You've heard about unboxing videos, but what about YouTube unwrapping videos? If you have young kids who watch YouTube, you've most certainly seen them watching videos of people opening Kinder Surprise eggs. For those of you unfamiliar with this phenomenon, "Kinder eggs" are hollow chocolate eggs that contain a toy inside.
Unwrapping Kinder Surprise eggs is an epic trend on YouTube that continues to increase as we head toward Christmas. Using the Octoly system, we tracked a total of 5.1 billion all-time views of videos about Kinder eggs. This is truly a gargantuan brand footprint for Kinder. And yet the rate of views appears to be increasing. In November, we tracked no less than 489 million views of Kinder egg videos, almost 10% of the total.
Kinder Has No Official Branded YouTube Presence!
So now you're probably asking yourself, "Wow, what a great marketing plan Kinder has. How is the Italian corporate parent Ferrero getting kids to watch all those videos?" Actually, they aren't. Kinder Surprise has essentially zero officially branded YouTube presence. We searched deep within our database, but actually the only "official" presence we could find of was the "Kinder Surprise France" channel, which is really just a holding page for a few commercials. Below is the main video on that channel, a TV commercial that was uploaded to the French Kinder Surprise channel and was viewed 655,000 times, mostly as a result of being part of a paid pre-roll campaign. You may not speak French, but it's easy to understand. Dad has chocolate egg, daughter is thrilled, there's a toy inside:
So this is a pretty standard, high production value paid-views commercial. But it's not what fans of the product, i.e. little kids, want. They want unwrappings. The fan channels have figured this out.
99.99% of Kinder Unwrapping Videos are Fan Channel Views
It turns out that 99.99% of the views of Kinder eggs on YouTube are on videos made by independent creators, rather than the brand itself. At Octoly we call this a "love brand," where fans are so excited by the product that they will make videos and watch millions of YouTube views about the products, whether the brand is involved or not. But while brands can no longer expect to fully control the overall message about their products on YouTube, they can have an influential voice. Kinder, in this case, chooses not to do so, which is unfortunate. As the brand's creator they could engage with creators in exciting ways to make the content footprint even larger, driving even more sales internationally. Currently it's an opportunity lost.
Numerous kids-focused YouTube channels have caught on to the surprise egg trend, not the least of which are the channels connected with the uber-channel DisneyCollectorBR (now known as "DC Toys Collector," and not affiliated with Disney) and BluCollection.
Here's a video of DisneyCollectorBR unwrapping some extra large kinder eggs, viewed 1.5 million times. As you can see, the video's "production values" don't have to be great for the video to get viewed a lot. This channel alone has 585 million views about Kinder eggs, more than 11% of the footprint overall, but there are thousands of up-and-coming mid-tier channels that total millions of views as well.
The Secret Sauce of Fan Unwrapping Videos
Some observers say that the popularity of these videos is partly due to something called ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, which is a new popular term that essentially means that the sound of the unwrapping tinfoil makes you feel good. Or maybe the videos succeed because they a combination of several things kids like: chocolate, toys, and the surprise of multi-layer unwrappings. Here are the steps in a standard egg unwrapping:
- Examine the original Kinder Surprise wrapped tinfoil. It's largely white.
- Unwrap the tinfoil to find the chocolate egg.
- Break the egg open. It splits easily in half.
- Discover that it has white chocolate inside and there is a yellow plastic container inside.
- Eat a bit of the chocolate.
- Open plastic yellow container.
- Peer inside to see what you found.
- Reveal what the toy is by plucking it out.
- Play with toy.
- Repeat billions of times.
Here's an example of the standard unwrappings in "Two Kinder Surprise Eggs, BIG vs Small - Easter Collection from Ferrero," where a father records a video of his son opening the eggs. It has 4.4 million views.
Kinder Egg Unwrappings Most Popular in the U.S.
American kids love these videos. In fact the U.S. makes up more than half of the audience for Kinder eggs, totalling 2.8 billion views. But unfortunately these views are not driving sales. The Kinder chocolate eggs are considered illegal contraband in the U.S. due to worries that kids might choke on the toys. In 2011, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than 60,000 Kinder Eggs from travelers' baggage and international mail shipments. There is a potential fine of more than $2,500 per egg.
But kids can still unwrap Kinder eggs in the U.S. - they just make them fake eggs. Here's a faux unwrapping, viewed 28 million times, where a kid opens an enormous fake Kinder egg:
Of course, no child is going to die from watching videos of these controlled substances. And so while Kinder may not be doing any YouTube outreach to the U.S. market, other companies have seen the desire and are picking up the slack. Choco Treasures created a Kinder egg look-alike that leaves a seam in the egg exposed, thus skirting the legal prohibition. And now Wal-Mart is doing a trial of Kinder competitor "Yowie" candies from Australia.
Here's a video of kid-supertuber EvanTubeHD in his video "Opening SPIDER-MAN Choco Treasures Surprise EGGS!" It has been viewed 3.5 million times.
And here's a copycat Hello Kitty egg from "Surprise Eggs unboxing toys", one of the unofficial channels that has gotten over a million subscribers just doing unwrappings.
What do you think about the Kinder Surprise egg phenomenon? Do your kids want Kinder Surprise eggs for Christmas? Please let us know in the comments.