Every startup needs an amazing startup video. From Kickstarter campaigns to Silicon Valley venture capital funding rounds, video offers an interesting way to introduce a new business, product, or service to the world. We’ve compiled some of the best startup videos of all time to show you how startups have used this versatile marketing tool.
What The Best Startup Videos Have In Common
The right startup video can make even the most outlandish ideas seem inevitable. Whether you’re disrupting the way we travel, how we do business, or how we shave, every successful startup begins with a great video and the best startup videos have three things in common:
- They get to the point quickly.
- They evoke emotion, usually with humor.
- They incorporate the company’s mission.
Whether you’re using whiteboard animation, interviewing customers, or telling your company story through slick motion graphics, every startup video needs these three elements to be counted among the best.
Let’s go back in time to see how the startup video has evolved. We’ll show you some of the best startup videos of the last decade and talk about what makes each one amazing.
When Dropbox first launched in 2007, the idea of “cloud storage” was brand new for many. This was before people lived their lives on multiple devices and paid for gas with a wave of their iPhones.
We take cloud storage for granted today, largely in part to the ubiquity and success of Dropbox, but Dropbox might not have become the data storage leader it is today without animated explainer video
This original video may look low-tech compared to the slick animated startup videos you see today, but it took a potentially confusing topic and described it in a way anyone could understand.
Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club’s explainer video from 2012 is consistently held up as the gold standard of startup videos. Why? Because it worked.
This video has over 28 million views on YouTube, and led to thousands of signups for their subscription service, not to mention all that sweet SEO juice from write-ups exactly like this one. In 2016, Unilever spent over $1 billion to acquire Dollar Shave Club. That’s a heck of an ROI for one explainer video. The right explainer video can launch a startup into a multi-million business.
The video isn’t complicated—it’s basically one continuous shot—but it is clever. The funny background moments, and blatant honesty disrupt and subvert the classic “reserved” commercial format consumers were used to, and people loved it.
In 2013, When Crazy Egg wanted to create interest in their website heatmap tool they turned to animated explainer video. The genius of this video becomes evident in the first three seconds. By then, we’ve already seen our main character, that little guy with the apron and the epic mustache, and we know the problem we’re trying to solve—visitors aren’t converting.
Within weeks their explainer video and landing page generated a 64% increase in conversions resulting in $21,000 of extra income a month.
Basecamp is another animated explainer video success story. When Basecamp launched this explainer video in 2013, their new web project management tool took off. This video is simple, clean, and to the point–it clocks in under one minute.
In fact, this video is such a useful marketing and elevator pitch tool that was still in use on the Basecamp YouTube page four years later despite the slightly outdated graphics. That’s lasting value.
This frankly hilarious video from 2014 easily makes the list of best startup videos. Instead of droning on and on about all the features and tools Slack offers, they let one of their clients (which just happend to be a video production company) tell you all about the features from their perspective.
The result is a clever twist on the startup video that not only builds authority and trust in the brand, but also delivers a ton of practical tips for how your company can use all the features of Slack. Genius.
Less than a year later, in 2015, Slack passed the million daily active users milestone. We can’t say for sure that this video should get all the credit, but it certainly helped.
We love Lyft’s videos because they break the typical elevator pitch model employed by so many other companies. Ever since this first animated video in 2015, Lyft has used storytelling to introduce people to their brand.
The bottom line is that Lyft’s animated videos elevate the startup video format to the next level of brand building. If you strike the right tone, animation can be an amazing branding tool, even for well-established startups.
In 2018, this delightful and inspirational explainer video from Kano ticked all the right video marketing boxes. It’s fun, engaging, and makes you want the product. This video is practically one long call to action! It does an amazing job of selling the capabilities of an easy to use education tool with animated screenshots and tutorial clips.
Less than a year after this video came out, in April 2019, the company received £14 million in funding from HSBC UK. Coincidence? We don’t think so.
In 2020, Jornaya (formerly LeadiD) approached IdeaRocket for the second time. They wanted us to create a startup video that would launch their flagship product into orbit while projecting a shinier, more modern identity.
The resulting video had technical presence, but was also approachable and human. The characters quickly made their way into the Jornaya brand, popping up in ads and marketing content.
Later that year, the growth equity firm that held Jornaya announced its sale to Verisk, a leading data analytics provider. By 2021, Jornaya had hit $4.5M in revenue.
Most of the videos on this list go the explainer route. They talk about what their startup does and try to make you laugh along the way. Sana Labs took a different route in their 2022 video. This ultra-short video hits you right in the heart with scenes from history that are almost certain to evoke an emotional response. It’s a bold approach, but one that seems to be working for them. By the end of 2022, they’d raised $34 million in funding.
Make Yours One of The Best Startup Videos
No matter your business or industry, it takes a great video to launch your startup. Whether you opt for animation or live-action, customer testimonials or found footage your video needs to do three things: get to the point quickly, evoke emotion, and share your mission. IdeaRocket can help you do all three. Contact our video marketing experts to get started.