How Much Should an Explainer Video Cost?

If you shop around, you will find a tremendous range in pricing that falls anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000. But why is there such a vast spectrum in cost, and how much should you realistically budget?

The answer is, it really depends on what your priorities are. Regardless of whether you decide to spend a lot, or a little you will end up with a video, the question is: will it actually be what you need? To make a good decision on what is right for your company, you need to understand what goes into producing a quality marketing tool.

Much like an iceberg, the video file you see at the end of the project is like the tiny chunk of ice that sticks up above the waves. What you can’t see is all of the time and thought that went into research, messaging, design, or even testing and revisions. We have found that what is not included in your video is often even more important than what is! 

For an average 90 second production we typically request a budget between $6k and $12k, because that is what we have found is necessary for our studio to produce a high quality marketing tool that really makes our clients stand out. But what are all the factors and components that go into this, and why are other studios different?

1) The Production Process 

The first thing to consider is how much effort is going into the project, or just how big the iceberg is beneath the surface. The average project that we work on takes five weeks to complete. During this time we progress through several phases that include researching your brand, understanding and crafting your message, planning the visuals and flow, experimenting with and illustrating artwork, animating the video, designing audio, testing the results, etc. Sure, some other companies may charge less for an explainer video, but they also spend less time on your project.

2) Videos vs. Marketing Tools

Why do we spend so much time on each project? Because our goal is to create marketing tools that help our clients communicate complex messages in a clear and engaging way. So for us, it isn’t just about “video” - that is merely the medium we are using. For us it is about changing your viewers minds through effective communication, and that takes a lot of work. Other companies that are just making videos without much marketing strategy will obviously charge a lot less. 

3) The Team

Another big factor to consider is who is working on your project? The Commotion Engine is made up of specialized industry professionals who have experience in their field. We do not outsource work to developing countries, or cheap freelancers. A lot of discount video providers do. 

4) The Specific Project

Finally, the price also depends on the style, complexity, and length of what you need. Some types of videos are easier to produce and require far less time and planning than other videos. And obviously a short video will require far less work than a really long video. This is the primary reason we quote on a project by project basis. Every project is different!

In Conclusion

To wrap it all up: it is important to realize that the smaller your budget is, the less work and expertise will go into crafting your project. Or to put it bluntly, if you are quoted $3k for an animated video, I guarantee it is being outsourced to an inexperienced team and you are essentially getting a cookie cutter product with little strategy or thought going into it. 

At the same time it is also important to realize that more expensive does not always mean better quality. Some studios charge very high end rates and turn out lackluster work simply because they have the market share to do so. 

So how do you make a final decision before you dump a bunch of money into a project? Determine your marketing goals, review a studio’s portfolio and make sure the end product is amazing, and then ask a TON of questions about their process to determine how they get to that end result. With all this information, it shouldn't be too hard to make a good decision!