Australia Post’s YouTube series unpacks the full potential of online shopping

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November 2018 Video

The unboxing genre on YouTube is more popular than ever in Australia, with unboxing-related queries growing 29% YoY.1 Behind every video, there’s a shopper’s unique story filled with anticipation leading up to the final unpacking moment. In a made-for-YouTube series, Australia Post tapped into that sentiment, using engaging, long-form creative to showcase Aussies’ unique stories and experiences with online shopping.

Goals
Increase watch time and engagement across Australia Post’s YouTube content
Showcase the role of online shopping for Aussie consumers
Approach
Developed YouTube series featuring Aussies’ online shopping journeys leading up to unboxing a package
Used DoubleClick Bid Manager to test engagement among online shoppers, non-heavy online shoppers, and those who had previously seen an "unboxing" video
Used Brand Lift surveys to measure how the content resonated with each audience
Results
1.1M+ views across entire video series
2.2M+ minutes of total YouTube watch time
+10.8% brand favourability among all viewers
65K+ visits to Australia Post’s Shopping Offers blog

Whether you just received a surprise birthday gift from a friend across the country or you’re watching a creator’s latest shopping haul on YouTube, the anticipation of finally seeing what’s inside can make any day feel like Christmas morning. It’s a magical feeling that’s helped blossom YouTube’s unboxing trend, and one that Australia Post wanted to tap into for a new campaign.

However, the brand understood that the tangible experience of seeing and touching new products is still appealing to many shoppers. It is well known that Aussies are spending more and more time doing pre-purchase research online, but a significant amount of purchases still happen in traditional retail stores, despite being influenced by the online journey. So, hypothesising that many Aussies felt online shopping lacked the tactile appeal of making a traditional retail purchase, the brand saw an opportunity to personalise the experience.

In a made-for-YouTube series entitled “Unpack Your Potential,” Australia Post spotlighted online shoppers from different Aussie subcultures and communities leading up to the moment they unbox a package. By diving into their personal stories and motivations behind the unboxing, the brand showed that online shopping can be more than just convenient — it can be empowering.

Seeking out extraordinary stories to unpack

Australia Post worked with Google to find people whose stories aligned with the benefits of online shopping (for instance, far-reaching convenience or sourcing hard-to-find items) and growing e-commerce categories (such as sportswear, apparel/fashion, and specialist equipment). For its first batch of videos, Australia Post featured:

  • Colin McLean, aka Polly Filla, an artist who sources unique materials online for creative expression. 
  • Emily Beecroft, a swimmer whose training regimen leaves her with little time to shop for new bathers.
  • The Badgers, a minimalist, road-tripping family that gets essentials delivered via mail as they trek across Australia in a Kombi.

To ensure each video was distinct and intriguing, Australia Post took inspiration from its featured personalities to deliver visual impact within the first five seconds, from Colin’s intricate makeup routine to Emily’s serene underwater cinematography. The brand also used six-second bumper ads to offer viewers a glimpse of each story before their full release.

Developing long-form content was a departure from Australia Post’s typical “snackable” video strategy, but with guidance from Commoner, a storytelling-based creative agency, the brand realized longer videos could be just as engaging for the right audience.

“From their beginning as a seed idea, we quickly realised that the videos had real potential to connect people,” said Antonella Hellier, Australia Post’s content marketing manager. “Working closely with Commoner and drawing on the talents of our Content, Search, and Social teams, we delivered powerful branded video content and learned that a great video is a great video — no matter the length.”

To test how well the videos resonated with different audiences, Australia Post used DoubleClick Bid Manager to serve TrueView in-stream ads to four Google audiences: frequent online shoppers, non-heavy online shoppers, and people in each group who’d previously watched an “Unpack Your Potential” video.

The unskippable effect of powerful storytelling

Since launching in October 2017, the series has driven more than 1.1 million views and exceeded 2.2 million minutes of watch time, with an average view-through rate of 59%. Australia Post was most impressed by viewers’ heavy engagement with the longer content: the brand’s TrueView ads saw an average view time of nearly two minutes, and completion rates were roughly 3X the benchmark of its other YouTube campaigns. The videos’ average view duration was also 1.58 minutes — more than 50% of their average length.

Interestingly, non-heavy online shoppers who hadn’t previously watched an “Unpack Your Potential” video were the most engaged, giving the brand hope that it had inspired a new group to embrace online shopping.

Brand Lift surveys also showed a 10.8% lift in brand favourability among all viewers — not just online shoppers. Even without a direct CTA, the YouTube series drove more than 65,000 visits to Australia Post’s Shopping Offers blog. Finally, the Badger family’s story was named by Outbrain as APAC’s “Best Video of the Network” in July 2018.

TwG_AUNZ_Post results

From Australia Post to its agency partners, everyone involved saw the power of remarkable storytelling when it reaches the right audience:

There’s good news for Aussies on the edge of their seats: Australia Post has a few more stories to tell. Along with Carlo Cannon, a flashy luchadore who shops for hard-to-find wrestling attire online, the brand is slated to feature two more videos before Christmas 2018.

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