How To Make An Explainer Video That Won’t Make People Want To Die



I finally freaked out on Twitter about something that has been bothering me for awhile now:

Now, I’m aware of the fact that, as a tech writer, I watch more explainer videos than the average internet user. Most people probably see one of those cutesy fucking twee twinkly-music filled videos and think, “Awww! That’s so sweet! Now I completely get/want to purchase/love this product!”


I, on the other hand, slam my computer shut. As soon as I catch an earful of those tunes or see that type of animation, it’s game over.


I. Just. Can’t. Take it. Anymore.

I’m not going to post an example video because that’s mean and here at KillerStartups we’re all about propping up companies, not tearing them down. But you know what I’m referring to. Go to basically any startup website right now and you’ll find one.


I decided to do a little digging and see if I could come up with a few videos to show you guys that aren’t terrible. It took more work than I felt like doing on a lethargic, unseasonably warm September afternoon, but I did it. Because I care. And because my ears were bleeding.


So, without further ado, here are three startup explainer videos that do it right.


1. Namo Media (by DemoDuck)

Reasons it’s a cut above the rest:

  1. Interesting graphics – It’s on trend, pretty, original.
  2. No twinkly music – They’ve used music (good job!) but it doesn’t sound like a twee band picking out a tune on a Casio keyboard.
  3. Clearly explains the product – I understand what they do and how they could benefit my (theoretical) company.

Overall grade: solid A


2. Back Up As A Service (by GrumoMedia)

Reasons it’s a cut above the rest:

  1. Cute without being twee – love the cowboy theme and love the monster/nightmare he’s corralling.
  2. Good use of music – The main character is a cowboy. Western-themed music makes sense.
  3. Makes a boring product interesting – I want to watch this video, even when he slips into very technical tech speak that I don’t understand.

Overall grade: A+


3. SchoolKeep (by DemoDuck)

Reasons it’s a cut above the rest:

  1. Beautifully filmed – It’s not easy to film a short video and this one is high quality, with well set up shots and enough to keep the viewer interested.
  2. Aspirational music – Normally this would be a strike against them (and I’ll admit, I wavered) but it’s an aspirational product. Therefore, aspirational music makes sense.
  3. Shows the product – I can get an idea of what the product looks like and what it may be like to use it. Definite advantage of using live actors versus animated.

Overall grade: A- (and only because I’m still wavering a tiny bit on that music…)


See, startups, there’s no reason for you to make me question my life choices with your obnoxious explainer videos. A great explainer video that doesn’t look and sound like all the other crap out there makes a huge, huge difference for the success of your company – even if it’s just by making us tech writers happy.


Photo & Video Credits

GrumoMedia | DemoDuck | Materials from UCLA Library

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