8 Takeaways From The Best Explainer Videos

8 Takeaways From The Best Explainer Videos - Featured - StudioBinder

Turning the classic elevator pitch into two minute feats of creativity, explainer videos are an invaluable marketing tool. There’s also a million of them. Whether you’re just starting your explainer video script or are starting your explainer video production, you can always learn something from the best explainer videos.

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With the rise of video agencies, it’s more important than ever to make your explainer video stand out.

1. Have a clear structure

Every great punchline has a set up. Every solution has a problem. The best explainer videos carefully establish stakes for their product.

Before being acquired by Blue Bottle Coffee, Tonx hit the marketplace in 2011, and it’s explainer video production quality shows.

Its structure, however, is still a masterclass as always in explainer video structure. Created by Sandwich Video, the explainer video sets up the stakes (of getting your first cup of coffee right) without dwelling on it too much. By inserting some quick shots of a morning routine we’re all too familiar with, the revelation of the product feels personal and anticipated.

Pro tip: Use an explainer video template

With only two minutes to grab your customer’s attention, your explainer video has to stay on point. Using an explainer video template is an easy way to ensure you give the problem, your product, and how it works enough time to shine.

Download our free explainer video template to give your ideas shape.

2. Joke around

No one should take themselves too seriously. Explainer videos are no exception. Well timed humor can keep your audience engaged and stir up some goodwill.

Dollar Shave Club doesn’t use humor in its minute and a half runtime. It abuses it.
Jampacked with quips, this explainer video bucks off the traditional formula of problem, solution, explanation. Instead, they hammer home “buy our razors” for a minute and thirty.
What makes it one of the top explainer videos is how much it doubles down on the bit. Knowing your explainer video’s tone inside and out can lead to something powerful.

FAQ: Should you make animated explainer videos?

As more and more explainer videos are pumped out each day, there’s an argument to be made for animated explainer videos. They’re cheaper, you can use explainer video software, and you can find an explainer video company deal.

However, you run the risk of blending in. Live action explainer videos may run pricey, but if undergo explainer video production yourself, your product can boom.

3. Keep dialogue to a minimum

Some of the best live action explainer videos don’t need any words at all. With nearly all explainer videos use voiceover, using it sparingly is always better.

The live action explainer video for Handiemail operates on a simple premise: handwritten letters always go over better. We see the mad scramble to craft a perfect email and see it fail. We see it with Handiemail and it we see success.

The product’s utility is perfectly illustrated without a single word, allowing well chosen music to shine. If you’re making explainer videos on a budget, not having to hire a sound guy can save you money.

What explainer video software should you use?

If you’re not working with an agency and working on your explainer video on your own, we recommend using a storyboard template to craft your story beat by beat. Production management software like StudioBinder is perfect for scheduling one day shoots, breaking down your script, and generating a shot list.

4. Strategically use animation in your explainer video

Animation is a great way to quickly get across a complex idea. Just don’t go overboard on it.
Subtle animation can drive home an important point. Animated explainer videos run the risk of looking like a big budget PowerPoint if not careful.

Coming from explainer video company, PieTv, Parkbob promises to making finding a parking spot easier than ever. As the protagonist circles the block again, animation frames her struggle with important factoids. When the solution arrives in the form of the app, the video transitions into full animation, and then back to life action. The tasteful use of animation here only only saves time and money, it draws attention to itself.

The half animated explainer video for Soylent uses similar tactic.

How do you calculate an explainer video cost?

Your explainer video cost, as always, comes from your script. To get a preliminary cost for your explainer video, break down your script to its elements. By first determining what actors, props, special effects, and equipment you’ll need, you can assign a dollar sign.

5. Seeing is believing

There’s a huge difference between a drawing of a product and a full realized version. The best startup videos do this well.

This Kickstarter campaign went viral, mostly due to its explainer video. Instead using an animated explainer video, Pebble Watch Technologies utilized a simple, but effective strategy.

Just show the product.

A smart watch? Back in the mid-2000s, long before the AppleWatch, it was unheard of. While Pebble doesn’t have the charm and punchy script so many explainer videos use today, their product speaks for itself.

In animated explainer video, the PebbleWatch would be a George Jetson accessory. In the real world, it’s a modern marvel.

Pro tip: The best explainer videos list benefits, not features

Explainer videos by definition have to explain. Just make sure that you never list specs of the product without turning it into a benefit for the viewer.

6. Turn down the gimmicks

The best explainer videos aren’t always for lack of a better word, gimmicky. Sometimes a product is simple enough that just showing it in action sells it.

That’s exactly what Fifty Three did in their explainer video for Paper.

Paper, an app that makes moleskins mobile, is showcased elegantly. What makes the video so effective is that the point of view is skewed towards us. We only see the main character’s hands, putting the product in our hands.

The creative choices not only captivate–they save money. Without any dialogue or actors, shooting this live action explainer video was a matter of recording the app in use across New York City.

And whenever you showcase the Big Apple, you tend to make one of the best explainer videos.

7. Use multiple protagonists

Unless your product goes exclusively after one demographic, you should display people of races and genders. It builds instant empathy with the viewer, allowing them to see themselves using the project.

The animated explainer video for PrescribeWellness takes this advice to heart. You can’t help but connect to their characters, who appear to be real people like us. Of course, if you’re making an explainer video for an app for pregnant women, you should make your protagonists all women. By carefully choosing protagonists you can gain immediate buy-in for your explainer video’s story.

8. Keep your explainer videos brief

Less is often more, especially when it comes to explainer videos. The more you talk about a point, the less important it seems.

AdBlock has a simple message: download us and ads will disappear. The point is not lost on the explainer video. Do we need to know how AdBlock works? Not really. With just a 30 second runtime, Adblock’s video shows that brevity often makes some of the best explainer videos.

Wrapping Up

Explainer videos can be challenging to create. You don’t want to pour ample time into your explainer video to see it get lost in the sea of the rest. By taking to heart these strategies and using a explainer video template can you pack a punch for your product.

Just make sure your explainer video script is up to snuff.

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AJ Unitas

AJ Unitas

Writer at StudioBinder
AJ Unitas is a Baltimore native turned Los Angeles wanderer. He enjoys good movies, hates the bad ones, and drinks water regularly. If you'd like to contact him, please don't!
AJ Unitas

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