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EMAC 2022 Annual

What makes people watch unwrapping products? – An Analysis of the motives for the consumption of unboxing videos

Published: May 24, 2022


Lisa Auerbach, University of Wuppertal; Ina Garnefeld, University of Wuppertal


Unboxing videos—defined as publicly available audiovisual media that focus the process of unpacking a product—have become a prevalent video format within social media. Since unboxing videos are ubiquitous and have the potential to influence viewers, it is important for companies to understand customer behaviour in the context of unboxing videos. However, research on unboxing videos is scarce. This study takes an important first step to shed light on this topic by identifying consumers’ motives for watching unboxing videos. Relying on problem-centered in-depth interviews and the uses and gratifications approach, we identify nine motives for watching unboxing videos. These motives can be differentiated into general motives relevant for other media activities as well (e.g. entertainment), and specific motives only relevant for unboxing videos (e.g. the joy of unwrapping presents and satisfying childlike curiosity). Our research offers insight for designing and endorsing unboxing videos.