What Do the Best Explainer Videos Have in Common?

Image via Breadnbeyond

Explainer videos are an effective way to engage an audience thanks to their visually appealing animation.

In addition, explainer videos have a way of breaking down an innovative company, complicated topic, or a never-before-seen product into bite-sized information that is easier to digest.

But let’s face it, explainer videos are just tools. They’re not going to magically grow your business – unless you make proper use of them.

When combined with a proper marketing strategy, explainer videos can pay for themselves with the return on investment (ROI) they generate over time. 

Many companies have proven that a combination of proper marketing strategy and the right explainer videos can bring in big results.

Let’s go over some of those traits that best explainer videos have.

They Emphasize the Problems

Effective explainer videos should be viewer-oriented, which means their content should answer viewers’ questions and help them solve their problems.

The best explainer videos have that in common. They emphasize their focus on a problem that they can solve — and completely exclude the ones that they can’t.

Focusing on a problem that viewers are facing is the hook. Once that’s done, the product is introduced as the solution that solves said problem — including the benefits of using their brand as opposed to that of the competitor’s.

They Keep Things Simple

The essence of an explainer video is to get viewers engaged the shortest time into it as possible. That means you shouldn’t include unnecessary details in the script. This is why most explainer videos are very concise and to the point. Most explainer videos last between 60 to 90 seconds only.

Simplicity is what makes an explainer video sell a product. In order to keep your explainer videos simple, you need to focus on these four elements when constructing your script:

  • The Problem – Address the problems your customers are facing (0:00-0:20)
  • The Solution – Introduce your product as the hero (0:20-0:25)
  • How It Works – Give a brief overview of how the solution works (0:25-0:50)
  • Call to Action – Tell viewers what they should do next (0:50-0:60)

They are Visually Stimulating

Explainer videos are considered visual content, which means they provide the benefit of being able to use colors, shapes, and motion to introduce a product using an out-of-the-box approach.

Combine that with the fact that posts that have images generate 650% more engagement than text-only posts, and I’m sure you’ll find explainer videos tempting, too.

On top of that, visual content for a video marketing purpose should be a no-brainer in 2019. A survey from Statista shows that 40% of respondents say that they regularly view the visual content of a product prior to making a purchase.

They Resonate with Viewers

These explainer videos have a way of resonating with their target audience very well. There are three factors that affect how much these explainer videos can relate to their audience:

  • Relatable situation: These videos present viewers with a situation similar to the one they are facing. This part is what makes or breaks an explainer video, which is why we consider these videos the best — because they all nail the introduction of the problem.
  • Convincing characters: Whether the videos are animated, or live-action, each of it has characters that can convey the message properly to the viewers. An explainer video without characters often has difficulties resonating with viewers.
  • Problem-solving product: This is the core of an explainer video — a solution that solves a problem introduced at the beginning of the video. These videos have a clear explanation of how the product will help viewers overcome their situations.

They Incorporate the Right Dose of Humor

Whenever appropriate, an explainer video should have a hint of humor to lighten up the mood. If used correctly, humor in your explainer videos can be:

  • Attention-grabbing: Most people find marketing pieces boring and full of malicious intent (corporate greed of selling a product, duh).
  • Noticeable: When a marketing piece or method is naturally colorful and entertaining, it often stands out from the rest.
  • Shareable: People love spreading the joy they get from the videos, tweets, memes, and photos you post online. That’s why delivering humor can really pay off the effort you make to come up with a good joke.
  • Trustworthy: Companies that incorporate fun in their campaigns tend to strike a more human and trustworthy image among their customers — which in turn will build a loyal group of customers who are essentially unpaid brand ambassadors.

However, humor in marketing is not all silver and gold. The drawbacks of using humor could be:

  • A PR disaster: A wrong joke at the wrong time could damage your company’s public image. It could even single-handedly bring down a company — remember the rule: when it’s on the internet, it’s there forever.
  • An Offended Customer: Political correctness in today’s state of society is a crucial matter for a company. A joke that you find hilarious could be outright offensive for other people.

The Capture Their Products in Action

Explainer videos from CrazyEgg, Spotify, and Pinterest are great examples of ‘show, don’t tell.’ Their video makers went out of their way to showcase their product in action instead of just bragging about how great they are.

Visually demonstrating a product at work shows consumers how it performs without having to risk paying for it first. This aspect is important to minimize any uncertainty of the product’s functionality in the viewers’ minds.

Being able to visually show a product in action is one of an explainer video’s strengths. Imagine if you’re selling software, like Spotify. You don’t have a physical sample to send to a test group. Explainer videos can help your prospective customers visualize your product so that they can see how well it works.

They Give a Step by Step Explanation

A good explainer video like an app demo video is a cross between informational and promotional content. Some of the explainer videos I’ve listed here provide particularly detailed information about the subject they cover:

  • Amazon Go
  • Cook & Co.
  • Stitch Fix

Composing an explainer video is a bit tricky, though. It should be short — but not too short that it doesn’t cover enough aspects of a product. However, the longer an explainer video is, the less audience retention it gets.

Their Voice Overs and Music are Captivating

Explainer videos normally consist of three main elements: visual, voiceover, sound effects, and music. The visual’s job is to catch the viewer’s attention, and the audio elements are there to keep their attention for as long as possible.

The explainer videos listed here have those two aspects covered. Most of the creators understand that explainer videos aren’t just about videos.

As a marketing tool, music is made use effectively because it activates many centers across the brain, including the emotional ones. In addition to unique and memorable visual elements, captivating music and a soothing voiceover can strike a strong memory in the viewer’s mind.

In short, the music in your explainer video creates a memory, all that’s left is making sure it’s a good one.


The explainer videos which are featured on this list have, as a majority, all of these things in common. All of them are created with a fine balance of all the components that make explainer videos great marketing tools.

  • Most of them hook viewers’ attention with unique visuals and a strong opening line (in this case, mentioning a problem relatable to their target viewers).
  • Once viewers are tuned in, they proceed to build a scenario in which their product becomes the ‘hero.’
  • They also have captivating voiceovers and catchy music to make sure viewers are still watching until the end of the video.
  • The majority of these explainer videos are less than 90 seconds long, with the exception of Coca-Cola and Tech Insider. These two videos have distinguishable storytelling, which makes them enjoyable despite the duration.

Author Bio

Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order). 

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