Explainer Video

How An Explainer Video Made $8 Million. For a Cooler.

Shawn 08.12.2014

As of this writing (August 12th, 2014), the kickstarter explainer video for a redesigned cooler, called “The Coolest,” has raised over $8,565,002. The original goal was $50k. And it still has 17 days to go.

Quality explainer videos always start with a great script.

Even a 30-second explainer needs to have the four elements of a great narrative to achieve it’s objective:

explainer video script

  1. Character
  2. Conflict
  3. Quest
  4. Resolution

 

That might sound a little over the top for “just another explainer video,” but if you want your explainer to stand out from the pack, trust me, you need a good script.

explainer videoWhy are people freaking out about a cooler? Sure, the design is great – it has thicker wheels, a built-in bottle opener, and the on-board blender and bluetooth iphone speakers are bananas – but at the end of the day, this is just a sweet version of a product that most people already have in their garage.

So why are thousands of people lining up to pay $185 for a cooler?

Because the script tells them too. It’s written with an objective in mind (sales), and it has converted over 43,000 backers – making it one of the most successful campaigns in the history of the site.

1) Character is the Coolest (This post is packed with puns. Sorry, I’m not sorry).

There’s no doubt that the star of this explainer video is the “Coolest” cooler. It’s in nearly every shot. But the protagonist of this video is you, the viewer.

You at the beach in July. You surrounded by friends at a bbq. You making margaritas around the bonfire or killing it at a picnic in the park with your sweetheart. You are the star of this explainer video. The Coolest is just your wingman on all your outdoor adventures.

Notice how the first line of the explainer video doesn’t explain anything about the product. It’s not about the space-age design. It’s not about the company. Heck, it’s not even about the inventor and his story. It’s about you.

“That’s the sound of a cooler coming off the shelf. It’s the sound of imminent fun.”

I love that opening line. It immediately sets the scene, and makes your imagination the star (with your trusty cooler in hand, of course). A great line can hook you just as fast as a killer video thumbnail. Never underestimate a strong start.

2) Conflict – Put the Boring on Ice, Embrace the Coolest

After setting you up as the star, the explainer quickly shifts gears from how awesome the concept of a cooler is, to how much they suck in reality. They’re “boring, break easily, and are difficult to get to and from your destination,” says inventor Ryan Grepper.

True.

He lays out the problems with standard coolers – the conflict – in three easy-to-picture, easy-to-relate-to talking points. Again, he keeps the script focused on youand how you feel when you experience the shortcomings of regular coolers. It’s simple and speaks to your own experience.

Now that the conflict is well established, it’s time to get to the “explainer” part of the video.

3) Quest for the Coolest

Now – at the 0:13 mark – the explainer video smoothly transitions into the quest for the perfect cooler. In the time it takes me to walk to my kitchen and stare into the empty fridge, this explainer video has made me remember all the great outdoor fun I’ve had in the summer, while pointing out that my cooler is terrible. It’s an epic switch, and a great narrative development. I’m ready for a quest.

That’s when the video lays it on.

“I wanted a cooler that was really well built, yet had so much fun built into it I would look for excuses to get outdoors.”

The Coolest literally beckons you on your own outdoor journey – with your trusty Coolest by your side. That’s an amazing accomplishment for an explainer video, and this creation of need is the reason this video has raised over 170x times the initial goal. It tells you a story, and you love it.

The “Quest” is the longest phase of the script, and rightly so. Here is where your explainer video… explains. Why it matters. What it does. Why you should care. It lays out all the features that you expect in a cooler while wowing you with more than you ever dreamed of.

The viewer is taken on a trip where they imagine the Coolest as the life of the party for every outdoor destination. Here are a few lines from the video.

“Become a summertime hero.” On-Board 18 V Blender 

“Dance parties may happen.” Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

They even manage a little rib-nudging humor – “Maybe you have an iphone and want to use it after two in the afternoon” – which is tough to do when describing a USB Charging Port.

I gotta respect a script that can get a chuckle out of a USB joke.

4) Resolution – Close the Lid on This Deal!

When you’ve made the sale, stop selling. It’s time to wrap it up.

True, this video runs a little long for most explainers, but it fits the form on kickstarter, so we’ll give it a pass. After the quest, the script steers us to the end – the objective of the whole video. To buy the product.

“I create products for a living,” Grepper states. “A world-class sourcing company with years of experience” he continues, is “standing by.” He’s bringing us home – instilling trust, making claims, and promising you’ll be happy with your purchase. He’s giving us closure.

“By backing this kickstarter, you can be one of the first people in the world with a cooler that’s actually cool.”

Where do I sign?

I’d like to say that I am in no way being compensated by the Coolest for this gushing endorsement. I’m just thrilled when I see an explainer video script do its job so perfectly. Grepper wrote a great script and great scripts get results.

Oh, and in the twenty minutes it took for me to write this, eight more people bought the Coolest. Just saying.

Whether it’s sales, awareness, or entertainment, a great script guides viewers toward your explainer video’s objective. Contact us today to get the coolest-possible explainer video script you can imagine, and achieve your goals with a great explainer video.

Shawn

Born in Southern California, Shawn grew up surfing, eating In-N-Out, and growing his hair long. After graduating with a Liberal Arts degree from CSU Long Beach in 2005 he left the crowded freeways behind and spent the better part of a decade traveling the world living for stretches in Rome, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and Brooklyn. He writes novels as well as copy, loves learning keyboard shortcuts, and plays his grandpa’s old lap steel guitar. You can hear his band at ponieswillbiteyou.com
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  • Nice information!

    We just published a free web app to calculate the duration of a voice over script. If you need to estimate the duration of a narration, ebook, speech, or other monologue, you can use this tool: http://wordstimer.com/

    Other than measuring, it also allows you to collaborate by sharing a link and comments. It’s like Google Docs, but it allows you to measure how long the script would take when it’s voiced.

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