Ever come across a snappy, animated video that breaks down a product or concept in just a couple of minutes? That’s an explainer video, and they’re taking the business world by storm. These videos aren’t just fun to look at — they’re vital tools for helping audiences understand your brand and why they might be interested. But with so many different options and styles of videos, it’s hard to know what kind of video you want and how much it will cost you. Well, that’s what we’re here for. Read on for our breakdown of what sets the price for explainer videos and the average cost of making a 1-minute video in 2023.
The Trade-offs: What You Get for Your Money
Ah, the age-old dilemma: balancing quality with cost. You don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket over just 1 video, but at the same time, a shoddy clip can cost your business way more than just what you were quoted. Here are some of the things you should consider when setting a budget for your project.
Straddling The Fine Line of Fancy And Frugal
You’ve probably heard of the saying, ‘You get what you paid for’. It’s natural to want to save money, but there’s a tricky balance to strike. Going for the cheapest option might save you now, but there’s a good chance you’re compromising on quality.
Maybe the animation isn’t smooth, the script lacks lustre, or the audio quality just proves to be grating. If your video doesn’t grab attention or, worse, gives off a “cheap” vibe, viewers might switch off with the impression that your brand is unpolished and not worth their time. You might save a few dollars upfront, but the end result ends up defeating the entire purpose and you pay much more in the long-run. Remember, this isn’t just an expense — it’s an investment in how your brand is presented. The outcome should always be your main priority.
On the flip side, don’t buy into the hype and pay much more than you need to. There’s only so much a video can do, and you have to make sure the return is worth the trouble. Take all the factors into account and determine if the price quoted really adds up. There are exceptions to this of course. If you’re going big to try and go viral or team up with a big celebrity to spread your name, you won’t want to cheap out. It’s risky, but the reward can be oh-so worth it.
Making Informed Decisions
As with all things in marketing, precision is key. Make sure to make choices rooted in your business goals and the audience you’re targeting. A hyper-realistic 3D explainer video may be eye-catching and technically astounding, but it won’t mean much if your brand fits with more of an organic, handcrafted feel.
At the same time, if your brand takes on a no-nonsense, professional approach, a choppy and poorly produced video might repel potential clients. Identify what resonates with your audience and give them what they want.
Factors That Determine the Cost of an Explainer Video
Before you set a budget, you need to know what to expect depending on the type of video you want.
Length of the Video
First things first: duration. It just makes sense. A longer video requires more animation, more graphics, and just… more everything. Hence, as your video’s runtime increases, so does the cost. If you’re gunning for a 30-minute special, be ready to shell out the money needed to make it happen.
Now, if you’re wondering about the ‘sweet spot’ for explainer video lengths: most businesses aim for somewhere between 60 to 90 seconds. It’s long enough to get your point across but short enough to keep viewers hooked. This varies depending on the complexity of the message you’re conveying, but it’s a good window to start off with.
Complexity of Animation and Graphics
Just like our earlier discussion of runtime, how intricate the video ends up being will also determine how much it costs. More complexity and more detail means more time and effort spent perfecting each part, and thus more expenses incurred.
This point is especially true for custom videos that require more creativity and tailor-made detail than ones with stock graphics. If you’ve got a show-stopping extravaganza in mind but not the budget to spend on all the special bits, consider stripping down the video to its core message.
For animated videos, this also involves the 2D vs 3D debate. While both take a lot of work, 3D animation generally requires more sophisticated software, expertise, and rendering time. This means that going for 3D will likely lead to higher costs and a longer production time than you would get with a 2D animated video.
Quality of Production
In the live-action video production realm, quality is king, but quality comes at a cost. Consider how professional and perfect each section of your production has to be and determine how much the project will cost from there. First is the production stage itself.
Best-case scenario would be a top-notch, 8K video made by a crew of professionals and the best post-production editors. But while they can make your video shine, they’ll also add to your bill.
Next is scriptwriting. Behind every captivating explainer video lies a well-crafted script that conveys complex messages succinctly. Good scripts are worth their weight in gold.
While the cost of hiring professional script-writers might make you tempted to draft your own, remember that the difference an expert can make will determine how successful the final product is.
Part of the magic of an explainer video is the auditory experience. Voice-overs make written content much easier to process, and music can set the mood for the message you want to send.
Cutting-edge audio engineering and professional voice actors can ensure that audiences get what you’re trying to communicate. Premium sound often comes with a premium price, but it’s premium for a reason.
The Cost Of Explainer Videos in 2023
So, the moment of truth, how much is this costing you? Well, as you’ve probably guessed after seeing all the different factors behind the overall expense, it depends. The general estimated cost for a 1-minute explainer video of each genre based on our research is laid out below:
2D Explainer Videos: $4000 – $15,000
2D animations might seem simple on the surface, but there’s a world of work behind every frame. Crafting a 2D animation involves meticulous storyboarding, designing unique characters, and animating each movement frame by frame. All these steps demand time, expertise, and the right tools.
3D Explainer Videos: $10,000 – $200,000
3D animations requires lots of planning and designing before the animation process even starts. But with 3D, you’ll require even more expertise and greater software knowledge for rigging, texturing and rendering. These additional and specialized factors drive up costs significantly. A simple, high-quality product presentation (without characters) costs around $10k, while a properly art-directed animation with characters starts at $25k. The price skyrockets if you need a top-notch hyper-realistic commercial.
Live-Action Explainer Videos: $8000 – $500,000
You’ve probably noticed that the range for this category is much wider than the other two. Live-action videos are a bit trickier to run an estimate for. From scouting locations, hiring actors (or famous celebrities), and coordinating production crews to managing equipment, lighting, and post-production edits, the list of moving parts is extensive.
Want an exotic location or a high-profile actor? Your budget just shot up. Need specialised equipment or unique props? Expect to pay for it. The real-world unpredictability and choices in live-action mean cost estimates can be much more fluid, so it’s much harder to give a specific number.
The cost will increase if you require VFX and proper post-production.
Based on our research, USD$10,000 is the starting point.
To Sum It Up
The benefits of explainer videos are immense, but they come at a price. Ensuring that your project expenses stay within your means is undoubtedly important, but don’t let it get in the way of making an effective explainer.
Whether it’s a simple 2D video or an in-depth live-action sit-down, make sure that the style of your video fits with your message and your brand. Remember, a video isn’t just a marketing tool; it’s a reflection of your brand’s identity and values. An explainer video is an investment, so make sure it counts.
Got A Concept You Need An Explainer For?
Go with Kasra Design©. Whether it’s live-action, 2D or 3D explainer videos, we offer services for a wide variety of styles and budgets. Send your brief in and we’ll get started: KasraDesign.com/Get-a-Quote