Unboxing videos are a bit of a mystery to most people; and seriously, why would you watch somebody else unbox items? Well, for starters, you might be interested in the items themselves and are curious about their actual design. You want to see them outside the typical ads on TV or the world wide web and you want to get to know them better before you make a decision to buy them. Ideally, you would also want to know how they perform, but you might not have an expert on the topic in your group of friends. Or, and this is what most people think is weird at first, you actually enjoy watching another person opening packages. This skepticism, however, usually tapers off after you’ve watched a few videos and realize that it is an enjoyable experience. It might be only one of the above or a combination of reasons, but unboxing videos are a thing on YouTube and they won’t go away anytime in the future. Their uncrowned king is Lewis George Hilsenteger, who runs his channel Unbox Therapy with overwhelming success.
“When I got into it, I imagined it being a professional thing, I branded the channel as such; for me, I did see a business side to it and I saw an opportunity to do it for a living.”
Lewis Hilsenteger, Source: The Business Insider
Lewis joined YouTube in 2010 at first rather accidental, as he was running a company that focused on upgrading Apple products. The many conversations he had with his customers made him realize how there was a huge demand for tutorials and on information about products in general. He seized the business opportunity at his hands and decided that besides giving out valuable information on products, he would add his own personality to the mix. As he was a tech geek already and bought loads of tech gadgets anyway, back then it was worth a shot to open these items live and for the first time in front of the camera and film his spontaneous reactions. He continues to follow this practice to this day and you will regularly find him reviewing all sorts of products right then and there. A good example of his personality and why millions of people follow his content is his video on an “unspillable” cup.
Lewis’ background certainly helped his quick rise to fame, as he studied Digital Arts Photography and Video Editing at the Toronto School of Arts. With this background, the quality of his videos was already quite good at the time and if you look at his content today, you quickly realize that this is a professional at work. Born in 1984, the 33-year-old still lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife. The breakthrough for his channel came with what is usually referred to as “Bendgate”; when the iPhone 6 first came out, there were rumors and complaints about how the phone would bend under certain pressure and Lewis decided to put it to the test:
With almost 70 million views on YouTube, this video is his most successful one to this day. From then on, his channel really took off and is now at the point where he has almost nine million fans on YouTube and over a million on Twitter and Facebook, respectively. Looking back, it seems almost unreal that the tech guru started his channel only with the intention of helping his customers and talking about the gadgets he was interested in anyway:
“I was just featuring things I was already buying, that I was already into, I was going out of pocket on everything.”
Lewis Hilsenteger, Source: The Business Insider
Lewis is a prime example of one of those influencers who truly loves what he is doing and is passionate and honest in his videos. The great editing and his high-energy presentation of the newest gadgets on the market have made him the successful YouTuber he is today. The fact that he started his YouTube career with a business in mind doesn’t make him less genuine but rather shows how he saw and grasped an opportunity and made the most out of it. Whoever still doubts Lewis’ credibility, should take a look at this video of him about the iPhone 8:
In this new format, he, who started and built his career on Apple products, refuses to do the typical unboxing video and instead shows his thought process by acting out two conflicting personas. He comments on the few changes of the iPhone 8 and the ambiguity of selling the iPhone X almost at the same time. In the amazingly shot and edited video, he ends up not opening any of the boxes with the new iPhone 8, refusing the viewer the experience he is accustomed to. The video has attracted over three million views and over 500 comments to his top post under the video. Lewis Hilsenteger does not only entertain millions of fans with his videos, but he has obviously also taken the time to review his channel and the responsibility he has. If you haven’t already, check out his other videos and make up your mind.
*numbers current at the time of writing.
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