Explainer Video

Why Quality Explainer Video Matters

William Gadea 12.14.2010

Just a few weeks ago I was speaking to someone who would become a client of ours. At the time, he wasn’t; at the time, he was still weighing his options. He thought out loud about the relative merits of different producers of explainer video, and I was struck by how closely his appraisal of their production quality matched mine.

Perhaps it shouldn’t have been a revelation to me, but it was: you don’t need to be an animation professional to recognize what is polished and what’s not. Nearly all of us have spent more time seeing video than we’ve spent in the classroom. Really, we’re all experts. We all know what is good.

But then he said something else: since the inferior production quality was so widely used, often by big brands, maybe it was okay. Maybe it was a convention now. I’ve been wondering about that statement since.

Certainly he’s not alone in considering that possibility. There is a sentiment out there in the ether that the New Media has changed everything. The new is not like the old. The rules have been turned on their head. What matters now is authenticity! Production values are a thing of the past.

Remember when we were told that computers would usher in the paperless office? That television would make radio and movies obsolete? Sometimes the meaning of technological change is overhyped. I would bet this is one of those instances. Yes, we’re in a new age. Content matters a lot more than it used to. Social media has introduced new ways of relating to customers. And video is King of the web. But, and it’s a big but… the laws of branding have not been suspended! Gravity still works.

If your product or service is represented in a cheap or amateurish way, that tells people that you’re cheap and amateurish. No one is being fooled. They know what is good, just like you do. They’re not going to think that something is more “authentic” because it looks like it’s the work of a child. Yes, quality video is expensive to produce, but your brand is your greatest asset. Representing it well is worth the investment.

As it happens, the quality of explainer video is going through the roof. One of the leading CGI production companies, Buck, recently made a very impressive explainer for Google (with what I’m sure is a very impressive budget.) And there is a lot of other distinguished work out there. But my guess is that tolerance for slipshod work is going to diminish as the field matures, at least among those who can afford better.

William Gadea

William Gadea is the Creative Director and Founder of IdeaRocket.

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  • Couldn’t agree more. I’ve often said that many people do not know good video when they see it but everyone knows bad video when they see it. And, bad video negatively impacts your brand. Fortunately for marketers, professional video is more affordable then ever as equipment costs drop and talented individuals fight to make a living.

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