90 second explainer videos that get to the gist

Gisteo creates best-in-class 90 second explainer videos for sales, marketing and training. Since 2011, we’ve worked with Total Transparency to help organizations of all types cut through the clutter and better connect with their audiences.

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Animated explainer videos

About our 90 second explainer videos

30 seconds explainer videos are great if you want something fast and furious.  60 second explainer videos are perfect if you want to strike a balance between concise and informative.   But, if your product, business or service demands a more classic elevator pitch length, you’re likely looking for a 90 second explainer video.

90 second explainer videos are one of our specialties here at Gisteo.  In fact, when you work with us, you’ll get an explainer video that will knock your audience’s socks off.  But is 90 seconds the right length for you? How many words can you fit into that minute and a half? And what are the strengths and weaknesses of a 90 second video?  Let’s take a closer look at all of this…and more.

First things first: many words are in a 90 second explainer video?

A minute and a half is plenty of time – in the video world. That doesn’t mean you can fit an entire white-paper or sales deck into the script, however.  It’s easy than you might think to underestimate 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 a 90 second script, you should plan for a total of about 220-230 words. 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. Below is 90 second explainer video script example (along with the actual video) just to give you an idea of what it looks like.  The script has a total of 228 words.

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Watch: our 90 second explainer video for Veem

Advantages of 90 second explainer videos

Watch: our video for FastGrowingTrees.com. Over 2 million views!

As you can probably imagine, the strength of a 90 second video compared to shorter videos is its depth. Unlike its 30 second or 60 second counterparts, a 90 second video length gives you the opportunity to dig a little deeper into the problem as well as the solution.  Want to 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 all 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 and the richness of your message will pay dividends.  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 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 and does a good job at explaining the product’s value proposition vs. traditional fruit trees.  With well 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.

Weaknesses of 90 second explainer videos


Let’s face it: there are situations in which 90 seconds might not be ideal. Let’s dig into some of the potential pitfalls:

  • Your audience might lose attention. If you don’t make every second of the on-screen experience information and 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? Long stretches without engaging visual content to complement your audio could hinder you video’s overall performance.
  • The channel might not be right.  You’ve got to be realistic: few will watch your 90 second explainer video on Twitter or Instagram (even if they didn’t have a 60 second maximum for regular videos). A 90-second explainer only works in very specific contexts such as a website, landing page, Youtube channel etc.
  • You might not have the budget. If you’re hiring a studio to produce your video, longer videos entail more labor, take more time to produce and cost more…so budget accordingly.
  • 90 seconds might not be enough.  What if you need to do a complex sales or training video? 90 seconds is excellent for a pitch but likely too brief to explore the type of depth you need for certain types of video content.


Keys to creating compelling 90 second explainer videos that get results


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 diverse motion graphics, that keep them glued to the screen.
  • 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 the majority). 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.
  • Find the right partner: The do-it-yourself route can be treacherous. Partnering with pros like us here at Gisteo helps insure you get your money’s worth and the results you deserve.
90 second explainer videos

A sampling of our 90 second explainer videos

Below are just a few of the 90 second animated explainer videos that we’ve done over the years here at Gisteo. Make sure you check out of Portfolio page for a more comprehensive review our work across different style, sectors, uses and lengths. If you’re curious about our rates, please visit our Transparent Pricing page for our straightforward, all-included fixed fees.

Ready to get started on a 90 second explainer video?

Let’s talk!  Click the button below to schedule a free consultation or contact us at info@gisteo.com to discuss your animated video needs.