The real wrap stars

Lewis Hilsenteger is the founder of "Unbox Therapy", where he unveils a wide range of tech and other products on YouTube. Photo: Courtesy of Lewis Hilsenteger
Lewis Hilsenteger is the founder of "Unbox Therapy", where he unveils a wide range of tech and other products on YouTube. Photo: Courtesy of Lewis Hilsenteger

Would you watch something on YouTube that has no production values, no jokes, no apparent entertainment value and seems to make no sense? Chances are that many of us will. How else can we explain the growing popularity of the genre known as unboxing?

As The National reports today, the phenomenon of videos that show a wide variety of products – from toys to vinyl records – being unwrapped is attracting huge audiences. Search YouTube for “unboxing” and you get 20 million results. This figure has apparently risen by 57 per cent over last year.

How very puzzling. One can understand people taking great pleasure in opening something they have bought or been given. Something, in other words, that they will use. But what could possibly be the appeal of watching someone else do it? Some say it’s therapeutic. Others that it’s exciting. We’re not sure either explanation covers it.

Published: December 13, 2014 04:00 AM

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