The Origin and History of Explainer Videos

A concept based marketing tool that is an explainer video is very well known to all. Any brand without having at least one explainer video is like having a delightful biryani without the raita, it just doesn’t make the mark. According to the reports, only 12 percent of online businesses do not own an explainer video. It is evident that they are quite popular and a lot of these videos have made an impactful presence. But when and how did they come into existence? There is a lot to learn and know about these interactive videos. They have an origin story of their own and a very interesting one too!

Journey From PowerPoint To YouTube

The revival of “storytelling blended with PowerPoint presentation”, which is now known as explainer videos, were not discovered in the moment of ‘Eureka!’ but were a natural progression. It was in the 1990s when PowerPoint started to emerge as the best “explaining tool” and became an offering of one of its kind. Just around this time, we observed an internet boom, where YouTube made its first appearance. People started raving about the idea of watching stories rather than listening or reading them. People found it to be a simpler but engaging platform, as watching a one minute video was easier when compared to reading a lengthy document. They introduced the concept of “what-to” and “how-to” videos, where people could find tutorials and learn about new things at just a click away.

The kick-starters of such videos were the dynamic duo of Common Craft, who came up with the idea of using hands, markers and paper cut-outs to tell a story, with the camera pointing to the whiteboard on the floor. What started as a Travel Video Blog soon turned into learning based platform. “RSS in Plain English” was their first tutorial video, which was uploaded on 23 Apr 2007. It gained astonishing popularity! Soon, they started getting requests from various companies for making custom videos. Their second client was Google and they produced a video “Google Docs in Plain English” for them. Common Craft was leading the way in making such videos. They hit gold when they made a video explaining how Twitter works. It was so good that Twitter posted it on their homepage!

The Formula That Transpired Into Marketing Mantra

It took over one and a half year and millions of view after the first tutorial video, that the term “Explainer Video” was coined. The phrase became so popular that it was at the tip of every marketer’s tongue and it was then that it was no more limited to an internet trend. It became a prerequisite for any business. It was such a rage that all the companies started creating a website and posting these videos on their websites.

The concept started becoming an integral part of every company’s marketing strategy, many businesses started creating these videos in-house and their success stories were also shaped with these explainer videos. The best explainer video story was that of Groupon when they posted a similar video on their website and soon their sales picked up. The impact was such that it made Groupon a billion dollar company that it is today.

Future Of Explainer Videos

Since then the concepts have evolved and requirements have become more stringent, making the explainer videos perfect for a profitable business model. Even the outlook and the key focus have shifted, in today’s time, every explainer video starts with a strong script. Moreover, the emphasis these days has shifted to the “core message” rather than visuals. Marketers have realized that flashy visuals with no story won’t add much value to their brand.

All this put in a blend with a pinch of “innovation”, make for the perfect strategy and ensuring an invariable growth. The future has a lot to offer, with the digital transformation happening today, they can go up on various platforms and through various mediums. Currently, trending variations of these videos are – animated explainer videos, infographics, interactive videos and many more…

The best explainer video companies are leveraging from this ever-evolving trend, as it has become essential to take professional help when animation companies are crafting their own engaging models to perfection. People are opting more and more for such creative indulgences and the future is as digital as it gets.