May 2018
If you have been around on the Internet in the past few years, you have hardly missed out on the phenomenon of unboxing – videos where people show their unpacking of a retail box and examining its content or features to their followers.
This trendy way of opening a packaging and feeling what’s inside is not only satisfying for the person who does the unboxing but obviously for a large audience out there as the video views in this genre keep growing.

So why did unboxing become so popular, and what can packaging designers learn from the phenomenon? Let’s face it – the real self can’t help but engage in the look and feel, and with that in mind it is no wonder that unboxing is so cool. These videos appeal to basic emotions such as excitement, joy, anticipation and surprise. And besides that, aren’t we all familiar with the feeling of opening a beautiful, wrapped gift packaging where the opening itself is just as gratifying as the item inside?

The physical connection we experience with a packaging says just as much as the visual. In fact, consumers often talk about the look of the packaging when they actually mean haptics. When receiving a packaging, they tend to turn the packaging around in their hands to get an understanding of the material, but this often happens unconsciously. Also, they tend to associate the feeling of a packaging to certain attributes – natural colors to something organic, or shiny and thick paperboard with something premium. The right choice of material for your packaging is in other words an effective way for packaging developers to communicate the content inside, whether it is food, electronics or clothes. Unboxing is also a way for brand owners to show off design and smart functions, clearly demonstrated.

Unboxing has thus become a lucrative industry, attracting millions of viewers. This proves how important good packaging is – whether you open your packaging to an audience or simply enjoy it at home.

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