One of the latest trends in web marketing is the use of cleverly animated videos designed to showcase and explain a product or service. They’re a great idea; who doesn’t like a little cute video? Most of the time, these videos aren’t even taken with camera footage. Instead, they’re animated, using cartoons and graphics to explain their subject. They’re also a proven benefit to conversion, with many businesses seeing as much as a 144% increase when they include an explainer video.
What does a good explainer video look like? Here’s a dozen or so I’ve picked out as good examples. Feel free to use them to brainstorm ideas for your own!
The Dollar Shave Club is a membership program where you pay $1 per month and they ship you razor blades in the mail each month. The concept is simple, but you might have some questions. Why support this mail order company? Are their cheap products any good? Watch the video and you have your questions answered in an upfront and virally-shareable way. Videos like this one are how DSC exploded in growth overnight. Note that this is a live-action video, which most explainer videos are not.
This is less of a B2C marketing video and more of an internal marketing video. Coke works to create thought-provoking and sharable ideas. This video is a combination of an animated style and a whiteboard style. You see the hand flashing in and drawing on a whiteboard, but the actual drawn content is partially animated rather than completely hand-drawn. You’ll see more of both of these styles further down on the list. One thing to note; this video is exceptionally long for an explainer video. Most explainers tend to be under two or three minutes total.
This is a video created by TED ED, the educational faction of the TED Talks phenomenon. The video specifically is an example of an animated explainer video. It’s also an example of a video that’s not specifically geared toward marketing. Rather, it’s an educational video designed to explain a numerical concept to a certain audience. You can use explainer videos for multiple purposes.
This is another example of an animated explainer videos, used in an offline-online hybrid purposes. While the video is hosted online and available for linking here, it’s primarily used as an in-flight replacement for the flight attendant trying to shout his or herself hoarse explaining airplane safety to a hundred noisy and disinterested users. The animated style lends itself to attention, and the information is presented humorously.
Herd Absurd is an early development app for children to learn shape recognition and animal noises through mixing and matching creature slides. It’s simple and easy to use, and it’s simple to explain. So simple, in fact, that this live-action explainer video has no need of a voice-over. All it needs is a few people using the app to show off how it works.
Panorama9 is a suite of software designed to help IT managers manage their networks, complete with a whole host of features. What’s the best way to showcase those features to IT professionals? In this case, they use an animated explainer video with a nostalgic graphical style and voice-over appealing to old computer games. The video is only three minutes long, but it feels as though it explains a lot in that short amount of time.
Mint is a financial manager that takes the place of a personal accountant. It’s super easy to use, but there’s a lot of deep functionality to explain. This animated explainer video goes over many of these details quickly and easily. It also addresses several critical questions, including security. A great video all around!
A simple animated explainer video for a complex service, this video shows how you can use humor and metaphor with an exceptional and unusual situation to explain a mundane product. I have a soft spot for anything that makes the hiring process simpler and easier, so this video gets a pass both on quality of production and on the product itself.
Mailbox’s video is simple and easy demonstration of a mailbox management application. It’s so easy to use that it doesn’t need a voice-over or text on the screen, just shots of the product in use while a catchy tune plays in the background. It’s designed to showcase how you can manage your email anywhere, with plenty of time left over to live life.
Pinterest wasn’t always a household name, and this explainer video is their method of showcasing their platform before everyone knew what it was. On the plus side, they tell you up front how long the video is. On the down side, I feel like the script could use a little work and their narrator could enunciate a little better.
Alden Systems isn’t a common consumer product, but it’s a good showcase of how any business, even those that have narrow niche uses, can use an explainer video to good effect. It’s also a good example of an art style that isn’t commonly seen in explainer videos.
Student Hut is an interesting tool that allows college students to rate and review course modules to help each other make more informed decisions. Simple concept, simple execution, simple video, simple voice-over; it all comes together in a great example of an explainer video.
This video showcases an Android file manager that is both simple to use and competing with a host of other similar software. This is a great case for an explainer video; one app without a video competing against one with a video will have a hard time converting users. The video is simply animated and showcases what it needs to without excess clutter.
Olark is a great product for live chat, I’ve written about it before. This video is pretty great, with good narration and good animation. One great detail about this video is the special offer at the end, rewarding viewers for watching the video all the way through.
A unique product with a unique application from Amazon requires a unique explanation. This explainer video shows their product in use, which is really useful for something that has no common analogue. It just goes to show that a good video can solve a lot of problems and answer a lot of questions.
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