90 second explainer videos

90 second explainer videos combine depth and breadth, making them one of the most effective ways to pitch your business, product, service or idea. Here’s some useful background information on 90 seconds explainer videos along with a few examples.




Why 90 second explainer videos are effective

30 seconds explainer videos are great if you want something fast and furious.  60 second explainer videos are perfect if you want to strike a balance between concise and informative.   But if you’re looking for a more classic elevator pitch length, you want a 90 second explainer. 90 second explainer videos are one of our specialties here at Gisteo and we’ve produced over 1,500 90 second explainer videos over the years.

How many words are in 90 second explainer videos?

In the world of video production, a minute and a half is plenty of time. That doesn’t mean you can fit an entire white paper or sales deck into the script though.  It’s easy than you might think to underestimate just how many words fit into a 90 second explainer video, and one of our most common tasks is negotiating a dense script down to the basics.

When writing a 90 second script, you should plan for a total of about 220-230 words. That makes sure you have plenty of time to introduce the topic, explain it in time, and wrap it up with a swift conclusion that gives your audience its next steps.

Strengths of 90 second explainer videos

As you can probably imagine, the strength of a 90 second video compared to shorter videos is its depth. Unlike its 30 second or 60 second counterparts, a 90 second video length gives you the opportunity to dig a little deeper into the problem as well as the solution.  Want to clarify a complex topic, draw connections with other products and services, maybe even bring in an expert for a quick quote?  All of that is possible with 90 second explainer videos.

If you can get all this right (more on how you can do that below in the next section), your 90 second explainer will keep your audience’s attention of your audience for its entire duration and then richness of the content will pay dividends. As we’ve talked about before, there’s no single “best length” for online videos–it all depends on the subject, audience, and context.  If your content is engaging and you post it on the right channels, 90 second explainer videos can be powerful marketing tools.

Weaknesses of 90 second explainer videos

Let’s face it: there are situations in which 90 seconds might not be ideal. Let’s dig into some of the potential pitfalls:

  • Your audience might lose attention. If you don’t make every second of the on-screen experience information and exciting, it’s easy to tune out and hit that little red “x.”
  • You might struggle to build the visual content. Writing a 225-word script is one thing. Can you produce the graphics to keep it interesting? Long stretches without engaging visual content to complement your audio could hinder you video’s overall performance.
  • The channel might not be right.  You’ve got to be realistic: few will watch your 90 second explainer video on Twitter or Instagram (even if they didn’t have a 60 second maximum for regular videos). A 90-second explainer only works in very specific contexts such as a website, landing page, Youtube channel etc.
  • You might not have the budget. If you’re hiring a studio to produce your video, longer videos entail more labor, take more time to produce and cost more…so budget accordingly.
  • 90 seconds might not be enough.  What if you need to do a complex sales or training video? 90 seconds is excellent for a pitch but likely too brief to explore the type of depth you need for certain types of video content.

Keys to creating compelling 90 second explainer videos

Here are some tips to help you create a video your audience will actually want to watch:

  • Stick to the thesis. In other words, don’t try to do too much. Set a single goal for your video, and make sure everything in your video leads and is connected to that goal. Otherwise, you’ll be surprised how fast 90 seconds fly by before you can make your point.
  • Build strong visuals. If you want to make sure your audience stays and watches, you better make them. Text alone won’t do that. Build compelling visuals, from digital avatars to diverse motion graphics, that keep them glued to the screen.
  • Get the right voiceover. You’d be surprised how much difference a great voiceover artist can make. That standard radio voice may be great for a short spot, but gets boring quickly. The right voice is engaging, conversational, and speaks directly to your audience.
  • Insert some humor. Of course, this isn’t appropriate for all brands (although we’d argue that it’s appropriate for the majority). When you can, make sure your script builds in some fun and unexpected mentions that jolt your audience out of the lull of watching yet another video.
  • Tell a story. Ninety seconds is plenty of time to follow the basic problem-journey-resolution story path. That grabs your audience from the beginning, especially if the problem you’re presenting is relevant to them. But it also carries them through the entire video, all the way to the resolution.
  • Find the right partner: The do-it-yourself route can be treacherous. Partnering with pros like us here at Gisteo helps ensure you get your money’s worth and the results you deserve.

A sampling of our 90 second explainer videos

Below are just a few of the 90 second animated explainer videos that we’ve done over the years here at Gisteo. Make sure you check out of Portfolio page for a more comprehensive review our work across different style, sectors, uses and lengths. If you’re curious about our rates, please visit our Transparent Pricing page for our straightforward, all-included fixed fees.

Ready to get started on a 90 second explainer video?

Let’s talk!  Click the button below to schedule a free consultation or contact us at info@gisteo.com to discuss your animated video needs.