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The origin and history of explanatory videos

A concept-based marketing tool that is an explainer video is well known to everyone. Any brand without at least one explainer video is like having a delicious biryani without the raita, it just doesn’t make the brand. According to reports, only 12 percent of online businesses do not have an explainer video. It is obvious that they are quite popular and many of these videos have had an impressive 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 combined with PowerPoint presentation”, now known as explainer videos, was not discovered at the time of ‘Eureka!’ but they were a natural progression. It was in the 1990s that PowerPoint began to emerge as the best “explanation tool” and became a one-of-a-kind offering. Just around this time, we saw an internet boom, with YouTube making its first appearance. People began to get excited about the idea of ​​seeing stories instead of listening to or reading them. People found it to be a simpler yet engaging platform as watching a one minute video was easier compared to reading a lengthy document. They introduced the concept of “what to do” and “how to” videos, where people could find tutorials and learn new things just a click away.

The driving forces behind such videos were the dynamic duo of Common Craft, who came up with the idea of ​​using hands, markers, and paper cutouts to tell a story, with the camera pointed at the blackboard on the floor. What started as a travel video blog soon turned into a learning-based platform. “RSS in Plain English” was his first tutorial video, which was uploaded on April 23, 2007. It gained amazing popularity! Soon, they started getting requests from various companies to make custom videos. Their second client was Google and they produced a “Google Docs in Plain English” video for them. Common Craft was at the forefront of making these types of videos. They struck gold when they made a video explaining how Twitter works. It was so good that Twitter posted it on their home page!

The formula that became the marketing mantra

It took over a year and a half and millions of views after the first tutorial video, that the term “Explain Video” was coined. The phrase became so popular that it was on the tip of every marketer’s tongue and that’s when it was no longer limited to an internet trend. It became a prerequisite for any business. Such was the rage that all the companies started to create a website and publish these videos on their websites.

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

The future of explainer videos

Since then, the concepts have evolved and the requirements have become more stringent, making explainer videos perfect for a profitable business model. Even the key perspective and approach has changed, now every explainer video starts with a strong script. Also, the emphasis these days has shifted to the “core message” rather than the visuals. Marketers have realized that eye-catching images without a story won’t add much value to your brand.

All this combined with a pinch of “innovation” make up the perfect strategy and ensure unvarying growth. The future has a lot to offer, with the digital transformation that is happening today, they can be published on various platforms and through various mediums. Currently, the trending variations of these videos are: animated explanatory videos, infographics, interactive videos and many more…

The best explainer video companies are taking advantage of this ever-evolving trend as professional help has become essential when animation companies are creating their own engaging models to perfection. People are increasingly opting for these creative indulgences and the future is as digital as it seems.

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