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The Brainy Business | Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy | Behavioral Economics

Nov 26, 2021

If you’re a human person with any access to the internet, you are likely familiar with unboxing videos. Maybe you like and watch them yourself, maybe your kids love to watch other people open up boxes of toys, or maybe you avoid them at all costs. Whatever camp you are in, at one point or another, you probably thought something like, “Why do so many people watch these?” or “Why do these work?”

Today’s episode is dedicated to talking through the brain science of what is going on behind the scenes of an unboxing video. In this episode I talk about why they work, what to keep in mind if you ever decide to make your own, and some insights on the various types of “unboxings” out there (anything with a reveal pretty much counts). We will dig in on mirror neurons, anticipation/dopamine, priming, the senses, and more!  Listen now to get the scoop on unboxing videos. 

Show Notes:

  • [00:06] Ever wondered why unboxing videos are a thing? That’s what we’re focusing on in today’s episode.
  • [03:19] There are countless ways to do these unboxing or reveal videos.
  • [04:01] In this episode, I am going to talk about four main things that are happening with unboxing videos, or that you should keep in mind when you create these yourself. We are going to talk about mirror neurons, dopamine created by anticipation, priming, the senses, and more.
  • [04:35] Mirror neurons are the key to empathy and our ability to learn from observing others instead of only by doing things ourselves.
  • [06:20] Mirror neurons greatly impact our lives every day. They have done some amazing things for all of humanity, the first of which is our ability to learn by observation and the second is our ability to empathize.
  • [07:31] In an unboxing video, when someone else is opening the box, it is like we are doing it ourselves. We are able to live vicariously through that experience. Because of the dopamine release, it is very exciting for our brains even if we can’t have and will never have the item that is being opened or revealed.
  • [08:50] Dopamine is tied to anticipation, and so when there is a moment where you aren’t sure what is going to happen -- where you are waiting for that reveal and don’t know what is coming out of the box -- you are getting a kick of dopamine.
  • [10:24] Once you know what is in the box (or how the movie ends), the joy for your brain is over. It is about savoring the anticipation that the brain loves.
  • [10:50] Our brains love that uncertainty and expectation.
  • [11:38] If you want someone to be excited about the unboxing process, you should prime them for that excitement.
  • [13:07] Your excitement breeds more excitement in the viewer.
  • [13:43] If you have too much of a lull, people might get bored and leave. You can play the B-side for a while, but you need to mix in some hits here and there to keep it interesting.
  • [14:15] When you create an unboxing video, it is important to try and incorporate all five of the senses whenever you can to help get those mirror neurons firing.
  • [16:31] Descriptive priming words that evoke the senses are critical when doing any video, and in an unboxing, they can get people excited.
  • [17:54] The internet is full of unboxing videos for a reason, find some and take notes. Be sure to watch good ones, sure, but also find and watch some bad ones. What did they do wrong? When did your attention wane? How can you apply that to your future videos?
  • [18:43] If you have never done an unboxing or reveal video before, what could you do one of? Plan in advance how you might incorporate all our main aspects from this episode: mirror neurons, anticipation, priming, and all five senses...and hit record!
  • [20:33] As it is the holidays, it is a perfect time to pick up some Brainy Gear for you or a friend at The Brainy Business shop

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show. 

I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation.

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