“The power of animation videos!”

What is an explainer video? Let’s cut to the chase, very much like this type of video. An explainer video is a video that explains a business/product/service quickly. It is normally a short animated explainer video but it can have live footage as part of the video.

The main objective is to quickly explain a business’s proposition in a engaging and entertaining manner. Explainer videos are used to grab the viewers attention using brief and succinct language and normally with an inventive art style. Explainer videos can be used to explain the function and capabilities of a product, explain a business’s services and/or communicate an idea or corporate message.

Types of Explainer Videos

  1. “How to” videos – This is where a specific topic is detailed for the viewers benefit. It is normally achieved by using a presenter or animation style video.
  2. Testimonial Video – A very powerful type of promotional video due to the personal element. Actual customers are filmed talking about their experiences with the product and/or company.
  3. Product/Service video – A short video the explains the benefits and features of the product or service.
  4. Product Demonstration video – Provides a clear demonstration of the product in action. They can show a step-by-step guide to set-up and an instructional element to actual usage.
  5. FAQ Video – These are typically short videos that directly answer a question a customer might ask. They are normally quite simple and can be produced on a small budget.


An explainer video normally answers the following three questions:

  1. Who we are?
  2. What services/products we offer?
  3. Why choose us?

These are three important components that each explainer video needs to address. The “who we are” section can be easily covered by branding, a quick voiceover line and the end logo screen. The “services/products” section is going to comprise the main element of the video. Due to the nature of the video’s running time, this has to be as succinct as possible. This is where the majority of the work on the script and visual style has to take place. The “why choose us” section is used to get across the business’s and/or product/service USP and should be a simple yet compelling end to the video.

Characteristics of an explainer video

Most animated explainer videos share the same characteristics. Below is a selection of the main ones.

  1. SIMPLE – With this style of video, the more simple the message and style the better. You want your video to be easy to understand. This will allow the viewer to take on all the video’s messages. An overly complicated video could mean that the viewer might not understand what message you are trying to get over. Work between the animation production company and the client needs to be applied so that only the core message/offering is put forward. The aim of this process is to focus on the core objective of the video and this will in turn focus the video and the production process.
  2. STYLE – Leading on from point 1, the style of the business explainer video has to be simple. Normally the video animation will have a visual style hook to entice the viewer to take the video’s message on board. Please see below for our animation explainer video for think money that showcases their account system.
  3. QUALITY – This is subjective, the video does not have to cost the earth. A simple video with the right message will still attract the viewer. Having a higher production value will allow the video style hook and message to stand out.
  4. SHARING – This element could apply to any promotional commercial video but is more pertinent when approaching explainer videos. The success of a video is normally based on conversion rates but another important element in the success of a video is the number of shares the video receives. This can be achieved through a number of different factors, including the video’s message, style of video, content, speed of video and propensity for the viewer to share the video. Does the message help other people, that the viewer knows, like friends and family?
  5. LANGUAGE/VOICE OVER – Clear use of language is key. I can not stress the importance of spending time on this part of the video. A video is as long as it needs to be. Using the general rule of 3 words spoken every second, then the recommended length of a video would be about 180 words/1 minute.

Benefits of Explainer Videos

  1. Quickly explain your products and services
  2. Uses a fun and informative visual hook to attract customers to the message
  3. Can easily complement your brand image
  4. Can improve the conversion and recall rates
  5. Works across numerous on/offline promotional tools.

Different styles of Explainer Videos

There are many different types of explainer videos, below is a selection of the main examples:

  1. 2D Animation
  2. 2D motion graphics animation
  3. 2.5D animation
  4. Whiteboard animation
  5. 3D animation
  6. Live action
  7. Presenter led video.

To view some great examples of explainer videos, please visit Hubspots 17 examples of fabulous explainer videos.

Case Study – think money

thinkmoney are a Manchester based company who provide personal bank accounts. They approached Vivid Photo Visual with the objective of producing an eye catching video that quickly explained a relatively complex into a simplified message. More importantly, thinkmoney’s message was to show their new customers how the account works.

thinkmoney wanted a hook to make sure that the viewers carried on watching the video until the end. Vivid worked on a few styles but agreed with think money to develop our flowing lines style. This would allow the next scene to be carried over from the previous scene. It gave the animation a informative, fun and welcoming vibe that carries through the whole video. We wanted to hopefully puts the viewer at ease with their understanding of the service.

Final thoughts

Explainer videos have an integral part of video promotion. Appropriately used, explainer videos quickly get the core message over to the viewer. This is because they are a fun and interactive way of communicating directly with your audience. There has to be a concerted effort to fine tune the script and the visuals to make sure all the messages are delivered.

Vivid Photo Visual are a commercial video production based in Manchester, who have provided numerous video promotional solutions for SME’s to the world’s largest brands. We offer a multi-disciplined video service for our clients.

I hope you have found this blog informative, if you have any ideas you would like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the Vivid team by visiting our contact us page. If you would like to read some more of our animation video blogs, please visit our animation blog page or visit our animation video service page.