Animated explainer videos are one of the best marketing tools you could use to build brand awareness and boost credibility. They’re fun, they’re essentially easier to produce than conventional location-and-talent-dependent marketing videos, and they’re usually mesmerizing and interesting to watch.

There are moments when using explainer videos would be in your best interest. There are, however, also times when they’d be more of a liability – or else a complete waste of time, marketing-wise. Here are three instances when you should produce an explainer video – and two instances when you really shouldn’t.


Explain The Non-Obvious

Some websites and companies are pretty self-explanatory – to the point where using an explainer video would be pointless. For instance, a company named ‘Used Books’ wouldn’t really need a detailed whiteboard animation to explain that they buy and/or sell used books. A simple paragraph or two under the About section would be enough.

Explainer videos are great, however, if you’re a startup or unknown business looking to expand through releasing a new product or service.

No one knew what the heck Dropbox was and what use it would be until they placed a simple explainer video on their landing website. Pinterest’s own explainer video is a great example of using video to explain a new service in a way that’s easily understood.

Establish Rapport Through Creativity

When we’re dealing with the new or the unknown, we tend to be a little cautious – especially when it’s something involving money. It’s completely understandable, and it’s another instance where explainer videos are the perfect solution.

The quirky, creative, and almost childish feel of animated explainer videos – especially ones that use simple sketches, images, and relatable characters – can get new viewers to let their guard down and immerse themselves in the video (and, by extension, your company).

A good example of this is Stack That Money’s whiteboard explainer video. Clean visuals, simple narration, and a relatable main character.

Use Something Quick, Affordable, But Still Effective

Professional explainer videos, no matter how long, usually take less time to produce than conventional videos that would require location shots, multiple camera work, scheduling, talent scouting, editing, and so on. Freelance explainer videos can even be done by just one or two people in the span of a week or less.

Oftentimes they’re also more affordable, given that they take less resources to produce. Use an explainer video when you need something quickly and you’re under a budget, but you still want it to be effective.


You’re Launching A Product

While this is arguably a case-to-case basis, most people use explainer videos when they’re launching a service or a website – something that’s too big or too complicated for just a picture and some words. People want to be able to see the product before they buy it, and a caricature or intangible concept won’t do much good.

Some people have launched products successfully via explainer videos, they got their videos from a los angeles video production company, but most of the time product videos, how-to videos, and video demonstrations work best for products.

You Need Real People

If you feel like testimonials would do better to build brand credibility (i.e., you’ve already launched a product and you’re getting great reviews), don’t substitute it for explainer videos. Or worse; don’t animate the customer reviews you got. People will always trust the word of other people more than they’ll trust advertising – especially if they know these people weren’t paid to put a good word out.

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