You’ve gotten a good number of gifts this Christmas, and you’re excited about opening them all. But don’t rush! Unboxing your gift is part of the experience. To make it more memorable, take note of these tips:
Peel back the adhesive carefully. Don’t just paw through your gifts like a dog digging frantically for a bone! After waiting for so long, what's a few extra moments of patience? If your gift is covered in glossy gift wrap, you can carefully peel back the tape instead of tearing through the gift wrapper. Think of it as a Zen exercise, meditating after the frantic rush of the holiday season. That, and you can end up reusing the gift wrapper for arts and crafts next holiday season.
Use tools to open the package. And no, you don’t need anything fancy. If peeling back the tape will only damage the wrapper, use a cutter or a craft knife (such as an X-Acto knife) to cut the adhesive in two. And blessed are those who use gift bags, as they require the least amount of work to open. If it's stapled shut, just use a staple remover or a letter opener to pry open the staple. Got those pesky plastic cases under the wrapper? Use the same knife or a can opener to slice the plastic open.
Of course, under all that wrapping paper, they’re still in their original packaging. So why not milk that for all that it’s worth? Create an unboxing video out of your gifts. Here are 5 important tips to get you started:
Get a good camera.
Of course, you won’t be able to shoot anything without one. For the task, a GoPro is more than enough. It offers a depth of field that some DSLRs may not be able to offer, plus a bunch of other attachments such as microphones. If you don’t have a GoPro and don’t want to invest in new equipment, some smartphone cameras—an iPhone comes to mind—are good enough to shoot.
Of course, you won’t be holding that camera for the entire length of the video. Hence, getting a tripod (or having a makeshift one) to mount your camera and keep it steady is a must.
Set up the perfect shooting spot.
Start by looking for a quiet space with ample lighting. You’re not shooting a horror flick so lots of light is important; your viewers would want to see the smallest details of the gadget you’re unboxing. Meanwhile peace and quiet is a must, especially if you don’t have a separate microphone attachment; noise may be picked up by the camera, rendering your commentary inaudible.
Once you’ve found a spot, check if the background for your video is good enough. A blank wall in white or a muted color for a background is a good starter choice; a neat house is also ideal. Just don’t shoot a video with a mess behind you. And make sure that wherever your chosen spot is, it has enough space for you and your camera.
Remember to focus on the gadget, but let your personality shine through.
It’s all about striking a delicate balance. You have to keep in mind that people are watching your video two things: information and emotion. They want to know what to expect when they buy the item you’re unboxing (information), or they want to share the thrill of getting a new gadget (emotion). However, your attitude will make it different from other unboxing videos out there that features the same items. (Take a cue from our iPhone 6 unboxing video!)
Hence, when talking about the gadget, be enthusiastic about the entire process; no one wants to listen to a monotone. Make educated comments or observations about the gadget, but don’t be afraid to crack jokes. You can even practice your spiel beforehand to avoid stuttering while filming the video, or do some research about the item to cite important points. And most importantly, when shooting a video, remember to ask yourself: is this a video that I would enjoy watching from start to finish? If you answer no at any point, then it’s time to redo parts of it.
Keep it short and sweet.
7 minutes is more than enough for a good unboxing video (for contrast, an average episode of a TV show runs for around 20 to 30 minutes). If you’ve got a ton of footage, feel free to do some post-production editing—you can edit out specific parts to make your video more succinct.
Be authentic and have fun!
If you’re not having fun with the unboxing, it will show when you shoot your video. And while you could express a hint of disappointment with the packaging (especially if it’s made of hard shell plastic), if the item really is sub-par, then don’t bother making a video of it at all.