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Animated Explainer Videos: How To Pick The Right Style For Your Brand

Animated explainer videos are on the rise. They’re the perfect format for explaining complex concepts, ideas, or products, and as such, they’re especially loved by B2B marketers. 

There are numerous ways to leverage explainer videos. A creative explainer video can inject fun and entertainment in an otherwise slightly boring subject, or it can be used as a brand video to convey your core brand messaging. In-app explainer videos are invaluable in guiding users through onboarding and increasing the overall adoption of your solution. And even ads and commercials can benefit from the explainer format, which offers a super-efficient and precise way to tell your message exactly how you want it.

The benefits of animated explainer videos are numerous, and we’ve summarized some of them below:

  • Explainer videos help you explain complex concepts, ideas, and products in a simple way.
  • Explainer videos allow you to add your branding and vibe to things like onboarding processes and manuals. 
  • Explainer videos can help you shorten the sales cycle and increase conversions on your website. 
  • Explainer videos can be used in your marketing to help new audiences quickly understand and relate to your brand and product. 
  • Animated videos are easy to edit and update continually, meaning you won’t have to make a whole new video each time your product is updated. 

For most brands, explainer videos are a valuable addition to the marketing toolbox. But how to know which kind of explainer video is right for you? 

There’s a myriad of options when it comes to visual styles for explainer videos. Not only are there a vast range of different techniques to choose from, but every creator will add their style and flair to your project. 

In this article, we’ll have a look at the most popular types of animated explainer videos. 


The White Board Animation Explainer Video

This animation style is exactly what it sounds like; it’s one or a series of images being drawn on a whiteboard. This is a classic type of explainer video that can be very effective in the proper context. It carries the “human” feeling of a person explaining something to you while drawing it, and as such, it’s an efficient way to communicate. This RSA video, Changing Education Paradigms, is a great example of this style.

The whiteboard approach gives excellent value for your money and is best used when the most important thing is the message, rather than the branding side. 


The Live-Action and Motion Graphics Explainer Video

Sometimes you can create great things by combining live-action with motion graphics. This brilliant animated explainer video made for Paypal does just that in a wonderfully entertaining way.  

This format gives you the best of both worlds: the human element on the one hand and the unlimited creative possibilities of motion graphics on the other. 


The Minimalist Explainer Video

Sometimes keeping it simple will yield the most powerful result. A minimalistic take can, when done well, put a laser focus on your message by reducing all distracting elements.

Covalent won a Gold and Silver Addy for this animated explainer video in the minimalist style. 

“We created this for BBBS of Greater Pittsburgh. It’s a story of a “Little” describing her time spent with her “Big” mentor, and the minimalist approach marries beautifully with the poetic message.”


The Character Animation Explainer Video

Animated characters are a classic element of explainer videos and an efficient tool for explaining concepts and creating scenarios. This product video that we made for Sight on Scene is a great example. 

Sight on Scene is a mapping tool that allows school districts to quickly create live-touch, interactive maps of their buildings to share with first responders, emergency personnel in the case of an emergency. The animated format allowed us to communicate around this scary topic in a friendly and non-frightening way. 


The Line Drawing Explainer Video

Creating compelling B2B video marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. Often, it’s the simplest throughline and execution that captivates your target audience. For BookSync, we created this short animated video aiming to make it simple, sleek, and straight to the point: “Developing your team can be as easy as starting a company book club.”


The On Paper Explainer Video 

We were commissioned to promote Hear Me, a web app that helps break down the stigmas and understand one’s mental health. For this purpose, we chose the “on paper” style to tell the story of vulnerability and the importance of reaching out for help. This style is made up of written words and sketches being “drawn on paper”, which gives an authentic and living feel to the video. 


The Stop Motion Explainer Video

Remember Wallace and Gromit? That’s a typical stop-motion animation. You draw or build a character, either digitally or manually. Then photograph it, change an element, and photograph it again. Stack the pictures together and what you’ll have is a stop-motion video.

This video that we made for the handbag brand MCM is an excellent example of how this technique can be used to showcase and enhance products. 


The Pop Art Explainer Video

This style borrows elements like the popping colors and monochrome imagery from the art scene of the 60s to create a fun and vibrant feel. This Spotify video is a great example of how a visual genre like pop art can be implemented in an explainer video to create an end product that not only conveys your message but strengthens your brand. 


The Screencast Animation Explainer Video

A screencast animation is a suitable style for explaining techy products and applications. It’s basically an animated version of your website or app that shows the viewer how to maneuver your product step-by-step. Screencast videos improve the customer experience by making it super-easy to learn how to use your product. Animated screencasts and gifts can also be integrated on your website, as Intercom does beautifully on their site. 



Animated explainer videos are helpful for a wide variety of purposes. They can make great ads, help you brand your processes, and reduce friction in the buyer process. 

Animated explainer videos are easy to update when needed and represent a cost-efficient way to implement video in your marketing. 

At Covalent, we specialize in innovative explainer videos that are not only informative but that help your brand stand out from the competition. Get in touch to learn how we can help bring your ideas to life with video.


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