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May 6th, 2013

What is Special About an Explainer Video?

Many times, the goal of the video is to introduce and create interest in a company or product. While your choices vary, there is one type of video which is uniquely suited to this goal…the explainer video.

Explainer videos address why a company/product exists. Every company/product is created to solve a problem and this type of video addresses both the prospective customer’s pain and the proposed solution.  Typical aspects of an explainer video include: short length (generally 1-2 minutes), grabs your attention quickly and passes on information efficiently, often uses voice over, and often uses motion graphics or animation rather than footage.

Short Length/Grabbing Attention

If you want your message to be heard, you need to be as precise and succinct as possible. Two minutes is the generally accepted duration for explainer videos because of the steep decline in viewership after this time limit.  Never extend your message unnecessarily. If your message can be conveyed in one minute, keep it to that length. Remember, you want to create interest and curiosity, driving your viewers to follow up on more thorough messaging channels such as: visiting your website, phone calls, and setting up a meeting with your company.

Always avoid making your explainer video into a product demonstration, because it is difficult to capture the imagination of your audience with a demo. Hold off on explaining in detail until you’ve established a relationship and the customer is committed to getting to know your products and services. Make sure that you engage your audience within the first eight seconds of your video. Ask a question or present an intriguing visualization of the problem. Utilize music or another video element to secure the viewer’s attention and strive to create an emotional connection with your audience.

Voice Over and Graphic Animation

It is often difficult to arrange suitable footage to demonstrate the big picture ideas which are addressed in an explainer video. As a result, many explainer videos utilize voice over along with motion graphics and animation instead of footage. Motion graphics or animation also allows you to create a clean, cohesive look to your video and maintains viewer engagement through changing colors, text transitions, and movement.

Case #1 – Jaguar Logistics

Jaguar Logistics: I’m Not in the Medical Field from Frozen Fire Films on Vimeo.

The embedded video is an explainer video produced by Frozen Fire for Jaguar Logistics, which provides courier services in the Dallas Metroplex. The video addresses Jaguar’s specialty and what makes them uniquely suited for any Dallas courier need. We engage the viewer through crisp cuts which are cut to upbeat music and continuously changing visuals throughout the video. We did not use voice over and instead allowed the music to dictate the timing of the piece. This choice ensures that the viewer watches the video carefully rather than disengaging from the visuals and just listening to the voiceover. The text explains Jaguar’s unique capabilities and why they are able to solve your courier problems in very few words. This way, you are entertained, while receiving the desired message. You know that Jaguar has higher standards for every delivery and you can trust that your property will be treated with care and efficiently delivered.

Case #2 – Cisco Cloud Starter

The Cisco Cloud Starter explainer video is another great example. This video (embedded below) maintains the clean, un-cluttered look and addresses the problems their customers have as well, as the solutions that the Cloud Starter service offers. The voice over re-enforces the technical language which is used in the video and helps the viewer properly absorb this information. The voice over, along with clever imagery, convinces the viewer that Cloud Starter is an organized and creative service and builds trust for the brand and product.

By Liz Johnston

           

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