90 second explainer videos

90 second explainer videos are one of our specialties here at Gisteo.  If you want to go all out and you think your product or business explanation needs some impressive “meat,” you’re likely looking for a 90 second explainer video. And we can help you with that. In fact, when you work with us, you’ll get an explainer video that will knock your audience’s socks off. But is that length right for you? What do you have to look out for? How many words can you fit into that minute and a half?

Let’s take a deeper look at the nuances of 90 second explainer videos.


The advantages of 90 second explainer videos


As you can probably imagine, the strength of a 90 second video is in its depth. Unlike its shorter 30 second or 60 second counterparts, this length gives you the ability to dig in a little bit.

Explain 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 at this length.

If you can get this right (more on how you can do that below in the next section), your 90 second video will keep the attention of your audience for its entire duration. By the end of it, you have a highly engaged audience that’s likely to take the next steps you’re proposing just because it’s been captivated for so long.

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 audience is willing to watch it, the subject demands it, and you can post it on the right channels, 90 second explainer videos can be a powerful marketing tools.

Check out this example we did for FastGrowingFruitTrees.com a few years ago.  It actually runs a tad over 90 seconds (110 seconds) total.  With over 2 Million views on Youtube alone, it has been a “total home run” for the company, in the words of their Founder and CEO.




How many words are in a 90 second explainer video?


Yes, a minute and a half is quite a lot of time – in video world. That doesn’t mean you can fit your entire Word document into that script. It’s easy to overestimate 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 your script, plan with about 180 to 240 words for your explainer video. 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.

To put that in context, check out the script below for the feature explainer video living on our homepage. Total length: 92 seconds.

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In total, those are exactly 227 words.  Try to keep your 90-second explainer video around 225 words, and you’re generally in good shape.

Here’s a link to the video so you can check it out:



Weaknesses of 90 second explainer videos

Let’s face it: there are situations in which your full 90 seconds aren’t actually the most effective use of your audience’s time. Let’s dig into some of those potential weaknesses.

  • Your audience might lose attention. If you don’t make every second of the on-screen experience 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?
  • The channel might not be right.  You’ve got to be realistic: nobody will watch your 90 seconds on Instagram (even if they didn’t have a 60 second maximum for regular videos), and most people won’t on Twitter either. A 90-second explainer video only works in very specific contexts.
  • You might not have the budget. If you’re not creating the video yourself, longer videos cost more. The increases are typically nominal beyond the base fee, but it’s still important to make sure you have the funds for the full 90 seconds.

Of course, all those weaknesses are contingent on the exact situation you find yourself in. Your 90-second video could be great or awful, depending on what exactly that situation looks like. And naturally, you have to get the creation right.


How to create effective 90 second explainer videos

Let’s get down to business. These tips help you make sure you create a video your audience actually wants to watch, and watch again.

  • 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 killer 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 3D animations, that keep them glued to the screen.
  • Avoid duplication. You don’t have space to simply repeat the words you’re saying on the screen (kinetic typography excluded). You can communicate more, and more effectively, by making sure your text and visuals enhance each other instead of duplicating the same thing.
  • 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 many). 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.

Sounds easy, right? We can assure you that it’s not. But it’s also not impossible to achieve. In fact, surprise! At Gisteo, we follow all of these tips when building 90-second explainer videos. So maybe, if you’re stumped on how to go about getting that great visual, you just need the right partner.


Looking for a great 90 second explainer video?

Go ahead and browse our portfolio for a more comprehensive overview of the work we’ve done across styles, industries, use cases, and video length.  You’ll find plenty of 90 second explainer videos there.

Wondering how much a 90-second explainer video will cost? If you’re interested in our production rates, visit our Pricing page. You can find all of our packages and fixed rates there, no hidden fees or weird structure that could leave you confused.

Contact us today if you’d like to schedule a free consultation to discuss your 90-second explainer video project.