Marketing

Using product boxes as social proof

April 11, 2022

Jordan Gillis

Your next marketing strategy: 📦

There’s a knock on your door, and you emerge from the depths of your living room couch. When you open the door, the sun burns a little bit.

Laying at your feet is that beautiful blender you ordered two weeks ago. The sight of that box is euphoric...

It holds so much power, so much potential…


Imagine an ad strategy that takes advantage of that very feeling


💭 Why do we love boxes?

Richard Thaler, an American economist, discovered the endowment effect, which describes how consumers value objects before they actually have them vs. after they own them.

The endowment effect means that when a customer buys a product, they often value the idea of owning that product more than the product itself.

So when a product arrives in a box, it reaches its highest peak of value before the reality of actually owning it inevitably let you down.

That time between making a purchase and receiving the product can be painful… but worth the excitement when that sweet parcel finally shows up at the customer's door, and the customer identifies that gratification of ownership with the box itself.


📦 What is box content?

Box content uses raw images of stacked boxes or parcels on your factory floor in your paid social ads.

This content works because of the endowment effect and because it’s another form of social proof that shows that lots of people order the product… I mean, just look at all those boxes!


🤑 How box content impacts the funnel


👆 ToFu

Keep in mind that people log onto social platforms for entertainment and dopamine, not with the initial intention to look at ads or purchase a product.

Adding box content to your media strategy on social platforms causes disruption and sparks curiosity that’ll stop users from scrolling past and get them to read the ad copy.


👉 MoFu

Converting users that have already been exposed to your product or service is key.

Box content gathers those sitting in the middle of the funnel and is great for overcoming these two obstacles:


🤗 Trust. Some people might be skeptical of the product. While a product picture on a box isn't exactly hard proof, it adds a layer of 'realism.'


🗣 Social proof. Seeing other people with the product combats many objections a customer may have. It also builds trust and creates an element of FOMO.


👇 BoFu

The best way to utilize box content at the bottom of the funnel is by creating a sense of urgency for the potential consumer.

Those that might take longer to purchase a product could be tempted by creating a narrative of scarcity with ad text.


“These products are shipping fast, better hurry!” OR "our final few boxes left!"



🏗 How to make box content?

Box content is arguably the easiest and cheapest content to obtain!


Here’s how you can make it: 👇

  • Take your own box photos in varying environments (not just the warehouse)
  • Incentivize customers to take a photo of their product upon delivery with a discount code for their next purchase!


Don’t overthink it. You won't know what appeals to a customer before testing it, so try not to make assumptions.

A solid example of box content is taking a photo of a lamp in its box in an office space. Naturally, prospective customers will tie those two things together.



Alternatively, you could take a photo of the same box in a bathroom or in a car, where it doesn't make much sense, disrupting the customer's expectations of an ad they'd see on a social platform.

Box content is a social campaign that offers an opportunity for DTC brands to shake things up and ignite curiosity, and excitement on a social feed that is cluttered with ads that can seem uniform and monotonous.


Looking for more out-of-the-box insights? Be sure to check out our friends at Pilothouse!

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