Insights we learned from creating 90-second explainer videos

Jul, 07, 2021
Senior Account Executive


If you are starting to think about creating an explainer video for a product or service, you’ve probably already viewed dozens of different animation videos to get an idea of what would work best for you — and we’d bet that one of the main characteristics you couldn’t help but notice is the length of a video.

Some are 20-seconds long, some 60-seconds, some may even be up to 2 or 3 minutes in length. The most common ones, however, are 90-second (more or less) videos. In this post, we will explain why this is one of the most popular lengths on the market, and why the majority of business videos are produced in this exact format. 


  1. What Are the Advantages Of 90 Second Explainer Videos?
  2. 5 Things You Need to Know Before Making a 90 Second Explainer Video
  3. Final Thoughts
  4. Is Your Trusted Video Production Partner


What Are the Advantages of a 90 Second Explainer Videos?

The 90-second explainer video gained major popularity in the business community for several reasons. First and foremost — they can be efficiently used across all three stages of the sales funnel. In other words, by creating 90-second explainer videos you can communicate with people who are on different stages of the customer journey, helping them move down the funnel more effectively. 


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Another quality of these videos that makes them popular is the fact that the 90 second length allows for better development of the story — compared to shorter marketing ads — and helps to deliver all essential information about the product or service without rushing through it.

In most cases, 90 seconds will be enough to convey all main messages and adequately present your product to the audience 🚀

Thanks to their versatility, 90-second explainer videos are used across a wide range of industries and niches — from marketing and banking, to heavy manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. To give you a better idea of how 90-second explainer videos can be utilized, here are some examples straight from our portfolio, ranging by application area:

📌 Predictive analytics: Twingz

📌 Project management software: Traction tools

📌 Gas industry: GetUpside

📌 Internal business communication: Nordic Innovation Hub

📌 Job employment: ProSale

📌 EdTech: TTRS (Touch-type read and Spell)

📌 Manufacturing equipment: Primozone 

📌 Real-time news services: Owlin BP

Now that we’ve gone through the main characteristics, let’s see what you should take into account when starting to create a 90 second animated explainer video.


5 Things You Need to Know Before Making a 90 Second Explainer Video

1️⃣ A 90 second explainer video (or any other) is useless without a clear CTA

When discussing requirements with new clients regarding their video projects, it’s clear that not all business owners fully acknowledge the essence of the explainer video as a promotional asset.

👉 One of the most frequent answers we get to the question ”Why do you need an explainer video in the first place?” is ”To talk about our new product/service/feature/update.” Being right at its core — obviously, no one produces an animation video to simply put it on the shelf and never get back to it again — it misses one important point. 

Reaching out to your audience with an explainer video is an intermediate goal and the final goal is making them perform a specific action while viewing the video (or immediately after they’re done). That’s why it is so important to have a Call-to-Action precisely outlined in your video.

Explainer videos always have to lead viewers somewhere 🎈

One thing that we never stop outlining to our clients is that an animated video is a marketing asset — the same asset as SEO copy on your website, Facebook ad, or paid campaign on LinkedIn. It has to result in specific, measurable outcomes.

From a marketing perspective, not providing users with clear steps for further interaction with your product makes your explainer video pointless.

If you want to get more information on how to create a 90-second explainer video, simply hit the button below and we’ll send you a complete guide for the animation video production process.


2️⃣ 90 seconds is not an ‘ideal’ animation video length

90-second explainer videos are not ideal in terms of length and, actually…none of these types of business videos are. While many articles claim the benefits and advantages of 90 second explainer videos, length actually has nothing to do with the success of a video, after all.

The best video length of a business video is defined by its marketing goals and distribution channels 📏

The only reason for an explainer video to be 90-seconds long — as has already been explained above — is that it’s the perfect length to include all the information users might need on each of the three stages of your sales funnel. Thus, within a single video, you can target multiple concerns and needs of your potential customers. 

For more information on how sales funnels work and how animation videos fit in, read our article here.

It all depends on your goals. Assess your marketing needs to understand which length will suit your case best 👍

Your goals will determine the length of your video. So, if you want a video to outline one specific pain point of your target audience, then it may be better to go with a commercial ad shorter than 90 seconds that will convey your core message in an actionable manner. Just like this promo ad we did for PageLynx:

Maybe your product is a pretty complex one, and you can’t fit its presentation into the 90-second timeframe. In this case, longer timing would be more appropriate, like in this 120 second video clip we did for Auka:

Or maybe you want to use it for your Facebook campaign, in which case a 15-20 second video would be more appropriate (viewers tend to focus less when scrolling their news feed, and will get bored faster viewing long ads). An example of such a video can be found here:

The bottom line is — it doesn’t matter if your video is 30, 60, 90 or 120-seconds long since the length is secondary. Focus on your outcomes and decide on an appropriate length for your video after that.

If you want to get more insights about animation video length, take a look at our article, where we discuss this subject further.

3️⃣ Invest in the creative idea and video concept first

This point is directly connected with the problem of correct identification of primary and secondary objectives during the business video production process. Often, explainer videos are being evaluated solely based on their visual complexity and animation quality.

No doubt, quality 3D videos will always be more appreciated than animated PowerPoint presentations by an amatuer designer; however, the animation complexity itself will rarely be able to determine whether a video will be successful or not since animation video style and type of animation are just tools.

We always recommend that our clients aim for a great idea and concept first. Even the simplest video (in terms of animation choice) backed up with a stunning idea and innovative concept can bring you outstanding results.  

A perfect promo video example of this is a 2D Cut-Out video we did for Onfo:

👉 Let’s answer a few questions here:

  • Does this video include the most advanced animation? Probably not, since the objects barely move in the shot.
  • Does it look fresh? Absolutely, yes — and we bet you will have a hard time finding a similar video on the market today. 

In this case, a thoroughly developed concept and unique style helped us to come up with an engaging video that perfectly translates the value and mission of the product being presented. So, the most important question in that regard is:

  • How did the video perform? Completely outstanding. It went viral and — in just three days — received 100K organic views on Facebook. The client was incredibly happy with the outcomes this video gave them.

The more engaging the video is, the less likely it will be skipped. If the video is engaging enough, viewers will watch it all the way through 👀

This short case study was to show you that, even with relatively modest animation design, you can put the market ‘on fire’ with your business video — all thanks to a great idea and video concept. 

If you want more information on how to define secondary objectives — animation style and type, in particular — make sure to read our article on this subject.

4️⃣ The longer the animation video is, the less complicated animation there can be

As we wrote in our article about explainer video pricing, animation complexity is directly connected to production costs. So, the more complicated the animation style and type of video are, the more expensive a project will be, and vice versa.

In general, the formula for video production costs can be expressed as follows:

When it comes to 90-second explainer videos, in most cases, they are not designed to be highly intentional and stuffed with actions, since their main goal is to deliver specific knowledge about the product (take ‘how to’ videos, for example).

Compared to shorter animation ads that are intended to grab viewers’ attention right from the first second and, thus, include flashy animation and rapid scene changes, explainer videos are more calm and mild.

Such format difference, alongside with the budgeting, eliminate a need for designers to utilize complex animation and graphics, making 90-second videos at times more cost effective compared to 30-second promo ads. Read more about calculating custom 90-second explainer video cost in our article

By simply juxtaposing short ads and 1+ minute long explainer videos you can clearly see the style difference and requirements for the action intensity in a shot:

Promo ad:

Because We Care video:

Interested in getting more tips and tricks that will let you produce a 90-second explainer video on a budget? Download our full guide to animation video production process:


5️⃣ Covering anything and everything within a video might be not a good idea

When working with a 90-second explainer video, it’s very important to figure out what your future video will be about (goals, core messages, call-to-action, etc). It is equally important to find the right balance between length and the concepts being displayed.

Way too often, business owners think that, since a 1.5 minute explainer video is not a short promo ad, it should be able to fit in anything and everything. That’s exactly why, in lots of explainer videos, you can witness a mixture of different audiences and messages that are relevant for one group of people but not others (those the video appeals to). 

Obviously, such an approach will not work because you can’t effectively target investors and C-level managers all at the same time, and ‘chasing two rabbits’ will generally result in catching neither of them.

To prevent that from happening, we always advise our clients to concentrate on one target group of viewers and work with their pain points, rather than try to appeal to the general audience. Outlining 4-5 core messages for the explainer video in the briefing stage and coming up with a clear concept after that will be more effective than trying to fit the entire market in the 90-second time slot.

Work with the audience problems you know about and try not to overload an explainer video with conflicting concepts 🧩

To understand how to better form expectations for your future explainer video, be sure to review our article where we discuss the essentials of the briefing process and the brief fill-up itself.


🥕 Boosting sales for AUKA app with our minimalistic video 

🥕 Stylish video for promoting DreamCo agency 

🥕 Increasing landing page conversions with our video for Scrathpay startup

Final Thoughts

These were the five pro insights and tips on creating a 90-second explainer video, which stem directly from our own experience producing explainer videos and consulting clients on their projects. For this post, our idea was also to address commonly asked questions and concerns, like “Why should I make a 90 second animated explainer video? or I’ve read that 90-seconds is the best length for an explainer video.”

As you can hopefully see by now, it’s not a matter of length, but of goals that a business owner sets for a video to achieve. So, make sure to always correctly prioritize your goals — primary and secondary — first. For all other 90 second animated explainer video production activities, feel free to contact our professional team! Is Your Trusted Video Production Partner

🔹 Infoskill

A 90-second explainer video that we created for Toronto-based IT company Infoskill. The main challenge with this video was to comprehensively present the company’s services without overloading the storyline at the same time.

For this explainer video, we decided to go with the concise style that allowed us to demonstrate Infoskill expertise in app development, security, infrastructure services and management consulting — all in an understandable and clear way.

🔹 Flight Costs

A 90-second explainer video done by our team for Pilbara Regional Council. The main goal for this project was to educate the local public on how flight costs to regional areas in Australia are formed.

The task for this animation video was quite ambitious. In fact, we were challenged to explain the whole Supply and Demand theory in less than 90 seconds. To accomplish this task, we used lots of animated infographics to convert complex information into a fun and engaging journey for the viewer. The client was fully satisfied with the result we delivered. 


A 90-second explainer video that was made for the TTRS company by our team. The main goal of this explainer video was to showcase features of an educational online platform to mature learners in order to help them strengthen their spelling skills, increase reading fluency, and boost confidence. 

The challenge with this video was to perfectly adjust the style and tone of the video for the older audience. As a result, we used a calm narrative and mild colors to tell the story and deliver the core messages and mission of the product.

If any of the above 90-second explainer video examples have piqued your interest, and you want to get an effective 90-second explainer video prepared by a professional animated explainer video company, feel free to contact us through the form below.


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