The ‘explainer video’ has come of age in the last couple of years as video production, hosting and sharing has become quicker, easier and slicker.

Lots of people, for example, have heard of, seen and enjoyed the Dollar Shave Club explainer video.

Making videos is a pretty big and burgeoning B2B sector now, with many SaaS vendors now targeting SMEs that want an affordable solution. These SaaS companies sit alongside pricier production studios, where explainer videos merge with the best creative video advertising.

So, although this has been done quite a bit before (I was sent this list over Christmas), I thought I’d compile a list of my favourite startup explainer videos.

What qualifies me to compile such a list? Simply that when an explainer video is done badly, nobody hates them as much as I do.

The optimistically-posed hypothetical questions, the annoying accent, clichéd soundtrack, that god-awful faux earnestness, the massive dose of twee – when they’re bad, they’re really bad.

Copy these vids’ creative and you can’t go wrong. N.B. a few of them aren’t exactly start-ups but they’re all explanatory.

Tonx: fresh roasted subscription coffee

The pace and the acting is good, change of room/scenery keeping the narrative going.

The gags are visual and not lingered over, plus the text is used sparingly and is therefore impactful.

Super Sync Sports

The game is a Google Chrome experiment, so it obviously has some good backing in ad creative, but nevertheless, the animation is flawless.

The music is great too, and the shouting children are a nice touch.

Herd Absurd

I like this video as the audience is shown to be pleased and the voiceover is nonexistent! Win!

The app is also demonstrated well and the production value isn’t prohibitively high.


The concept is high risk – as an explainer video to explain how good Epipheo is at explainer videos, this better be good.

I really like the script; it’s dry and funny and it beats a lot of the competition.

The proof is always in the pudding, so it’s good that this is good.

Instagram Direct

The soundtrack is conducive to watching, the pace is right.

The people are undeniably kin with Gap advert people. It’s hard not to engage, despite the fact they’re hipsters.

And the production values are obviously pretty good.


Again, the voiceover is nonexistent! Win!

I also like the fact that the music is cool and not twee, plus the guy in the video is not punchable.


The concept is switched; not how good is this product but what problems already exist in the market.

The central truth, that everybody hates conference calls, isn’t shied away from.

New Relic

The voiceover is the right side of quirky and the pitch is friendly, not cloying or schill-y.

It also pitches to the correct audience, duh!


The concept is possibly too rude, but the script and performance are undeniably funny.


The subject is niche, but the animation helps the viewer concentrate.

The tone of the voiceover is just right and the production looks cost effective, taking time rather than money to do the stop motion.