Flat design vlog concept - explainer videos.
Len Smofsky Sep 18 ,2018

If you want to use video content to create an emotionally compelling connection with your audience, how would you do about it?

Would you attempt to launch the next Dos Equis or Old Spice campaign featuring your own brand of oddball humour? Would you try your hand at branded content, perhaps in the form of a live-action short film? Or would you get a local celebrity involved and conduct a high-profile video interview?

All of these choices are great assuming you have the resources, time and budget to execute them. But there’s another option that doesn’t involve multi-million dollar budgets or an all-star cast of A-listers.

A good old-fashioned explainer video can help you achieve the big and bold brand-building results you’d expect from a viral video.


Videos meant to explain complicated concepts can be boring, even laughable. You might remember those safety videos from the 80s, with their colourfully-voiced narrators and poor quality background music. But times have changed.

Explainer videos have skyrocketed in popularity thanks to new-age techniques used by their creators. The numbers prove it too. For example, Wyzowl revealed that 95% of people surveyed have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service. That confirms the reality that audiences consult the internet not only to laugh or shop, but also to learn.

A well-designed explainer video can overcome dry fact-telling and give audiences necessary information in a way that is attention-grabbing. If you already use video in your content strategy, it’s worth the effort to create explainers for several reasons.

The Power Of Explainer Videos

  • They’re Versatile – Explainer videos can be used for a wide range of communication objectives ranging from brand awareness to product demonstration.
  • Allow For Creative Flair – There’s no specific format for explainer videos. You can make them animated, live-action, conversational, humorous – the possibilities are endless.
  • Demonstrate Features/Benefits Visually – Well-written product descriptions can turn an item into a bestseller, but visualizing them with an explainer video will increase viewers’ understanding of the product far quicker and more effectively.
  • Fairly Easy To Produce – You don’t need a massive budget or extraordinarily high production levels (although they don’t hurt) to produce an explainer video. You just need to communicate your information clearly and in a visually pleasing manner.
  • Reach Multiple Audiences At Once – Explainer videos have the rare ability to address multiple audiences at once since they can teach concepts to new prospects while providing insights to existing ones.

With our Individeo platform, we can help you build an explainer video with an added feature, personalization, which has the potential to boost your video’s engagement and conversion rates even further.


A little inspiration can get your creative juices flowing if you decide to start working on explainer videos. As we mentioned in the previous section, there are no real limits to what an explainer video can look like, and that makes it easy for you to get lost in a sea of possibilities. Fortunately, there are some inspiring examples to consider below.


If we were to crown a brand or outlet as the king of explainer videos, we’d probably give it to Vox. Their Explained series has garnered much praise over the last few years. Their videos provide a seamless combination of captivating subject matter, crisply-rendered visuals (which include animations, photos and visualizations), interviews and well-chosen narrators.


The smart thermostat brand decided to take the animation route with their Works With Nest video and they did so beautifully. Using a delightful colour scheme and animation style, they were able to simplify the ways in which Nest works with other home appliances and the resulting benefits. It could have been stuffy and overly technical but this is a video that anyone can understand.


Dollar Shave Club’s premier video, an explainer featuring its creator Michael Dubin, put the fledgeling brand on the map. In fact, it catapulted the men’s grooming company to near-instant fame and a $1 billion sale to Unilever. How?

It used a combination of surreal imagery, Dubin’s deadpan comedic delivery and his straightforward description of the product in the “bro” language of his 20 and 30-something audience.


What lessons can you learn from these three examples? There are quite a few but let’s focus on three.

The first takeaway is a reminder: explainer videos can be captivating and fun. The visuals in these explainer videos combined with their narration give you added reason to focus on the videos’ key points, and that’s important for you to consider when making your own.

Second, an explainer video should use its various elements to enhance the key point it is focusing on. In other words, the narrator shouldn’t be doing all of the explaining – the visuals and sound should also illustrate or amplify what the narrator is talking about for added impact and viewer comprehension.

Finally, an explainer video should strike a personal chord with its audience. That means that the narrator or lead actor, imagery, dialogue and overall aesthetic should reflect the likes, goals and attitudes of those watching it. Dollar Shave Club does an exceptional job of this by using language and humour which men in their 20s and 30s find appealing.


  • Consider the buyer funnel/journey and where an explainer video would fit best into your marketing strategy.
  • Review the interests, hobbies, attitudes and lifestyles of your audience to get a sense of the tone, imagery and call-to-actions they’ll respond to most.
  • Choose a singular point of focus for your video and build a theme around it.
  • Craft your video from start to finish and take an iterative approach to develop the explainer until it’s as polished as it can be.
  • Test your video in front of a sample audience for feedback and revisions.


In as little two minutes, an explainer video can help you reach many marketing objectives at once. You can do so by injecting the right dose of educational material into the video, balancing it with humour, storytelling and captivating visuals. Not only will your audience walk away having learned something new, but they’ll also be more likely to buy your product and even share your offerings with others.

See how IndiVideo can help you reach your market.

About the author: Len Smofsky

Len Smofsky

Len has over 25 years of experience in visual communications and strategy. Over the last decade his focus has been primarily in the digital area.

Specializing in corporate communications, Len founded one of Canada’s most successful production companies. His company created leading edge video production, TV commercials, digital strategy and media.

In 2006, Len and Larry formed a partnership to create a new BlueRush with the intent of creating personalized customer experiences using a unique blend of digital media and deep technology capabilities. BlueRush works with clients in the financial services, healthcare and packaged goods industries leveraging current digital technologies and services, creating great user experiences at all points in the customer journey.


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