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Why explainer videos suck and what to do about it

Date February 14, 2017 Author Bryan McCarthy Bolan Categories Latest


Blogs about new tools and apps for entrepreneurs, marketing, video production, and productivity always pique my interest. I like seeing what's new out there and if there’s anything I'd like to test for my business.

As I surveyed the recommendations, I noticed that some of the sites for these tools and apps have homepage videos (which you should) including explainer videos. To my dismay, I quickly left those sites, confused and a little pissed-off companies are still using these horrible, piece of crap videos.

I did my own experiment. I grabbed 3 blogs about business tools and apps. You can see them for yourself here, here, and here

The three blogs referenced 30 tools and apps. Twelve had either a homepage video or a video on the page that the blog linked to. Half of those were explainers, and get this – two were explainers from competitors in the same industry!

They all had that common thread. The animations were similar and both featured entry level script writing: “Are you tired, overworked, and have no time for this and that?” And of course, the same old happy, clappy, yet very crappy music. 

Where's the creativity, the passion, the love? Why did you, the marketer, CEO, director whatever, decide to go with this video? Seriously, what were you thinking? It’s completely mind-boggling why you would risk portraying your company in this way.

Why this is bad for business

These types of videos are bad for business because they have no human or emotional connection and offer nothing to help you stand apart.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with animated videos that do it right. I've written about this before and some animated videos are truly exceptional. Take the opening sequence of Steven Spielberg’s 2002 Catch Me if You Can, for example. This isn’t animation: it’s art.

Videos that are different make an impact. Videos that stay on brand, hit your target market, and help your business grow are exceptional. Do you not want exceptional?

You don’t need to create a video like Spielberg’s, but there needs to be some sort of creative or human element to wow your audience.

How to humanize your brand

The best way to stand out in a sea full of mediocre video is to be different from your competition. Tell the story of what makes your company different. Speak to your audience about your value proposition, and make sure it’s one they’ve never heard before. Showcase your crave – why you do what you do – to the world.

If you decide to enlist a creative video agency, trust the creative director that will work with you to tell the story. Dont trust the company that cheaply churns out these videos day in and day out.

Interestingly enough, Facebook is now rewarding video makers who produce longer pieces that go against the norm in an attempt to improve our goldfish-like attention spans. If even the social media giant has had enough of mediocre video, it’s time to take note and make some changes to the way you market your company.

Dont be afraid to get creative!

If you aren’t creative, then find someone who is and don’t be afraid to let them take the lead. You’re paying for the creative’s expertise after all, so it only makes sense that you take it. Bring your ideas to the table, but don’t insist that they are executed.

Remember: your video is a representation of everything you are. It’s paramount that you take the time and resources to put together a video that you are not only proud of, but a video that you want to share with the world.

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