Unboxing videos aren’t only for gadgets anymore. Toy unboxing is one of the most popular topics on YouTube, where a fifth of the top 100 channels focus on the category. During the holiday season, videos about the most in-demand toys enjoyed millions of views, prompting toy brands to tap into the trend.
Toys like Hatchimals and L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls made unboxing a part of the experience. MGA, the brand behind L.O.L Surprise, even set up unboxing video booths in 15 cities. These not only served as purchase points to buy the toy; they were also places where customers could immediately film their own unboxing videos to share on social channels.
In doing so, the brand recognized a massive trend. The most-viewed videos on YouTube that show up in response to the search terms “fingerlings,” “lol surprise dolls,” and “hatchimals” have earned over 10 million, 16 million, and 18 million views respectively. Furthermore, YouTube videos appeared organically in the search results for 98% of this season’s most popular toys, outperforming every retailer featured in L2’s holiday report except Amazon.
Influencers and brands are beginning to capitalize on the large viewership of these trendy toy videos. Last year, the popular dad blogger Dad Does released a video about Hatchimals, the season’s most popular toy, that earned over three million views. Strategically, he monetized this content with affiliate links to Amazon. Similarly, WowWee, the manufacturer of the insanely popular Fingerlings, partnered with YouTube family FUNnel Vision this year to make a video featuring Fingerlings that has racked up over 10.2 million views.
Brands don’t need to create their own videos to benefit from this trend. L2’s holiday report also finds that shopping ads for these top toys show up below popular videos featuring them. No matter what strategy brands opt for, toy unboxing presents them with a novel means of earning visibility, during the holiday season and beyond.