Slow Clap Announced as a 2022 Local Excellence Award Winner by UpCity

UpCity spotlights the most trustworthy of over 70,000 B2B service providers. For Slow Clap to win the UpCity Local Excellence Award again in 2022 is really exciting for us. We love helping our clients tell their authentic stories. 

Here are a couple of things our clients had to say about our partnership in our UpCity reviews:

“Dan and the Slow Clap crew were very professional, conscientious, and worked very hard to deliver a great production under budget and on time. They had to work with some difficult restrictions and they smiled through every adversity. I would highly recommend them.”

Mark Hornung, Employer Brand Consultant

“As someone who has personally worked with Slow Clap during the filming and editing process, they are wonderful to work with. Slow Clap are not just filmmakers, but advocates and storytellers as well. They are invested in helping you tell the best story.”

Casey Tran, Asian Law Caucus

Thanks to all our clients who have chosen us to help tell their stories. It’s your support that has made this award possible and helps us evolve as storytellers. Can’t wait to see you on our next project!

If you or someone you know is interested in making a video, let us know! We’d love to share our knowledge and help you get started. Share your ideas with us here.

The Manifest Names Slow Clap Productions A Most Reviewed Video Production Company In San Francisco for 2022

Making an impact in your business is a difficult journey to navigate, and we are always honored when our clients choose us to guide them in telling their authentic stories.  

Thanks to our clients, we were recognized as one of the most highly reviewed video production companies in San Francisco for 2022 by The Manifest. Without our clients’ honest reviews, we wouldn’t have been acknowledged as one of the top two video production companies in San Francisco.

Check out what one of our largest clients, Blue Shield of California, had to say:

“They make us feel like we’re their only client. Not one request or inquiry felt like it was dismissed ever. I also like how whenever we provide them feedback, whether it’s on the creative brief or the videos, they actually take everything in.”

Suffice to say, we love our clients, and the creative challenges they bring to the table. From scripting to filming to animating to editing, even to project management and client relationships, we love it all. No two days are the same, and no two video projects are the same.

Want to collaborate together on a video? We’re always happy to learn about your project to see if we’d be a good fit. Reach out here.

How to Maximize Views for Your Video Content

A step-by-step guide to high-engagement videos.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to plan and market your video for maximum views, watch-throughs, and sales.

There’s an old thought experiment that goes like this: deep in space is a comet. Nobody has ever seen, heard, or thought about this comet. Nobody has any memory of it.

So, does that comet exist?

We don’t actually know the answer. But if you swap “comet” for “video,” and it’s your video, then we do know the answer: you’ve got a video that exists, but nobody is watching.

YouTube hosts over 500 hours of new content every minute. Some have big production budgets. Most don’t. But only a handful of videos of any budget get big-time views.

Fortunately, we’re here to help with some ideas on how to increase views and watch-throughs of your video content.

To be clear, views are not the only marker of a video’s success. For B2B, the ultimate metric is the sale, which (without tracking) is sometimes hard to quantify. But views are, of course, the first marker that matters. No views means something is broken. And right after views comes watch-through rate. If the audience doesn’t finish your video, something else is broken.

We focus on views and watch-through because they are easily measurable. If you are using YouTube, Wistia, or many other platforms, their analytics will give you this data. And in some cases, you can use that data to identify the problem, and either fix it or do better next time.

So here is Slow Clap’s seven-step strategy to ensure your video gets the engagement it needs to promote sales.

1. The video lives where your audience travels

Let’s return to that comet. If your audience travels in a particular galaxy, and your comet passes through that galaxy, they are more likely to see it. In internet terms, each galaxy is a particular platform, like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Different platforms serve different demographics. It can be a challenge to select the right one. Age, buying patterns, and other factors will matter. YouTube began as a place of authenticity, so selling directly isn’t as common as, say, on LinkedIn.

It doesn’t hurt to use more than one platform. But when you know one works, put most of your promotion efforts there.

And one thing to know: upload your video natively to each platform. LinkedIn, for instance, will penalize your posting’s rank if it links to anything outside of LinkedIn, and other platforms use similar strategies to try to keep users on their platform longer.

How to choose the right platforms:

Hootsuite has a great article on which platforms attract persons of particular demographics. And, interestingly, on what devices they tend to visit those platforms!

Wherever you choose, invest in it, learn how to use it effectively (learning their tags, posting schedule, etc.), and make it yours. 

And when you do use more than one platform, you can use hub platforms like Hubspot to compare results and automate posts.

2. The video shows up in Search, Feeds and Ads

On any given platform, there are three ways users will see your video:

  1. As a search result
  2. In their feed, through a recommendation or a follow
  3. Or as a paid ad

You have the most control over #1 and #3, where the common denominator is using the right keywords. These are words that audiences search to find answers to their questions.

Understanding how each platform uses keywords and tags is the key to getting it to show up in searches. That’s not to say you’ll rank first right away – sometimes that’s a matter of promotion and engagement. 

But you need to know what words people search so they can find your answer to their problems. 

And when running advertisements, you need to know what words describe those audiences. Age range. Profession. Again, these vary by platform. 

How to track a keyword’s effectiveness

Preemptively, you can estimate a keyword’s effectiveness in several ways:

  1. See if it comes up in Google Search autofill
  2. Compare it to similar keywords for free in Google Trends
  3. Find its CPC cost through tools like Keywords Everywhere
  4. Use Answer the Public to search your niche, and see what questions people are asking

After you begin using a keyword, you can track its effectiveness in several ways:

  1. A/B Posts or A/B videos. Create two versions using different keywords, and use that platform’s native analytics tools to see which one gets more views and longer watch times.
  2. Use a tracking platform like Hubspot to specifically follow that keyword.

3. The thumbnail makes your target audience unquenchably curious

Remember back when we had movie theaters, and you’d see movie posters in the lobby? A good poster could turn your head. A great poster made you hunt for the movie’s release date, because you had to see that movie.

Thumbnail images are the images that overlay a video before you hit play. And functionally, they are little movie posters. Through audience selection and good old curiosity, they bring in an audience better than nearly anything. 

Here’s how to create a great thumbnail:

  1. Plan ahead. Design the thumbnail during pre-production. The thumbnail imagery and story needs to integrate with the video itself. Don’t improvise later.
  2. Your thumbnail should answer the questions Who and What. Let your audience know it’s about them or a problem they have. If you are a secure paper-shredding company, plan a visual of an employee buried under documents. 
  3. Use human faces where possible. They connote feelings. 
  4. But if you can’t use any human faces, consider a simple graphic that explains a relationship.
  5. Words are the last thing you should add. Do as much communication with the visuals as possible. Words should fill in any context you can’t show.
  6. Sketch it, but leave it to a graphic designer or video editor to make the final product.
  7. Brand it. The usual colors, fonts, and other graphic assets.
  8. Test it. Can somebody you know identify who it’s for and what it’s about after looking at it for three seconds? Does it pique their curiosity?

How to track an effective thumbnail:

View count is the primary metric. There are ways to A/B test different thumbnails – you could publish two copies of the same video, but with different thumbnails, and keep the one that performs better. 

4. Write a title that can sell on its own

You can’t always depend on a thumbnail. Depending on the platform you’re on, you may not always be able to use one. On LinkedIn, for instance, videos autoplay in the feed, decreasing the utility of a thumbnail. 

This headline without the photo would still get clicks.

Source: swipefile.com.

Or maybe your topic is simply too abstract to explain in an image. If you’re a company that specializes in API’s (Application Programming Interfaces), you could try to show two pieces of software talking to each other in your video thumbnail. Or you could say “we build error-proof APIs” in a text title. 

And even if your thumbnail rocks, you should still have a title, or “headline,” that can sell on its own. We use “title” and “headline” interchangeably, though in marketing speak, the “headline” is any piece of media that is seen first.  

Great headlines won attention in printing-press pamphlets 300 years ago, and they still work today. A headline is the top text that answers the question, “what’s in it for me?” 

According to The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly, a good headline does four things:

  1. Gets attention.
  2. Selects the audience. This tells people who the media is for, and not for.
  3. Delivers a complete message.
  4. And draws the reader into the body copy. Or in this case, the video.

Sometimes your video title completes the thumbnail, like this:

How to track an effective title:

View count. As with the thumbnail, you can try A/B testing to find out what works best.

5. Hook ‘em in the first ten seconds of the video.

David Ogilvy, founder of Ogilvy and Mather, said the first ten seconds of a commercial are, in fact, its headline.

Ogilvy died in 1998, and did not live to behold the digital age. But even in an age where people have more control over the videos they watch, statistics bear out Ogilvy’s viewpoint. If you don’t intrigue your audience in the first 10 seconds, you’ll likely lose them.

If you’re not sure how to do that, write up a script, and evaluate it according to these criteria:

  1. Do the first 10 seconds give a clear clue that this video is about a problem your audience can appreciate? 
  2. Once you fully define the problem, is it easy to understand?
  3. Do the music, narrative, and visuals mirror the correct emotion? For example, do they show how frustrating it is finding an enterprise-level password manager?
  4. If you watched just the first 10 seconds of the video, would you want to know more?

How to measure your first 10 seconds:

Use your platform’s Watch-Time or Watch-through metrics. If you’re experiencing a dramatic drop in the first ten seconds, the video should probably be re-edited according to the guidelines above. 

6. Cut the fluff.

A problem in any story – be it a book, a film, or news from a chatty friend – is adding story arcs that don’t resolve or don’t matter. For example, you write a script about a pen that can securely and remotely sign contracts. You connect to Thomas Jefferson signing the declaration of independence. 

Source: Ad Age

But attention spans are short. Jefferson’s pen better be relevant or your audience will raise their eyebrows at best, and more likely click away.

Sometimes you don’t realize you’re off on a tangent.  This is why Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch coined the phrase, 

“Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it — wholeheartedly — and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.”

This is best achieved in script revision. Cut, cut, cut as much information as is unnecessary. Cut as many words as you can and achieve the same effect. 

Video editing also uses this process – to tell the best story in the fewest shots necessary. 

How to track attention:

Use the Watch-statistics. Is there a point far away from the end that drops off? If so, you may be able to edit the video to be shorter and tighter.

7. End the video where it should end.

A strong finish is a predictable finish. Once the story arc is complete – once the problem and solution are fully disclosed – that’s where to stop

In your call to action, ask only one thing of your audience. Don’t ask them to buy and subscribe. Don’t ask them to sign up for the email list AND don’t forget to check out our webinar. A video should have one CTA, as once it’s done playing, it’s done. 

There is one kind of video that can shoehorn multiple CTAS into a one-hour runtime: the 3 A.M. sales video. The kind that accompany “funnel” sales pages that look the same everywhere. The kind that use gimmicks to keep you watching. “But wait, there’s more!”

But we don’t recommend you make one of those. Respect your customer’s intelligence. Respect their understanding of story. Be transparent by using a clear story arc. And end it where it logically ends.

OK, and there is one more exception: funny bloopers. But do run them by some honest (brutally honest) friends to see if they’re actually funny.

How to track a strong ending:

Watch statistics that make it through the end at least 60% of the time are a win.

The Slow Clap Hook ‘Em TLDR; Summary

When you need your audience to watch your content all the way through:

  1. Start with the platforms where your audience spends time
  2. Make it relevant to things they search and read about
  3. Make sure they know it’s relevant in the thumbnail and headline
  4. Make sure they know it’s relevant in the first 10 seconds
  5. Cut all the fluff and extra time. People are busy!
  6. And end where it makes sense to end.

And if you want help – a team to translate your understanding of a topic, process, or industry into compelling content – give us a shout


Further reading:

Headlines account for 50% of a blog’s effectiveness

How to Write Headlines: A Step-by-step Guide

23 YouTube Stats that Matter to Marketers

A Complete Guide to B2B Video

500 Hours of Content are Uploaded to YouTube Every Minute

Social Media Demographics that Matter to Marketers

10 YouTube Stats Every Marketer Should Know

How to Create a Great Video Thumbnail

The Optimal Video Length

How to Grab a Viewer in 5 Seconds

YouTube View Metrics

Meet Slow Clap’s Production Assistant: Darissa Hicks

Get to know Darissa a bit better with our quick Q&A interview.

Introduce yourself!

Hello there, and thank you for stopping by! My name is Darissa and I’m Slow Clap’s Production Assistant. I’m from the Bay Area and graduated from University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Managerial Economics and a minor in Sociology. With my major, I wanted to gain knowledge that could be applied to the business side of many industries. Soon after, I also became interested in sociology and in finding a way to make a positive impact through my career. 

What’s your role? What made you gravitate towards this craft?

As a Production Assistant, my role is to support the team especially in the pre-production phase of producing a video. I help with planning the logistics of a shoot, including managing legal documents and researching locations/equipment. Sometimes, I am also a PA on set for our shoots. I may assist with crafty set-up, camera/lighting set-up, and behind-the-scenes photos.  Alongside helping with video production, I support company operations, such as marketing, company events planning, general administrative tasks, and anything else our team may need. 

What’s your prior experience? What made you interested in joining Slow Clap?

I have general experience in outreach, marketing, and HR. I have helped prepare informational interviews for different organizations, including a start-up social media app for college students and a podcast focused on diversity and social impact in the film industry called Rewriting Hollywood.  I was in search of gaining experience as a PA since I was interested in storytelling in media. As I was looking for different opportunities, I was surprised to find a PA position with a company like Slow Clap. I was really excited about finding a company that really cared about different causes and shared values about diversity and fostering an encouraging environment where you are able to learn and grow. Slow Clap tries to partner with community-based organizations to help tell their story. I am so glad to be a part of a team that wants to make an impact and help people through the power of storytelling. 

What am I watching?

Since I watch a lot more dramas than films, I think one of my favorite Korean TV dramas is My Mister. Watching it during the pandemic and without spoiling the story, I found My Mister to be very comforting and relatable in emotions to watch. It is a slice-of-life drama that is very understanding of different life experiences and can be encouraging to see how those characters overcome hardships. 

Any Hobbies?

In general, I like to spend time with friends and family, especially trying out the new foodie spots in town that we haven’t tried before. I also really enjoy watching movies/dramas and learning languages. 

Lastly, favorite project you’ve worked on?

As it was one of my first times being on set, I’d have to say that my favorite project is the Judicial Council of California’s Juror Orientation Video. For Slow Clap, it’s one of our larger projects, and I think that’s why I found it exciting. Over at least eight days, we had a crew of about 20 people and over 30 people for talent. I even got to clap the slate! (Check out the BTS photos below!) Seeing behind-the-scenes of how so many different folks could come and work together to create this video was amazing. I had the opportunity to connect and learn from veterans in the industry who were kind and patient in showing me the ropes. I am so grateful that our team kept an eye out for me and guided me throughout my time participating in this project and the many more to come!

Although I haven’t worked on many projects yet, some of my favorite work from Slow Clap also includes:

Slow Clap Productions Included in Clutch 1000

Slow Clap is proud to announce that, we’ve been included in the 2021 Clutch 1000, a list of the top 1,000 firms worldwide on their B2B service provider platform. This is a huge validation for us, as a boutique San Francisco Bay Area video production company that’s been dedicated to delivering nothing but the best work for our clients since our founding in 2014.

Over the years, positive feedback from clients on Clutch has been our North Star. It’s how we know we’re meeting our mission, to help brands engage with their audiences through authentic video storytelling.

The insights provided by our clients motivate us to continually improve our collaborative and creative processes. Here are a few of our favorite nuggets:

“Slow Clap delivered a high-quality and professional video that mirrored our client’s production requirements. Their creative and orderly approach made each phase seamless, especially our location shooting. Overall, their team met our standards with their cost-efficient and timely deliverables.” – Polly Ikonen at Landis Communications Inc.

“Slow Clap was a team of dynamic storytellers and highly skilled writers. They translated our complex project into a narrative that was easy for the community to understand.” – ​​Reuel Daniels, Community Engagement Manager at Brookfield Properties

“Their team doesn’t create videos that are off the shelf. They create something that engages the viewer emotionally. Professionalism and creativity are hallmarks of their high-quality work.” – Jack Vaughan, Director of Education & Video at Glide

We’re honored that Clutch has recognized us for this global award. A big thanks to all our clients for sharing their unique stories and collaborating with us.

These Five Case-Study Videos Earn Brand Recognition

Why you should start planning a case study today.

In this post, we’ll explain what case study videos are, show you five great examples, explain why they work so well, and tell you how you can borrow their tactics to gain trust with new audiences.

When making a purchasing decision, reviews and testimonials are pretty much a requirement today. You can find a testimonial shot on a smartphone on nearly any kind of product. But in the B2B world, it’s still a challenge to easily find objective reviews of niche products and services. 

Dear Google: 

Can you connect me to somebody who has invested thousands in this particular B2B product? I’d like to know if it’s worth our time, money, and reputation. 

Thanks, Sally Shot-CallerBig Company, Inc.

Because the demand for this information exists, it’s a good idea to make sure your audience can see a testimonial of your product. And there’s no better way than to present that testimonial as a complete story, in the form of a case study video. 

A case study features a real B2B customer discussing the impact a product or service had on their own business problems. The customer is the hero, and your product was the magic sword that shaved 20% off their overhead and got them promoted. 

Good case studies don’t just shoot from the iPhone. They’re planned, produced, and edited to tell a real-world success story using your product.

But case studies are doubly powerful because they establish trust as they inform about a product. Instead of making predictable “marketing claims,” the video provides human proof. And with good production, they do it while entertaining, informing, and ultimately, selling.

So here are five great case study videos you can use to inspire and plan yours.


01: Built in Slack

Slack is a multi-billion dollar company with clients worldwide, but it’s useful for the most agile organizations too. And in this case, that was part of the point: small and large teams can find success together, as evidenced by Masks for Docs and Frontline Foods. 

The video really shines where it gets specific, with Frontline Foods hero Jacinth Sohi explaining how they got rid of email and used Slack instead – and how their impact multiplied as a result. 

Another great point: it finishes strong. “I don’t know if we would have been able to do it prior to Slack being around.” Hard to beat that.

Built in Slack was produced by Slow Clap, and screened at Slack Frontiers 2020 to much community love.

02: #WhyWeWork – Duet

Duet Display is an app that lets you use your iPad as a second monitor for your Mac. While that sounds basic, users like Jared Erondu use these displays for top-tier design, making for a beautiful demonstration of how the app enables him to create any time inspiration strikes. 

Duet Display used a subtle hero story in their #WhyWeWork series of case studies: feature somebody compelling, but show up in the background as the “sage” or “muse” who enables their growth. So Duet captured Jared telling his story, shot footage to match, and is invisible but present: they’re hidden in the screen he uses to design. 

03: Six-pack Shortcuts – NewVoiceMedia

In selling supplements to gyms, Six-Pack Shortcuts uses NewVoiceMedia for live data on prospect and closing rates in its call-center. The video uses immersive visuals to bring the audience into the unique culture at SPS, and lets the narrative tell the success story. The result is an uplifting and straightforward success story. 

04: Marriott is a Trailblazer – Salesforce

Marriott is a Trailblazer is the story of real employees serving a family that is a stand-in for all vacationers. To give vacationers everything they dream about, Marriott uses Salesforce to organize tasks and communications. 

The Marriott video is a good example of what Hollywood screenwriters call “A Story/B Story.” The employees do their jobs, and the family has the time of their lives because of it. It’s easy to put yourself in the shoes of both parties, so it’s easy to understand how Salesforce helps Marriott succeed.

05: Valpak is a Trailblazer – Salesforce

Valpak is a national company with thousands of contracts around the U.S. They managed all of their contracts on paper. That gave them problems. Sometimes the paper process delayed a customer’s advertising. Other times, those contracts got lost. 

So Valpak switched to the most powerful CRM in the world and has enjoyed an upward trajectory ever since. 

This video gets right to the problem without unnecessary chest-puffing, and it keeps the pace with visuals that explain the client meeting process, and the relief that Salesforce provided for their complicated workflow.


How to make a case study video

Creating a case study video depends less on creativity than on research. The story already happened, but you must figure out who to talk to,  what questions to ask your customer, how to visually convey the story, and how to arrange the story to be clear and powerful.

Find a champion

Creating a case study worth watching starts with a great client, a “champion.” You’ll need somebody who will tell the story of your partnership, and tell it with enthusiasm. 

You can create case studies with just text facts, but the audience will know that you’re the one telling the story, and not an objective third party. So capturing an authentic interview with someone that’s going to be a great ambassador for your company or product is key.

Plan your story around your audience

Before you begin writing, consider your audience. Answer the following questions:

  • What do they believe is true about their industry?
  • What result do they want? 
  • What do they need to hear to take action? 

Write questions for your champion

With those answers in mind, you need to write questions for your champion. Here are good starters:

  • What problem led you to seek us out?
  • How was this problem affecting your business?
  • What did we offer that interested you?
  • How did our solution help your problem?
  • What was the result of working with us?
  • How do you feel now that we work together?

It’s a good idea to have a brief conversation with your champion before filming anything. Ask them these simple questions.

Estimate your audience’s reaction

Ask yourself, “Is this story believable? Is it too miraculous? If it’s a dramatic change, what will we need to prove it’s true?”

Get additional perspectives

Often the answer is corroborating testimony – which, outside of Law and Order, means another point of view. Somebody else to help tell the story. 

Get data – even anecdotal data

Numbers are gold. If your client’s sales went up by 29%, that’s invaluable. But even a ballpark estimate can be valuable, such as “it used to take us half a day to load a truck. With the RoboGo, we can load one in around an hour.” 

Choose the right music

The theme is already “success.” But music can provide the atmosphere and backdrop that makes the story enjoyable for your audience. While a software video may rely on Indie music popular with office jockeys, a cattle company will seem odd when paired with a generic version of The Arcade Fire.

Open with a hook

Get to the problem right away. “We sell copy machines, but they often broke during shipping.” 

Give the solution a clear transition in the story

Sometimes the solution can get buried in your customer’s account. Don’t let that happen.

Give a pause before and after introducing the solution. “When we used PenguinPack, none of our machines broke on the trucks.” 

The one thing you need associating with your brand is the solution. Your logo should be all over the place when the problem gets solved.

Keep the length just right

How long should a case study be? You may feel tempted to add too many details about your client. They may want to talk about their company mission. But this is neither the time nor the place. 

If any shot, sequence, or sentence doesn’t support the story of how you succeeded together, cut it.

Don’t let them forget your brand

Use your colors and fonts in the video. Don’t use a sub-brand or anything confusing. 

Include branding throughout the video, but only where it’s natural.

Finish with a result that highlights your brand. “If I hadn’t consulted Dr. Jaime” or “because we packed a RoboDog…”

Conclusion: you lived this story. Share it.

If you helped a customer, that’s a good thing. Others need your help to realize their dreams and potential. And a case study is often the right way to tell that story: you’re talking about a customer of yours, but done well, your audience will realize you’re talking about their success too. 


Further reading:

The Case for Case Study Videos

How to Create Case Study Videos that Win New Business

A Complete Guide to B2B Video

A Case Study Video for a Government Agency

Meet Slow Clap’s Junior Editor: Alexander Flores

Get to know Alexander a bit better with our quick Q&A interview.

Introduce yourself!

Hello! My name is Alexander Flores. I am originally from Southern California but spent my childhood years growing up in Ensenada, Mexico. I received my BA in Media Studies from the University of San Francisco, where I also discovered my passion for film. I am currently based in San Francisco, CA, out of the foggy Outer Sunset District.

What’s your role? What made you gravitate towards this craft?

As a Junior Editor, I receive the organized footage that was shot on set and begin to assemble a finished product by taking selections of video clips, cutting them together based on a script or brief, and integrating sound effects, graphic elements, or any other kind of media a project might require. Throughout the process, I work alongside our Director, Associate Producer, and other Editors on our team to execute on the creative vision. Editing is very collaborative by nature, and I enjoy being part of a team that seeks to tell honest stories that resonate with all of us. Though video editing can be incredibly time-consuming work, I find it a very rewarding craft and I am drawn to this process because of the creative approaches to problem solving that are required, and the technical abilities needed to replicate high quality results efficiently.

What’s your experience in video production?

While pursuing my BA, I started freelancing in video production with a focus on shooting video. For a time, I worked in live video production, shooting “fireside chats” for financial technology events. After graduating, I worked as a live camera switcher for livestream productions of Division 1 college athletics, and eventually became a Livestream Producer of one of these. In 2018 I transitioned more fully into post-production through video editing and some color grading work, and have been pursuing video editing as my main craft ever since.

What made you interested in joining Slow Clap?

Slow Clap immediately stood out to me because of how deeply human the stories are. I think where other stories compromise the human sensibility for the sake of a campaign or message, Slow Clap has a way of integrating all of these into the final product. There is a lot of care and detail that goes into creating each piece, and the people at Slow Clap are really the driving force behind the amazing work that gets produced. So, if I had to sum it up, the work and the people. 

Favorite Film?

I feel like I have a new favorite film every month… but, at the moment, Cinema Paradiso. A simple and touching film about the importance of dreams and the appreciation we have for the people that believe in us.

Any Hobbies?

Fútbol is my other passion (Manchester City is my team). I enjoy live concerts, traveling, taking care of my many houseplants, hikes along the coast with my partner, and eating her homemade pies.

Lastly, favorite project you’ve worked on?

Betsy’s Story, for being an incredibly empowering story of courage (with amazing visuals.. shout out to our camera department!). I also very much enjoy the work I was able to execute as an assistant camera and editor for the 2020 ALC Honoree Award videos.

Five Great Explainer Videos

Why these five explainer videos rocked the market.

Thanks to creativity and accessibility, it’s never been easier to introduce a new product with a fresh video.

This entry discusses five of the best explainer videos, the different approaches they use, and how they can help your business.

Type “explainer video” into Google and (ironically) you’ll get a full page of sponsored ads before any explanation of what an explainer video is. So in case you’re wondering, explainer videos are commercials that focus on how a product or business solves a particular problem. 

Explainer videos have become a sort of commodity, and for many businesses online, they’re the second thing they purchase, right after a Web site. 

Part of the reason for their growth is the rise of technology companies. Technology allows us to solve problems we didn’t know we had – but it also creates more problems to be solved. 

But they’re also popular because they’re accessible. They can be animated, live-action, or just a talking head. Prices range from $100 on Fiverr to seven figures with major agencies like Sandwich

But the other reason for their growth is that they work. They don’t even have to be great – just good. But if you’re going to learn how to create an explainer video, you may as well learn from the best. 

So today we’ll show you five of our favorites and break down their tactics into simple riffs that anyone can rock.

01: Github: Building the future

GitHub’s most epic explainer – created in San Francisco by yours truly (Slow Clap) – uses an emotional story to introduce the problem: a boy with musical dreams is held back by his immobile hand. 

Enter heroic big sister, who plays to her strength in coding by developing a robotic hand. But there’s a twist – it’s too much for her to achieve alone. So she sends her plans out to the universe via GitHub, which enables dreamers and tinkerers and coders everywhere to work together.

GitHub is a development platform with a world-famous Open Source community. As they put it, “Small experiments, inspired inventions, and the software everyone depends on—the code you write on GitHub can reach one codebase or millions.” 

Using collective effort, big sister and a variety of heroes send machines to Mars, work on engines in virtual reality, and ultimately empower little brother to become a master pianist.

The story is emotionally powerful, while the explanation is clearer than the lens of the hubble telescope: you know exactly who it’s for, and how massive its potential really is. 

How to copy it

Come up with a powerful, emotional story. Or hire a writer to help you develop that idea. Then hire a top-notch production team to make it come to life down to the last detail. 

02: Airtable: Organize Anything

sandwich.co/work/airtable/

Made by the aforementioned Sandwich agency, the Airtable explainer video puts a different twist on tackling collaborative projects: it’s told through the eyes of kids.

The kids are making a movie. And each one has big personality: a sassy director, a precocious writer, and so on. But the challenge they face is how to synchronize all of their creativity, which is visually represented as they sit in a sea of marker-drawn storyboards.

The solution is the AirTable app, which implies that it’s so easy a kid could use it – without losing a speck of their innate personality or creativity.

This explainer works because it grabs and holds your attention. The kids are sassy and perfect, the colors pop, the production is sharp, and the point is simple. 

How to copy it

Hire a comedian or a script writer with comedic chops. Riff on ideas until something consistently gets laughs. Then, hire a professional production team like Slow Clap that regularly works with actors. 

03 What is Hubspot

Created in 2013, What Is Hubspot is an early example of the animated explainer boom. But it’s a champion of the era, and if you’re considering an animated explainer, study this one.

Hubspot begins with the problem: marketing has changed. It’s not the cold-calling era anymore – a data-driven digital presence is now the best path to new sales. But because that means managing dozens of platforms, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. 

The solution is one marketing platform that connects you to every other platform and provides metrics on their effectiveness. 

This video works so well for three reasons. First, the script is crystal clear. It’s easy to follow no matter who you are, or how much you know about marketing. 

Second, the visuals are simple and intuitive. The subject of every segment moves to the center of the screen. There are no fancy patterns or distracting backgrounds. It’s the animated equivalent of a close-up, and it’s perfectly framed.

Third, the voice-over is crystal clear. The narrator is matter-of-fact, approachable, and yet compelling enough to convince the audience that this is a real problem, but the solution is also real – and within reach. 

How to copy this approach

Start with the leanest script you can make. Hire a copywriter with video experience to help, if possible. 

Then look for a video production company with animation experience – or just a specialized animation company. 

Find out: Have they tackled tough subjects effectively in other work? You may have to lean on them to creatively provide context with visuals, so their previous work must speak for itself. 

Also spend some time choosing the right voiceover artist. Not all of them can provide the right tone to match the problem and solution. And keep in mind, more than anything, the tone of the voiceover must be one that is appealing to your audience.

04 States Title

When closing home loans, mortgage brokers often lose significant time in the title underwriting process. The process is over a century old, and still uses much of the same snail-paced paperwork that requires dozens of signatures and long meetings.

So what if software could make that dramatically easier and faster?

States Title’s software can create legally-correct signable title forms with an 80% accuracy rate. It also informs the broker if it can’t hit that accuracy rate, letting them seek help from a title company when necessary.

So how do you explain something so abstract? 

Slow Clap tackled the challenge with simple animations. Visually, millions of data points converge into one document – which is something software is made to do, better than humans. That software then does the other thing it’s best at: repeating the process as much as requested. 

The video closes with a powerful question: “Can you afford to underwrite the old-fashioned way?” It declares an inevitable change in the industry but simultaneously invites you to adapt it to your advantage. 

How to copy it

States Title depends on the creative use of visual metaphor. Find an animation or production studio that has tackled really tough abstract concepts. Work with them on a script, and then let them handle the rest.

05 Dollar Shave Club

Razor blades are overpriced. Dollar Shave Club is a direct to consumer brand, possibly the first to get big. That’s still boring though. So instead of focusing just on the price difference, Dollar Shave Club chose to mock their competitors and the absurdity of overpaying for thin strips of metal. 

Easily one of the most well-known explainer videos, Dollar Shave Club’s epic breakthrough in the market was created by its founder Michael Dubin. It uses humor at its best, lining up joke after joke. And the miracle is, all of them flow together.

How to copy it

Humor is prized in modern culture, but it’s eternally tough to pull off. Therefore if you don’t have somebody who regularly gets a crowd laughing, we suggest hiring a comedian to help you write the video and act in it. That’s essentially what Dubin did.

But the other character in this video is the setting itself – a warehouse full of gags. To pull off both the staging and the filming, hire a professional video team so that the final product looks and feels like a funny commercial. 

How an explainer video can help your business

Explainer videos can answer more questions about your product – and select your audience – faster than any other media. 

To that end, you should consider adding them in the following locations:

  • On your Web site, either on the front page or a specific product page
  • On LinkedIn, in your company business page
  • As a Facebook business page banner video
  • On any platforms that you use, within your business profile and as a schedule post
  • And in emails to new clients

Slow Clap Productions Announced as a 2021 Local Excellence Award Winner on UpCity

For more than a decade, UpCity’s mission has been—and continues to be—to help businesses find B2B service providers they can trust. The UpCity Recommendability Rating was developed to determine a service provider’s credibility and recommendability, giving UpCity the confidence
to recommend them to the more than 1.5 million businesses that visit their site.


Each year, UpCity analyzes and scores more than 70,000 service providers based on their UpCity Recommendability Rating and acknowledges the top national and local providers with an UpCity Excellence Award. The results are in, and we won!


We are ecstatic to announce that the Slow Clap Productions team has been recognized as one of the top B2B service providers of 2021 in the San Francisco area by UpCity!


We at Slow Clap Productions produce authentic, entertaining, and meaningful content to capture the attention of any target audience. We approach every project with a collaborative mindset and involve our clients every step of the way.

Jen Gadus, Vice President of Product & Design at UpCity, had this to say about Slow Clap Productions:


“Slow Clap Productions uses innovative storytelling techniques to create truly entertaining and moving content that resonates with large audiences. Their clients can depend on them to create content that is engaging, innovative, and powerful. Congratulations on the 2021 Local Excellence Award.”


This recognition has been driven in large part by our 5-star review rating on UpCity. Here are a few of our favorite pieces of feedback we’ve received from our incredible customers:


“Dan and the Slow Clap crew were very professional, conscientious, and worked very hard to deliver a great production under budget and on time. They had to work with some difficult restrictions and they smiled through every adversity. I would highly recommend them.” – Mark Hornung


“Once we selected SlowClap, they took us through their process. We shared with them our expectations, walked through the brief in more detail, and explained the logistics (timeline) which was tight. Once we were on the same page, Slow Clap put together an execution plan. Slow Clap utilized internal and external research to decide on questions
for each interviewee – they then performed a pre-interview to get initial plot points for the video. From there, SlowClap developed a creative brief (acts of the video, questions, shot list, etc) for our review. We worked hand in hand with Slow Clap to get the logistics right. They performed the interviews, determined the best shots, and shot the video. Once they had all the footage, they edited together a first draft. We worked with them to get to a final video that everyone was happy with.” – Dan Sutton

Thank you to UpCity for this award, and thank you to all of our clients who have helped make it possible. We look forward to the opportunity for continued partnerships and are excited for what’s to come!

Meet Slow Clap’s Associate Producer: Beijo Lee

Get to know Beijo a bit better with our quick Q&A interview.

Introduce yourself!

Hi everyone! My name is Beijo, and I am Slow Clap’s Associate Producer. I am a video producer and content creator born and raised in the Bay Area. I attended the University of California, Davis earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinema and Digital Media. I am passionate about authentic storytelling and representation on screen. I’m excited to dive into the projects here at Slow Clap!

What’s your role? What made you gravitate towards this craft?

I’m the Associate Producer, and my role is to help manage the client projects and handle logistics for production from start to finish. I have always loved film and video, especially, the art of authentic storytelling through documentary-style film. I believe that each creative person has their own unique specialty in this industry. I happen to love the logistics of production and being able to oversee a set. Though I do enjoy the occasional camera operating or editing, my joy is working behind the scenes as a producer.

What’s your experience in video production?

I produced my first short film in high school and then the rest was history. I’m kidding! My first professional film set experience was being a production assistant on an independent featured film set in 2015. It was a great experience working with over 100+ professionals in a fast-paced environment. After graduating from university, I interned at BAYCAT, a non-profit video production studio in San Francisco, and they really empowered me to become a Media Producer and taught me the ropes of the industry. I then produced marketing video campaigns for a small apparel company in the Bay Area before joining the Slow Clap team.

What made you interested in joining Slow Clap?

As a Media Producer, I enjoy being able to work on projects that capture stories focused on real lives and people. I saw that Slow Clap’s philosophy and work reflected the same values that I have towards storytelling and then it just made sense! Slow Clap has wonderful partnerships with great companies and organizations that desire this type of authentic storytelling – and it’s so powerful! These are the stories that I want to tell and be part of. There are so many good videos that Slow Clap has produced! Some of my favorites are Earl’s Story and Thi Bui’s story.

Favorite Film?

I actually don’t have a “favorite” film, but recently I watched The Last Black Man in San Francisco, and I’ve got to say this would be my current “favorite”.

Being a Bay Area native, there’s something about the story that hits home for me. It has a good mix of humor and heartfelt moments. And Mont is my favorite character! I definitely recommend you watch it.

Any Hobbies?

I have so many hobbies! I enjoy photography, yoga, hiking, biking, dancing, and I recently became a plant mom! So my home office is now filled with plants. Haha!

Lastly, favorite project you’ve worked on?

My favorite project I’ve worked on would be for The Port of San Francisco’s PortTV episode! Check out the whole series.