Unboxing and Food Porn: The Crazy World of Watching People Open Boxes and Eat Cake

Apparently, some of us haven’t got better things to do

If you’re unfamiliar with the bizarre world of unboxing, you’ve hardly lived. Apparently, there’s nothing so joyful as to watch a stranger opening a box on YouTube: No really, many people get a kick out of it. Perhaps you’re one of them.

I first discovered the unboxing craze a few months ago. Only, unboxing was presented as comedy, light entertainment on a TV show. Delving deeper, however, helped me understand there’s more to gazing at footage of boxes as they are unwrapped and unpacked than meet the eye.

Unboxing is lucrative

Big companies who use unboxing videos as part of their marketing campaign can make big bucks. People often want to covet what they see most often, and clips of products as they are unboxed work just like normal advertising, only with an added element.

Watching someone unwrap a product has a similar effect to imagining your furniture in a house that’s for sale while you view it. When you visualize yourself holding the object, and ultimately using it, companies have almost sold it to you already.

Unboxing can help you decide what to buy. It’s a subtle form of marketing because it doesn’t always shout “buy me” openly. Rather, it lets you get used to the idea and use your imagination until you picture yourself owning whatever’s taken from the box.

You need not sell goods to gain financially from creating unboxing videos, though, since developers make money from adverts that accompany footage. When viewers click and buy, whoever made the video gets paid.

Strangely satisfying

Some people who are addicted to watching unboxing videos describe them as “strangely satisfying.” There’s a good chance one reason they enjoy seeing products being unwrapped is the element of surprise, somewhat similar to when they were kids at Christmas. Remember the excitement of unwrapping gifts when you didn’t know what was beneath the wrapping?

A FluffyJet (see the video above) spokesperson said “toy unboxing videos are great because kids get to experience the opening just as if they were opening the toys themselves. As for surprise unboxing videos, it is a real mystery, literally. Kids seem to love the mystery of seeing what’s inside the surprise and seeing all their favorite toy characters.”

Companies know kids are easily manipulated by videos of toys, and the children put pressure on their parents to buy them what they want.

Unboxing for grownups

Some unboxing videos are made for grownups, but the ones I speak of aren’t X-rated, they show shiny new tech and the latest gadgets being unwrapped.

CNN Business report that this clip of an Xbox being unboxed has been watched “more than 3 million times.”

Mystery box content unveiling is also popular. I wasn’t too excited by the half-eaten pizza this man found in his $3,000 eBay box though.

These short films make some people salivate, maybe not literally, but they are just as effective at getting people to spend money as food porn.

Food porn, a related topic, is about showing delicious food close up in enticing ways. Sometimes, you can watch strangers eating the food in detail, so even the crumbs on the side of a lip are visible.

In the video below, the woman eating cake says she’s got “us” as in me and her (or you, if you’re the person watching) two cakes. The fact she included me, I have to say, made me feel good, as though I really was about to taste the cake. She even offered it to me on her fork in the footage. I tried not to lean in closer to the screen. You can hear her eat too, but this detail didn’t do anything for me personally.

At the end, she looks as if she might be sick. This is unsurprising because the amount of cake she gets through is phenomenal. Again, not a satisfying result for me, unless you take into account she’s put me off devouring too much sweet sticky food. A plus if I was on a diet.

As well as food porn and unboxing clips, you’ll find “what’s in the box” footage on YouTube. Sometimes, the idea is to guess what’s inside a box before it’s unwrapped. In this video, however, viewers can watch two excitable women touching exotic animals in boxes as they guess what they are.

At the start of the clip, the women explain the exotic pets live in a rescue center for animals — to be re-homed in a better environment — taken away from people who have no legal right to keep them. Somehow, despite the ethical overtones, it still doesn’t seem right to use the critters for entertainment. Still, it’s a teeny bit fun (or is it sad?) to watch one woman leap on the couch when she freaks out.

Unboxing, in all its forms, and food porn seem to have a place in today’s voyeuristic culture. They titillate, make money, and entertain. Personally, however, I’m giving such videos a miss in favor of real cake, gifts, and my beloved dog, none of which I intend to put in a box.

Nature Lover, Former Mental Health Professional, Writer https://tinyurl.com/y2cgqhgv

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