Explainer Videos: When to use and what to choose

As we discussed in part one, Explainer Videos: What are they? Why do you need one?, Explainer Videos are an amazing way to communicate with your audience or customer base. They weren’t all created equal however, we’ll look at four different types. First of all though, when would you use one?

When are Explainer Videos useful?

Explainer Videos are perfect for when you have a message or information you want an audience to understand and absorb fully. They are especially good at dealing with complex or dry information, or very data heavy messages. Explainer Videos are useful because they are able to present this in a very memorable and engaging way. Good uses include product launches, feature updates, book launches and user tutorials. This was done brilliantly by Coca-Cola (below), when they outlined their 2020 goals. Working with them we created this information rich but engaging video which has been shared across many channels.

What style should you use? 

As we have said, there are several types of Explainer Videos and this isn’t a one size fits all situation. There are a few factors that need to be considered. You need to consider your goals, your product or message and your budget. Then, as if by magic, that should tell you what Explainer Video format to use. In this article we’ll be looking at Explainer Videos that use live footage, typographic animation, whiteboard animation and full 3D animation.

Live Footage

Using live footage is great if your message or product is more ‘real world’ and tangible then conceptual. Live footage is a good way to tell a story or deliver more simple information. It is also great if you have a lower budget. If you plan them carefully they can tell your story well and in a relatable way, getting you in front of more people. Because they are so commonly used, it can be much harder to boost engagement however compared to other Explainer Video styles. Sometimes you have to use a bit of humour to get noticed! Check out the DollarShaveClub.com Video for a good example.

If you plan them carefully they can tell your story well and in a relatable way, getting you in front of more people.

Typographic Animation

Typographic Explainer Videos centre around text, simple graphics, music and colour. They are usually animated in an energetic and attention grabbing way. Typographic explainers are better suited to delivering information than telling stories, and are another format suitable for a lower budget. If the elements are combined well, typographic videos can be stylish and watchable. However, they can struggle to deliver more complex information and boost content engagement. Still, if your message fits the delivery style you can make some very effective videos. Here is a great one by Airbnb.

The combination of elements can make typographic videos stylish and very watchable.

Whiteboard Animation

Whiteboard animation allows you to illustrate and animate anything you can imagine. This makes them great at communicating the tangible, the abstract and the ‘intangible’ equally well. They can deliver the simple and the conceptual in a way that is easy to understand and remember. They are also great for that vital modern day component: social media engagement. Suited to a mid-level budget, whiteboard Explainer Videos are great when telling a story, delivering product information or presenting a complex scientific theory. A strong example of an Explainer Video using whiteboard animation is the film for Stephen Hawking’s final book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions.

Whiteboard Explainer Videos are at home telling a story, delivering product information or presenting a complex scientific theory.

3D Animation Explainer Videos

Fully animated 3D Explainer Videos are a very powerful way of telling your story! Done well, they provide glossy and visually stunning Explainer Videos more than capable of giving a simple or more abstract subject a very effective treatment. Fully animated Explainer Videos lean towards storytelling and suit people with mid-level to high budgets. Like whiteboard animation these explainers they are very good at generating engagement on social media platforms, something which is a must in today’s social media dominated world. An excellent example of an animated Explainer Video was made by HubSpot, watch it here.

They provide glossy and visually stunning Explainer Videos more than capable of giving a simple or more abstract subject a very effective treatment.

In summary, explainer videos are a brilliant asset for anyone with a story or a message they want to get out to a wide audience. Depending on your needs and your budget you have several options. If you would like to find out how we can help you with your Whiteboard Animation or fully animated explainer video please get in touch.