Product videos are becoming more and more popular because they help to tell about the product in a few minutes. Thanks to them, the customer does not have to read a wall of text on the website or in the brochure.

Sellers also feel relieved because they don’t have to explain the product to their customers every time.

Depending on the company’s needs, the film may present the capabilities of the product, its advantages in comparison with the competition, or a manual. And all this in a fast and attractive way.

Product videos—why are they worth it?

Have you watched any videos on the web today? There is a good chance you have.

The importance of movies on the internet is growing, which can be seen in the constantly growing popularity of YouTube.

This applies not only to recordings with funny animals, influencers, and exercise programs. It is also a great marketing tool for business. According to the Hubspot survey, 54% of consumers prefer to see a brand video more than any other content. (1)

What’s more—currently as many as 50% of customers watch product videos before making a purchase decision. (2) This means that the video plays a very important role in the customer’s buying path.

Our product videos: Product Videos

Hubspot survey results on what brand content people want to see.
Source: HubSpot Content Trends Survey, Q3 2017

 

This did not escape marketers’ attention. According to the survey conducted by Hubspot in 2020, video is the most frequently chosen form of marketing content—ahead of blog posts and infographics.

According to the Buffer study, 85.5% of companies published video content in 2019—this number increased from 75% in 2018. Moreover, 36% of companies declare that they publish a video every month.

Facebook remains the most popular place to publish video in business (81%), but it is chased by YouTube (62%) and Instagram (57%). (3)

So why is it worth to bet on product videos in a nutshell?

Because potential customers want to watch them, simply. And many companies are already flooding their social media with films, entertaining, and educating their customers. That is why it is worth considering such films. Even if you prefer to read text yourself.

 Types of product videos

 

  •  Classic film
  •  Whiteboard animation
  •  Vector animation
  •  3D animation

 

The type of a product video is selected according to the needs of the company. Each form has its advantages and disadvantages. They also differ in terms of price and production time.

Presented prices are averaged based on our knowledge of the industry. Of course, some companies make films of Hollywood quality and make more money for them. Some companies make them much cheaper but in worse quality.

Classic film

As the headline indicates, this is a classic film. That is, one that we shoot with a camera and the characters are the actors or our product.

 

Features

The strength of such films is the ease of evoking emotions. When we watch a well-made film, we feel “as though we were there.” It is especially easy to feel it during car chases and shootings in action movies.

In animations, it is of course also possible to evoke emotions (just look at “The Lion King,” “Finding Nemo,” “Toy Story” or other Oscar productions), but it is a bit more difficult.

The advantage of product films prepared using the classic method is the possibility to show the finest details of the product. If we make a film about machines, it shows a real machine, not its model created by graphic designers. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage, depending on which target group we are targeting.

 

Projects that are worth using

If we want to show, for example, complex engineering projects or small machine parts, and our client is a specialized company, this type of film can be a good solution.

Also, if we want to present the usage of our product, this type of product film may turn out to be a great success.

For example, it will be easier for us to understand how to operate a coffee machine when we see a demonstration in the form of a classic film compared to the form of animation. We can then watch the film and accurately imitate the actor’s movements, without the risk of mixing “pouring water” with “making foam.”

This type of material can be a good choice when we have space to boast about. This is what Elon Musk did, for example, when he talked about Tesla, showing a modern factory.

Projects that are not worth using

When our product is very abstract, e.g. it is software, it will be very difficult to make a good product film using this method (although it is possible—an example can be found later in the article).

Also, in the case of underdeveloped products or simply not very attractive visuals, choosing this form can be a shot in the foot.

We also advise against this method when our client is not very familiar with our products. In this case, the excess of details shown in the film may distract attention unnecessarily.

Then it is worth considering the content of such a recording or consider another form, such as 3D, whiteboard, or vector animation.

 

Flexibility: time and cost of making changes

The disadvantage of this type of film is its price and flexibility. Thanks to advances in technology, the prices of film production have fallen sharply, but still, you often have to reckon with renting the studio, actors, technical crew, equipment.

The logistics of making such a film can be problematic and expensive because it requires the whole film crew, actors and equipment to be brought back on set. And this generates additional (and not insignificant) costs.

 

Cost

The budget of the product film in the classic version depends on the script. It depends on the script what the scenery will be, how many people in the team, and how advanced the equipment we will need.

The cost of making a quiet movie on a deserted street will be different, and the cost of making a car chase through the streets of New York will be different.

However, most often the budget ranges from a few to several thousand PLN.

 

Production time

The production time of such a film is several to several days.

How should you show a podcast program as a classic movie? Descript did it well. Their example shows how important a creative and brilliant script is in a movie.

Whiteboard animation

Whiteboard animation is a so-called animation with a drawing hand.

The voice of the reader accompanies the illustrations appearing on the screen step by step. This makes it easy for viewers to follow the animation.

Animations of this type are very popular today. For example, the AsapSCIENCE channel, which explains the science with whiteboard animation, has over nine million subscribers: link.

Whiteboard animation resembles a man who translates and draws on the board. The difference is that instead of a man, we see the hand itself, and the whole material is enriched with music, sound, and additional effects.

Features

The advantage of this type of animation is that you can use the props provided by the company, including whole products or their elements. The viewer pays special attention to them because they stand out from the drawn elements.

The strength of whiteboard animation is also flexible. We are not limited by the real world as in the case of a classic movie—we can draw what we like vividly.

Each draughtsman—just like a painter—has his own style, so the animation can look completely different. If a company producing an animation has several draftsmen, it allows us to choose the style of the drawings according to our needs.

Drawings can be simplified or symbolic so that the attention of the audience is focused on the product itself, and not on other, unimportant details.

The obvious advantage of animation—of all kinds—is that they stand out. Most companies still rely on classical film (although this is changing), so when using animation to present a product, we show ourselves from a different perspective than our competitors.

According to Professor Wiseman’s research, such films are remembered 15% more effectively than films with the so-called “talking head.” More about the advantages and production of whiteboard animation is written here: What is whiteboard animation.

 

Projects that are worth using whiteboard animation

Drawing style allows us to shorten the distance. That is why it will be helpful when our product is to reach young people or when we want our company to be associated with something a little warmer and more pleasant.

It is also a sensational form to revive boring products. If our products do not make your heart beat faster, the introduction of such a form can show them from a new, fresh side.

Whiteboard animation is also useful when your product is very complex and we want to show only its elements.

 

Projects that are not worth using whiteboard animation

This shortening of the distance is also a disadvantage of whiteboard animations. If we want to communicate in a very serious way, this style may be considered too loose or even infantile.

 

Flexibility: time and cost of making changes

If after receiving the film we want to add a scene, we can do it quite efficiently. The costs will usually be lower than in classic films.

Because although such a scene needs to be planned and drawn, we don’t need to rent equipment and organize the whole film crew. So the cost of such extra scenes can be 300–700 PLN and can be made in 1–3 days.

 

Cost

The price depends primarily on the length of the animation, but also the language versions, its complexity, and the number of possible corrections at further stages of work.

The price of whiteboard animation in Poland is usually 3–15 thousand PLN. Companies from Western Europe count for whiteboard animations 2–8 thousand euros.

 

Production time

The production of such an animation takes 3–6 weeks.

In whiteboard animation you can draw, use props, and choose the style according to your needs. This film was about the platform “More than LEK,” which is used today by every second graduate of medical studies in Poland.

Vector animation

It is often called computer animation.

 

Features

Its decisive advantage is that even the most abstract ideas can be realized through it. We have no limits. For example, we can show how our product looks from the inside, or show its cross-section. There are endless possibilities.

The style of such animations is also more serious than whiteboard animation, so technology companies often utilize it.

What distinguishes it from whiteboard animation is more animation and movement.

Elements can suddenly appear on the screen, then disappear—we have no limits in this matter. Another advantage that is somewhat related to this—individual elements of the animation can be reduced, enlarged, and edited at will.

 

Projects that are worth using vector animation

They work well in technological and pharmaceutical products because they have a modern style that allows them to zoom in and out of details.

If you want a serious image, vector animation is a good choice.

It will also be a good choice if you want to have a lot of movement in the animation.

 

Projects that are not worth using vector animation

If we care about the handmade material, vector animation will not help us. A much better choice will be whiteboard animation.

If we want the message in a warm, shortening the distance form, then vector animation will not be the best choice either. Whiteboard animation or classic movie will work better.

 

Flexibility: time and cost of making changes

Here it is like in whiteboard animation—we can make changes within 1–3 days.  This does not always mean that these changes will be cheaper because the work of animators is expensive. This is because if we have e.g. a moving car and a dog putting its tongue out the window, then each wheel, dog’s head, and its tongue have to be separated before. Also sometimes seemingly small change can take many hours.

 

Cost

The cost of vector animation is more difficult to estimate. It depends primarily on the complexity, i.e. how many elements we have in the animation and how many of them move. If we want to preview the logo, it will require less work than before the “Battle of Grunwald (Matejko).”

However, most often the price range of such an animation is 5–17 thousand PLN.

 

Production time

The production of such an animation takes 3–6 weeks.

Slack’s product film shows how effective vector animation can give the right creativity, clarity, and accuracy.

 3D animation

Three-dimensional animation. It can be made 100% on a computer or be a complement to a classic movie.

 

Features

Just like vector animation, 3D animation gives unlimited possibilities to realize even the most abstract scenes.

3D animations can be an addition to a traditional film, enriching it. A good example is, for example, lightning bolts that are ruled by the Emperor in Star Wars. Such animations can be created based on real, previously recorded scenes.

Another plus—they are reusable. They can be used in various contexts, including printing, which in the case of traditional films, can be complicated.

 

Projects that are worth using 3D animation

They are perfect for presenting more technical products such as cars. They can visualize individual elements, and show the principle of operation of specific tools. For example, we can look inside the car and show the engine or brake system.

3D animations perfectly reflect all kinds of interiors—not only objects but also offices or stores.

It is used to show products whose model of operation and application is already well known to the customer, in order to best conquer the brand. These are usually premium products and services, and the film has an image character. They are used by airlines or car and perfume manufacturers.

 

Projects that are not worth using 3D animation

This is not the kind of movie where a lot is going on and scenes change often, or processes/instructions are shown. So it is not the best option to present an innovative product on the market unless you have a really big budget.

 

Flexibility: time and cost of making changes

Changes in these animations are possible, but are often very expensive. That is why good production planning is so important.

Just as in 2D vector animation you have to animate each element one by one, you must in 3D animation. But here comes the next dimension, so there are usually more of these elements.

With larger animations, rendering is sometimes time-consuming. 3D animation studios usually utilize very powerful computers that can convert the work of animators into a ready-made file with a movie overnight.

 

Cost

The price of a 3D animation depends largely on its complexity. The simple ones, most often presenting the logo or product itself, cost between 1.5–5 thousand PLN. In the case of more complicated ones, the amount can reach even several dozen or even several hundred thousand PLN. It results from the fact that usually a team of people works on them.

 

Production time

The production of such an animation takes 4–6 weeks.

What to pay attention to when producing product videos

Regardless of the form, a product video must be properly prepared to play its role.

The first step of a creative company should always be to find out what the client needs. On this basis, it can tell the client whether a given form of product film is appropriate for him and can ask him to send the necessary materials: logo, company colors, product information, etc.

Such information, as well as the characteristics of the product, can also be collected in a special workshop.

The producer then sifts the key information, looking for what is worth mentioning in the film. Only then can he start writing a script that will present the customer’s product in the most attractive way possible.

Why is this carried out by a creative company, and why shouldn’t we write the script ourselves?

First of all, we often know our services and offerings so well that we cannot look at them through the eyes of the client. When describing a product, we focus on insignificant details, complicate the message, or omit the elements that are crucial for a layman client. Not with bad intentions—it is the fault of the knowledge curse. We have written more about it here: an article about the curse of knowledge.

Secondly, an external company will look at our product from a different perspective and possibly present it in an unusual way that we wouldn’t have thought of ourselves.

Of course, scripts can be of different quality. That is why it is worth asking the company to which we commission the production of the product film what the system of work is, and what is the basis for preparing the script. The key information is whether we will be able to provide our comments and remarks on the script, and how many such correction rounds are included in the budget.

Some scriptwriters have a very artistic approach to their work and fight very hard against any client interference. Which—if they are outstanding—has its good sides, because they can defend a great project. However, if the script needs to be modified, the terms are changing or we lose time arguing with the scriptwriter, this is not a good signal.

A good company will also choose the form of film, music, and style to help us achieve our business goal. In a product film, no element should be accidental.

Communication is also extremely important. From the beginning, we should be implemented in the film work schedule and know what improvements we can afford at what stage of work.

Thanks to this, it will be easier to coordinate work on the side of the marketing and sales department, and no one will miss their queue for comments.

We should also get clear information about possible additional costs resulting from the introduced amendments. Especially since in the case of classic movies or 3D animations, these costs can quickly pass our budget.

Product videos in ExplainVisually

 

If you would like to make an engaging product film in whiteboard or vector animation technique, we will be happy to find out more about your project and advise you.

And we know a little bit about the subject, because we made product films for companies such as Nestle, Ceneo.pl, 3S Grupa PLAY or Mylan Healthcare.

Unfortunately, we don’t do much 3D animation and classic films, but we have partners we can recommend.

 And if you would like to see our portfolio first, we invite you here:

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