Nine seconds. That’s the purported attention span of the much-maligned goldfish. But, somewhat less-amusingly, the modern human consumer has an attention span of eight – just eight – seconds, meaning that humans have weaker concentration abilities… than goldfish. That’s according to research by Microsoft, and reported in TIME magazine, anyway. The headline-grabbing and slightly tongue-in-cheek (and since debunked, in case you were worried) conclusion was part of a larger effort to illustrate that, in this day and age, humans tend not to focus on any one thing for very long. In our content-packed digital environments especially, the next stimulus waiting to occupy our attention is only ever a click, a flick of the eye or a short scroll away.
And that trend, at least partly, explains the rise of the animated explainer video. Around 2012, company content producers switched from filming real-life whiteboards to mixing well-produced motion graphics with captivating audio, and out of this mix, the animated video phenomenon was born. Since that time, there have been countless outstanding animated explainer video examples; and, working in the industry day-to-day, our Sliced Bread video animators have seen many come and go. In this blog post, we’ll firstly take a look at the raw ingredients needed to produce a great explainer video. We’ll then take a brief walk down the ‘good explainer video’ hall of fame, and showcase some of our favourites from over the years.
What Makes a Good Animated Explainer Video?
As with many creative endeavours, making your own explainer video – and making it right – is all about nailing the recipe. The best explainer videos ever made work so effectively because the producers took the time, at an early stage, to lay the groundwork and create the conditions for impactful conceptualisation. It’s no good to simply ‘do’ video content for marketing videos, for instance; there is some behind-the-scenes work you’ll need to carry out beforehand. So before we get into our favourite explainer video examples, let’s run through the elements that go into a well-polished result.
- Conciseness over verbosity: In a lot of ways, it makes sense to start at the end; or at least, the end runtime. Videos tend to fail when they are overly long. Your target audience doesn’t want a five-minute-plus runaround, detailing all the ins and outs – keeping it short, sweet and to the point is vital.
- A well-executed script: The chances are, your video will require some voiceover work. For this to elevate the impact of the visuals, rather than detract from it, it needs to be properly-planned and written to a professional standard. Similarly, it’s always worth investing in professional voiceover services, rather than just going for it yourself. Trust us – it shows.
- Communicating core concepts: Whether you’re aiming to make a fun video for brand awareness, a training walk-through, a video marketing piece or any other visual asset, figure out ahead of time exactly what the core messages are that you want to communicate. Don’t beat around the bush, and don’t waste time with filler. Get straight to the main points, and remember to focus on benefits rather than features.
- Get the visuals right: This one almost goes without saying. Aesthetically, your video should contain simple animations that are nonetheless evocative, feature strong branding touchpoints, and be easily relatable for your target audiences. Partnering with a top-quality animation studio is always advisable.
- Tasteful use of music: The backing track can often be one of the most difficult elements of an explainer video to get right. Music can provoke a range of emotions; it’s the producer’s job to make sure that the right emotion is evoked, and that it dovetails seamlessly with the overall impact of the video.