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Unboxing: new weapon of the influence market

Fabio Bonavita

By Fabio Bonavita03 mars 2021

Unless you’re completely allergic to YouTube and social media, you’ve probably noticed the many unboxing videos crowding the internet lately. This trend, often lead by influencers, consists in unpacking luxury products and post the video online. A practice that mainly aims at creating desirability by betting on frustration. A classical mechanism that still seems to be working, considering the millions of views over the past few months.

On YouTube alone, more than 20 million unboxing videos were posted last year, and this figure should skyrocket in 2021. How can this frenzy be explained? First, everything starts with an illusion: believing that the influencer carefully unpacking a belt, a handbag or a pair of luxury shoes is independent. And that their opinion is trustworthy, even if it’s been bought by the brand. Adding a few “ohs” and “wows”, the viewers watching feel like they are stepping into the heart of client experience. In a sort of desirable intimacy.

Other mechanisms at work are the many boutique closures due to the pandemic, which increase luxury clients’ appetite for click and collect. Often stuck to their computer screens or smartphones, they want to discover beautiful products. The trend of unboxing would therefore validate, though an exaggerated ceremony, that the experience is close to the one of a boutique. From a sandwich-man, the influencer becomes a salesperson. And the client, suffering from a lack of mercantile teasing, witnesses, hypnotized, a very trivial act. Strange times we are living in…

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