We probably don’t need to tell you that producing a good explainer video can feel like a monumental task. How do you really capture the essence of your business in just a couple of minutes, and is it even possible on a startup budget? Does it really have to be that hard? We don’t think so and we’ll show you how.
We’re going to look at some fantastic examples of explainer video – ranging from the wildly popular to the lesser known – and see what makes them great. And – more importantly – how you can produce an amazing explainer video yourself.
Some awesome explainer examples
You’ve probably seen some of these videos before. But they’re fantastic examples of what you can achieve with a well-made explainer video, and well worth watching again!
You can’t really talk about startups without mentioning Airbnb. And this explainer video is top notch. They worked with Singapore production house TBWA to bring their miniature world to life. And it wasn’t an easy task, taking 30 people 5 weeks to build the set, and a whopping 85 takes to get the final shot. That said, it’s a lovely video that really showcases the way Airbnb works. It really captures the idea of making the world smaller and more connected as it takes you from a tiny jungle treehouse through to the grand entrance of castle. But with those figures, we’re sceptical about the affordability.
Dollar Shave Club
This is the stuff of marketing legend. This uber viral video was a massive success for Dollar Shave Club, propelling the startup into the public consciousness. Its blend of comedy and an innovative service proved to be the perfect recipe for a viral hit. And considering its phenomenal success, it was pretty cheap, coming in at a price tag of $4500. They worked with LA video production duo Paulilu to create this hilarious explainer.
Although they haven’t quite hit the viral success of Dollar Shave Club, Tonx really sell their coffee subscription service in this video. They’ve got just the right amount of humour and lots of tempting shots of coffee to entice you. Plus, by setting it in a normal house you can just imagine how it’d fit into your daily routine (dressing gown and oversized head towel included). And on top of that, they tell you exactly how it works and it all sounds very easy. Tonx opted for an agency, working with full-service video team Sandwich Video to get the end result.
This is a bit of a change from the others, but who doesn’t love an animated video with ninjas? Their product isn’t the most easy to market and is pretty niche – it basically checks your emails look ok across every browser. But this video shows you can take any product and make it really exciting and creative. B2B doesn’t have to mean boring. They worked with Planet Nutshell, a small motion graphics outfit that produces animated educational and explainer videos for clients.
Text Me Up
This is another fantastic use of animation. By using the (very cute) animals, they make their product seem really universal. Plus, they really demonstrate the need for their product in their explanation, and make it clear how you can use it too. An animation like this never comes cheap though. Thinkmojo, the masterminds behind this video, charge between $5000 and $25000 for a video, depending on its complexity and how advanced the animations are.
How to get your own explainer video
Although agencies are a fantastic way to produce explainer videos, they can break the bank a bit. This isn’t always an option when you’re running a new startup and counting pennies. Plus, you don’t always get the full level of creative input you might want either, as it’s harder to work closely with a large agency. They’ll generally take an idea and run with it. So how can you get an explainer video and dodge these hurdles?
Check out this awesome explainer video by Twine member Anastasia Belenova. (It’s explaining explainer videos!) Her work shows you can find awesome, quality creatives who you can work with closely to get your perfect video. We’re not saying we’re the cheapest option, because we don’t want to be. But we’re more affordable than hiring an entire agency and you’ll get a bit more creative input into your project.
Here’s another one of our favourites. Stefan Fitzner is a super talented motion designer and he created this video for Clariant International’s social media web series, explaining the science behind everyday phenomena.