What is the best animated explainer style for your business?

Whether you’re an expert dog groomer with an innovative new styling technique. Or a coffee shop with a story to tell about the way you roast your beans... You’ll want to find a way to stand out among your competitors. One of the most effective ways of doing this is through an animated Explainer video. In this article, we'll talk through the different types of animated explainer video. Including why they might help your business grow. First of all, we'll run through some of the basics, like, what even is an animated Explainer Video?

What is an animated Explainer video?

An animated Explainer Video is usually a short form marketing video used to explain your company’s ethos, product or services. These videos often feature on the homepages of websites. Taking pride of place as an effective and engaging way of communicating a key message. There’s a lot that can be said about an explainer video and why they are important. Let’s start with different types of explainer videos and how they can work for you and your business.

Typography based Explainer videos

Typography based explainers feature, you guessed it, mainly typographic!

These styles of animation are also sometimes referred to as ‘Kinetic Typography animations', put simply ‘moving text’ They're a great way of getting across a lot of information. They're often a particularly compelling and effective way to get across data, figures and statistics. Typopgrahic animations do this by helping to increase engagement. Encouraging your viewer to read along with the words in the script, hooking them from the get-go.

A good example of this can be seen in this video created at Fred & Eric for Mindshare:

Fred & Eric's typographic Brand Film for Mindshare

Here you can see how the words in the script have been combined with illustrations. Producing a bold, memorable and appealing end result.

Fred & Eric's Creative Director Maggie Rogers expands on the benefits of typography-based animations:

"Animations featuring typography can be a striking and effective way to highlight key messages in a script. Combined with animation, the words can literally be brought to life".

Another huge selling point is that typography based animations can often be the most cost effective. A completely typographic creative lends itself to fast turnarounds. Importantly, they also work just as effectively without sound. So are highly efficient across all online platforms.

Character Driven Explainer Videos

Character driven work is great for humanising your brand and building trust.

This doesn’t mean that all explainer films with characters have to be high-energy and fun. In fact, this is often a big misconception. Sarah Killeen, Managing Director at Fred & Eric comments:

“Adding characters to an animation is a great way to tell a story. Adapting the style of our characters and creative, allows us to effectively use characters for a range of storytelling. Whether it's for a charity animation, advertising or the medical sector. It’s important to be adaptable and understand the audience. If we need to be respectful of the content, we’ll use a character and animation style that can reflect that".

A great example is this animation we created for the NSPCC; Tipping the Scales. Here we had a sensitive brief based surrounding child development. We knew that working with characters would help convey the emotive message of this story. However, we needed to do that in a way that was respectful and in-keeping within the energy of the piece.

Tipping the Scales: an educational explainer animation for NSPCC

This is why character-driven pieces are such a popular choice. They have tremendous adaptability. We’ve seen a whole host of things brought to life over the years. A suit-wearing watermelon, an eco-friendly leaf and some car-sharing plasticine blobs! (to name but a few).

Motion graphics Explainer Videos:

Let’s start by defining what ‘Motion Graphics’ actually means. Motion graphics are, simply put, just graphics that move! So, shapes, objects or text being set into motion. This can be done in a whole host of ways.

This style can work really well for the medical and tech industries. If you have a lot to say, clever use of graphics can help tell your story with visual flare! That being said it’s a really versatile approach and can be adapted to suit almost any brief.

This example below for the NSPCC, uses a combination of illustrations that represent the key themes in the script. Here we see how we don’t need to tell a literal story with the visuals. Instead, we use the illustrations, animating them in a dynamic and memorable way to create a finished film.

Awareness animation created by Fred & Eric for NSPCC

Product Simulation Explainer Videos:

Product simulation is particularly practical if you need to show, more literally, what it is that your product does. This is a ‘it does what it says on the tin’ approach to marketing your product. Doing this through an animated approach still gives plenty of scope for creativity and flare too. Like in this example for a product called the Bio P:

Product explainer animation for Bio P

Handmade / Stop-motion Explainer Videos:

Traditionally, stop-motion animation is created by photographing an object, moving it in small amounts. Joining together the photos to form a sequence that gives the illusion of movement, when they are played together.

One of the major drawbacks of traditional stop-motion is that it’s often expensive and time-consuming. Especially compared to the other approaches we’ve spoken about in this article.

The good news is, there is space for adaptability in this approach. That’s something our Creative Director, Maggie Rogers has explored in her work:

“Producing a stopframe animation is a unique way to create an explainer film. Although it can be an expensive, our specialism in this area means we can often create simple stopframe animations for smaller budgets".

A simple stopframe commercial created for Tesco

Live action shoot for Channel 4, featuring handmade models

Need an Explainer Video for your business? Why not see if Fred & Eric can help?

We love making animated content! Priding ourselves in creating personal relationships with our clients and creating a collaborative way of working. We offer full-service production enabling us to jump in at any stage of your project. So, if you’re an animation pro, or totally new to the medium, we can work with you to create a film that’s fitting for your brief and brand.

Whatever type of explainer video you need for your business, we are adept at producing creative and high-quality animations. Adapting for screens of all shapes and sizes.

Get in touch and tell us what you need, we’d love to collaborate!