Begin today’s lesson by generating a discussion with your teens about the rise of consumerism during the holidays, using the questions below as a starting point.
We’re about a month into the holiday season now, which means the hundreds of millions of dollars spent around the globe on advertisements have already made their way into our psyche in preparation for this season of gifting.
Whether we like it or not, marketing departments are getting smarter ever year, devising better ways to worm their products into our shopping carts. And this year is no different, the anticipation of giving and getting gifts is building with each day we cross off the calendar, but what is different are the ways in which these products are being showcased.
Play the following clip [5:49; start at 2:42; stop at 5:30]:
Why Is Unboxing So Popular?
- In your experience, what is an unboxing video? (Allow teens who are familiar with these videos to explain their content.)
The popularity of unboxing videos has exploded in the last few years. The genre’s flagship channel, Unbox Therapy, is currently sporting over 13 million subscribers and over 2.4 billion total channel views.
- For those of you who have seen Unbox Therapy’s videos, why do you think they are so popular? What do you like/dislike about them? (Answers will vary, but they may fall into two camps: those who think the videos present harmless information about upcoming products, and those who think they feed into the rampant consumerism of their generation.)
While unboxing videos primarily focus on tech, haul videos are dominating the clothing and beauty space.
- What is a haul video? (Allow teens who are familiar with these videos to explain their content. If you need a point of reference, see additional resources at the end of this step.)
An article written by InStyle described haul videos this way: “They’re videos in which beauty, fashion, and lifestyle gurus show off their latest purchases and describe why they picked them out. Essentially, they allow you to shop vicariously through them just by watching. So whether you’re in the market for beauty products, clothes, or home goods, these YouTubers will help you put together the perfect shopping list.”
Creators like Zoella, a fashion/beauty vlogger with 12 million subscribers, are making massively popular videos showing off the items purchased in their shopping sprees.
In a digital age, unparalleled advertising exposure. We see so many product placements every day—many of them without even realizing we’ve been subjected to them.
- Do you think this exposure changes our behavior around Christmas? Does it pull focus away from the true meaning of the holiday? Why or why not? (Give your class the chance to discuss these questions as a group, facilitating the conversation when necessary.)
Today, we’ll dig into the true reason for Christmas and see how those who experienced it firsthand responded to the news of a Savior.