Different Styles Of Animated Explainer Videos

To help bring some clarity to your understanding of what the different styles are, here are some examples to review:

Note: The terms & definitions are ambiguous at best. Each producer mixes and matches styles as they see fit.

Corporate Explainer Video

This is a great, high-end, professional way of sharing your message.

Motion Graphics Animation

The best way to describe motion graphics is non-narrative based visuals that are in motion. These can include video, film, animation, illustration, photography, etc. Think of promos, film title sequences, animated logos, kinetic typography, etc.

Cartoon Style Animation

Cartoons are great because you’re telling a story with a format that we’re already conditioned to associate with childhood, make believe, and other fun things. There are many different kinds of cartoons, some not as lovely as others, so make sure your brand is not poorly represented by the cartoon style you choose.

Whiteboard Animation

The story is drawn on a whiteboard and sped up in post-production so the drawing matches the voiceover. These are great if you have a speech or message that requires more than 90 seconds to tell the whole story or you need to explain some pretty complex stuff.

Kinetic Type Animation

Kinetic type mixes text with motion. It is often used to emphasize or illustrate a vocal message that coincides with the visuals. This format is often chosen for illustrating song lyrics or movie quotes.

Live Action (with motion graphics)

This approach is a great way to go but can be costly. Nowadays pretty much anyone can shoot a video for you, but unless they have a real background in production you’ll likely end up with poor quality video and audio. Stay away from anyone selling you live video at 5k or less.

We’ll go more in-depth on this in the next post.



As you can see, there are a lot of different styles, animated video production companies and prices. Hopefully you now understand the amount of work that goes into each of these videos and walk away with a different perspective so when it comes time to buy your own, you’ll know what to look for in a studio/producer. For a complete list of the Top Explainer Video producers, check out this great post on Quora.

There’s a good reason why the best companies charge a higher premium for the videos they create. When you purchase an explainer, you’re not just simply buying a video, you’re paying for a proven, effective process. To put it even more plainly, you’re paying for the results you’re going to end up with. If you hire a company based upon their “cheapness”, you’ll unfortunately get exactly what you paid for…a cheap-looking, non-converting video. Look at the quality of their previous projects, read their case studies and you’ll be able to easily tell what you’re getting.

Tell us what you think! Any surprises here? Have you had a different experience somewhere else? Let us know in the comment section.

Credit: Our Explainify Explainer Video used Music from Tunefruit