By Andrew Angus on September 12, 2013

Explainer videos are used to explain your products or services to customers or potential customers. Some companies have used explainer videos and become millionaires seemingly overnight. How is this possible? How is it that an explainer video is so effective at getting customers to pay attention to  products or services and then to purchase them? Take a look at this video and then we’ll explain.

Sad story. In this video, there were probably several points where you wanted to stop watching it because the information got a little too sad and stressful to handle. This is due to a very basic chemical reaction in the brain that releases hormones when provoked by extreme emotions. The hormone cortisol is released from your brain when you are confronted with difficult situations.This distress hormone works to keep you focused on the issue. This is why you may have wanted to turn it off, but continued watching it. At the same time, the hormone oxytocin is released, which is responsible for your feelings of empathy and caring. When both are released, you not only care deeply about the issue or have feelings of empathy, but you’re also so focused on it, that you’re unable to stop watching.

Neurochemistry at Work

If you’re ever up late at night, you may have viewed your fair share of commercials wanting you to donate to various causes like animal abuse shelters or feed the children organizations. If you have money available, you may have even donated to some of these organizations and if you didn’t, you probably felt guilty about it.This is because the video displays scenes that make you feel sympathetic and caring towards the cause, which causes oxytocin to release from your brain.

Dr Zak from the above video, realized that oxytocin could make people give more donations and judging by the amount of oxytocin released from their brains, he could make an educated assumption about which individuals were more likely to give a higher donation.

So, Why Don’t Explainer Videos Work for Everyone?

When explainer videos first hit the scene, every website wanted a piece. What marketers couldn’t understand was how these videos worked so miraculously for companies such as Dropbox, but not so well for others.The answer is simple, it isn’t just the graphics and content in the videos that made them popular, it was how the information in the videos helped the viewer.

  • Was the video informative?

  • Did it make the viewer care about the service or product?

  • Did it make them care enough to actually purchase the service or product?

  • Does the video explain why the viewer ‘needs’ the product or service?

The answer to all of these questions should be, “yes.” If it is simply a video full of graphics and a short script, then there isn’t enough there to ‘connect’ the viewer to the subject matter in the video.

So in short, making the viewer care about the content in the video, increases the chance of that viewer purchasing your product. The more a viewer is inclined to care, the more oxytocin and cortisol is released, and the more they will pay attention, empathize and care. At the end, this neurochemical reaction will work in your favor by increasing the explainer video’s ROI. Sweet.

 

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