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How Google uses explainer videos to explain its products


Have you ever wondered how Google uses explainer videos? The internet giant regularly turns to videos to announce fresh features, introduce new projects, and pass on useful tips and tricks. Google’s official YouTube channel numbers over 3.5 million subscribers, and the popularity of their explainer videos is undeniable. Whether they’re giving us a unique, first-hand experience in using a groundbreaking product, such as Google Glass, or notifying us about new improvements in our favorite mobile app, Google heavily relies on the explainer video to get the message across.

If you’re running out of ideas on how to make the most of explainer video in your marketing campaign, take a look at these five ingenious Google explainer videos for a fresh dose of inspiration.

1. When Google launched the solar power initiative Project Sunroof in August 2015, they made a video to help them explain the main idea behind the project to the target audience. The 90-second animation is a perfect example of how explainer videos can draw a clear picture of a complex concept that would otherwise take too much time to explain in writing. The project, developed by Google engineer Carl Elkin“to make installing solar panels easy and understandable for anyone”, is currently available only for U.S. residents, but Google has announced plans to expand the initiative globally, and once they do, we have no doubt they’ll have a brand new explainer video to announce the exciting news.

2. There has been much speculation in the public about the exact role of ICAAN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), so Google decided to make an explainer video to address this issue, and had none other than Vint Cef, the father of Internet himself, to narrate it. In the delightful, hand-drawn animation video, Cef explains how ICANN is a nonprofit organization that technically serves as the Internet’s overseer. This Google explainer video relies on likeable animation and Cef’s authority to clear any misconceptions about the somewhat vague role of ICANN, and assuage users’ fears about the perceived threat to Internet freedom.

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3. Even though it’s hard to imagine that there’s anyone with Internet access who hasn’t used Google Translate at least once, not a lot of people are familiar with the exact process behind machine translation. This is why Google made a 2 minutes and 24 seconds long explainer video that boils down the complex mechanism behind Google Translate into an easily digestible format. The wonderfully animated video guide explains how Google’s language tool translates words, sentences, and even whole websites by relying on “patterns found in large amounts of text”, and breaks down the basics of this incredibly intricate process.

4. Google’s Impact Challenge is a project aiming to support global nonprofit organizations around the world and inspire them to use the latest technology in their quest to make the world a better place. To get people to vote for the most innovative nonprofit in the UK in 2013, Google made an explainer video that highlights the importance of individual votes. This inspiring explainer video combines simple and effective animation with thought-provoking narration to remind people that even something as simple as an online vote can have a profound impact on resolving some of the most pressing issues we face today, from human rights violations to the preservation of endangered animal species.

5. The Gmail ‘Undo Send’ button was one of the most requested and long-awaited features of the Google’s email service. When Google finally decided to make its users’ wish come true last June, they first uploaded an explainer video on their YouTube channel, and only about a month later posted the announcement on the company’s official blog. Clearly, Google is well aware of the vast consumer-reaching potential of explainer videos. This 35-second video has no narrative voice or complex animation. Instead, it uses simple and clear demonstration, accompanied by a gripping music score for maximum impact. Brilliant!

What other Google explainer videos do you think are particularly innovative or inspiring? Let us know in the comment section below!

If you’d like to learn more about explainer videos, go ahead and download our ebook!

The Ultimate Guide to Explainer Videos download