An explainer animation is a short video (often animated) that explains a service or product for a company to its potential customers. Often used to explain the simple function or benefits to a complex service or technology. Take a look at this example of an explainer from our portfolio to get a better idea.
Explainer videos have grown in popularity over the last decade with the growth of the startup community. The two have become best friends because an explainer is a quick way to pitch what a business does to acquire customers AND investor funding. It’s become another approach to the elevator pitch. However, with an explainer, the business owner doesn’t have to be there in person every time someone is learning about a company.
As mentioned above, most explainers are animated motion graphics, sometimes 2D or 3D. However, live-action video isn’t off-limits. It ultimately comes down to how to best tell the viewer about the product in the best possible way. For technology products, it’s often difficult or impossible to show how something works with a camera, so live-action usually isn’t as effective as motion graphics for an explainer.
For us, it always starts by first understanding a product and its benefits. Then we work to combine the explanation of the product with a story to show empathy for a viewer and the situation they may be in WITHOUT your products help. From there we put together visuals that match the brand to build on the trust that’s already been created.
Why not just use a whiteboard animation?
For some people, that might do the trick, but whiteboard videos lack some fundamental elements to really connect with a viewer:
- They don’t connect with a viewer, they just explain something. The difference of talking at someone vs with someone.
- They’re often done at a low quality that hurts viewer trust.
- They often don’t match a brand or existing tone of material at all leading to viewer confusion.
The value of an explainer video
Perhaps the strongest value of an explainer video is retention. If the average visitor to a website spends 1min on a site, an explainer gets them the information they need in a quick and memorable way.
Video equals higher viewer retention. The information retained in one minute of online video is equal to about 1.8 million written words. (Source: Video Brewery)