Last updated on 19th April 2023
Explainer videos here, explainer videos there, explainer videos everywhere!
These tiny, bite-sized bits of video content – often around one to two minutes in length – come in many forms, from traditional animation, to 3D, to live-action and more.
They also come in all genres, utilising comedy, drama, or pure information – depending on the theme.
That means there’s a wide variety of design options and emotional tactics to communicate your businesses’ message.
But with so many styles to choose from, which is right for YOU, dear reader? That’s the big question! What makes an explainer video great, good, or – dare we say – not so good?!
To answer that question, we’re going to take a look at some of the best explainer videos and analyse why they were so successful. The results should yield many teachable lessons to help take your video marketing efforts to the next level.
And hey, if nothing else – it’s a little watching material for your next coffee break. Let’s jump in – enjoy!
Animated explainer video examples
1. Wine Country Gift Baskets
This video does a good job of mixing customer examples and warm animations to deliver a positive message paired with inviting images.
The idea of giving a gift just because appeals to the better parts of the human condition. Bottles of wine? Chocolate? Gourmet coffee? Fresh-baked cookies? Those are products that sell themselves, and the animators did a good job of rendering their appeal in just over a minute runtime.
When introducing a new product or service, you can’t beat a video that’s snappy, eye-catching, and fun – like this video we made for Communyco!
Communyco is an app aimed at creators, from bakers to writers. With such a vast target audience it helps to create a cast of unique animated characters like this to ensure no group is excluded. Plus, it’s playful and grabs attention.
3. Med Mart
This video from Med Mart App does a great job of breaking down how to use their app. Med Mart takes the complicated process of plastic surgery and simplifies it with their app through this video, complemented by unique 3D animation.
Although this video is a little on the longer side, the content in it justifies the length, as they dive into all of the benefits the app offers.
This beautiful video shows that you can create an animated explainer video including characters without creating a “cartoon”.
The characters and backgrounds created for this video are professional and fitting for the topic of payroll and financial services. Typically considered a dry topic, the animation along with the upbeat soundtrack and voiceover help to maintain viewer attention.
5. Snappy Kraken
While both this video and the one from ConnectPay fall under the same umbrella of “animated explainer videos”, they couldn’t be more different. This showcases the versatility of animation.
Snappy Kraken have fully embraced the cartoon-style, creating wacky and unusual characters to tell their story. When it comes to your video, it’s all about what would work best for your brand and your target audience.
Microsoft is one of the biggest brands in the world, but even with their legacy they still need effective messaging. This is another concise video that B2B players will want to emulate. It’s highly effective at educating the viewer on Microsoft’s enterprise cloud solution.
The smooth animations evoke themes of growth, but, let’s face it, the narrator really sells this message. There’s a mellifluous tinge to the voiceover.
7. Clever Devices
This explainer video is awesome for many reasons. Perhaps the biggest reason is that animation allowed this video to be made during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when people weren’t able to be in close proximity with one another.
The video also outlines important changes to services in a clear and easy-to-follow way. On top of that, the beautiful and colourful world our animators created here make this video a nice watch.
The limited colour palette and simple design of this video make it professional, well-branded, and sleek.
Also, the simplicity works well when showing the platform screens. Less detail means that the video won’t need to be updated every time there is a UI change.
Amino acids, vitamins, and minerals are all really difficult things to visualise and explain, but Purina does an excellent job in this 30 second animated video.
The smooth transitions from vitamins to pet food make it easy to understand exactly what is in Purina food and how it benefits customers’ pets.
This video kicks off with an upbeat soundtrack that grabs and keeps viewers’ attention. As a rental company, Yesifi has two very different target audiences: landlords and tenants.
This video is great because it manages to speak to both of the audiences, telling both sides of the story. The video is also easy to follow as the explanation is broken down into 3 simple steps.
11. Crazy Egg
If you’re a marketer, SEO, CTO, or part of a big tech firm, you probably knew all about Crazy Egg shortly after it launched. But not every business owner is a techie with a fetish for analytics. Crazy Egg appealed to those not in the know in an explainer video that does exactly what it’s supposed to do: explain.
Not only does it summarise Crazy Egg’s unique heat map tool for the viewer, it shows the product in action. So you don’t have to be tech savvy to understand what it does. Add a couple subtle CTAs throughout the ad’s two-minute runtime and you have a solid explainer video.
Some of the best explainer videos take otherwise humdrum topics and deliver them in a compelling package. And let’s be honest—there isn’t much that’s flashy about an IT monitoring and administration solution.
However, IT-Man solves this problem by communicating Panorama9’s pitch with the help of unique animations. Rather than opt for the slick, professional animations you see in most vids, IT-Man goes full ‘80s 8-bit on the audience. The result is a fun little video that transports you back to the lazy days playing Nintendo on your living room floor.
Kadence has a lovely style with faceless characters that will have a broad appeal. They want to show how hybrid working can be confusing and mixed up, but with their tool it can be seamless and easy.
In a slick 90 seconds they show exactly how hybrid work can be more productive. Created by our team at Wyzowl 😉
This is another 30-second bit of snackable content. The reason it’s noteworthy is not because of the animation, even though it’s solid, but because it clearly communicates what PrescribeWellness is.
In 30 seconds PrescribeWellness managed to explain exactly what they do without leaving out any details. The authoritative narrator is also incredibly handy in demanding viewers attention immediately from beginning to end.
This is another animated video on our list with a limited colour palette. This ensures the video is on-brand and not doing too much visually, so viewers can focus on the message at hand.
This video is great because it speaks directly to the target audience from the get-go, and takes them through relatable problems before showing them Freighty as the perfect solution.
Bitcoin is a tough topic to get to grips with, but this video manages to give viewers an insight in just 35 seconds.
The animation paints a lovely picture of a character walking through a field with grass crunching underfoot and birds singing in the distance. We also get a sneak peek at what the future might look like – a scene that may cost thousands for a live action video but is easy to create with animation!
The Mexican fast food chain Chipotle has had a rough year or two, what with reports of rats in their stores and norovirus breaking out. But the famous brand wasn’t always on the ropes. Just a few years ago they were the belle of the fast food ball, due in part to forward-thinking marketing like this explainer video that excels in many areas:
- First, it breaks the animation mould by going claymation style (who doesn’t love Wallace and Gromit?).
- Second, it enlists the talent of bona fide legend Willie Nelson to cover “The Scientist,” a hearts-strings-tugging tune by global powerhouse Coldplay.
- Lastly, the end result is an inspiring mini-movie heavy with a theme of ethical farming.
18. Project Permit
Not only is this video well made with fantastic animation and 3D design, it tells a story – something every good explainer video should do. It explains how the organisation works to make solar more affordable and accessible to more Americans, visualising the benefits to your community towards the end.
This video not only demonstrates the solar permitting processes in an easy-to-digest manner, it binds its messages together through a well thought out storyline.
SalesMath uses lots of sound effects to inject a burst of energy to this video and bring the scenes to life. We can hear salespeople talking to clients, sounds of celebration, and more.
Just like Legalease, the platform shown here is pared back so that viewers can understand the gist of how it works without getting bogged down by the details – which should come at a later stage in the customer journey (a demo call, for example).
This editorial explainer video from Bloomberg covers a brief history of McDonalds from its first technological breakthrough to its most recent.
The video uses bright and contrasting colours to grab attention and then keeps that attention with fast, flowing animated icons.
This video from Ted-Ed is a little on the longer side, but that’s typically the case with educational videos that have a main purpose of educating viewers rather than selling to them.
Beautiful hand-drawn images are used to answer this random question with depth and clarity. The imagery paired with the calm voiceover make this a super interesting watch.
Likezoid is a service aimed at aspiring Instagram influencers. What’s great about this video (aside from the amazing graphics, fun soundtrack, and slick animation) is that it’s 100% laser-focused on its audience.
The voiceover is written in a way that speaks directly to Instagrammers, in regard to both what the voiceover is saying and how she says it. Even the short 30 second length keeps the audience in mind as these are likely busy people with a short attention span.
There’s lots of good stuff going on with this video! The techy soundtrack and rich pink colour really help this video to stand out from the crowd. And the floating screen graphics allow Security@me to show multiple scenarios playing out on screen all at once.
Another great thing about this video is that the animators have focused a lot of attention on the characters’ eyebrows and this makes the characters really expressive and memorable.
24. Super Sync Sports
This fun video showcases an addictive-looking mobile game that can be synced to your computer (hence the name!)
The quirky character style and music help to make this video interesting, and the change in music from one scene to the next keeps it interesting.
This explainer video meets short film, directed by Academy Award-winner John Kahrs, is absolutely stunning and thought-provoking.
There are many studies, including this one by Ipsos, that show emotions have a great influence on multiple cognitive processes, including decision-making – so adding an emotional storyline to your explainer video is a great way to resonate with potential customers. And that’s exactly what Lyft has done here.
26. BRAVO Pay
This video uses a lot of creative pans and zooms that keep the viewer guessing as we travel from scene to scene. Also, the backgrounds of scenes are often void of colour which makes the bright and fun colours of the characters stand out.
The video brings everything together at the end with a great split screen that features all of the characters we’ve been introduced to.
27. Tech Insider
Sometimes, all you need from a great explainer video is the answer to a geeky question. Sure, the animations are fun while managing to convey interesting info, and there’s some good use of the “Twilight Zone” font, but really this is just an all-around interesting presentation.
Viewers are hooked from start to finish, and they might even find themselves stopping halfway through to google “dumbo octopus.” So this Tech Insider video adheres wonderfully to the number one principal in creating explainer videos—be interesting above all else.
Live action explainer video examples
28. Dollar Shave Club
Sometimes it pays dividends to push the envelope with your message. Of course this is often a double-edged sword. If you’re too provocative with swearing or risqué content, you risk alienating large swaths of your audience. But in Dollar Shave Club’s case, they understood their audience and utilised humour to their full advantage by going viral with this video that really boosted their success—the company was later bought by Unilever for $1 billion!
The ad doesn’t hold back—it’s got it all, a bizarre-o pitchman (the real-life founder), swearing, irreverent visual gags, and even references to polio. Ultimately the ad is successful at achieving its ends because it makes something as seemingly boring as razors funny and memorable. Sometimes it’s good not to take yourself too seriously.
29. Amazon Go
When it comes to explaining something conceptual or not yet released, video is a great tool to help people visualise your idea.
This video from Amazon Go does an excellent job of showcasing how easy their proprietary “just walk out” shopping experiences are. The entire video shows different people shopping with ease, while the voiceover fills in the gaps to give the viewer all of the important information they need.
This video from Notarize keeps people watching with its interesting brand of cringe comedy. This style of humour shows viewers that the brand doesn’t take itself too seriously and also encourages people to share the video with their friends.
On a deeper level, the video follows a classic “problem, solution, benefits” scenario that explains their product in a way that is clear and appealing to potential customers.
This Fiverr explainer video kicks things off with a great soundtrack. The storyline, all about the Fiverr journey, follows four different entrepreneurs as they use the platform to get their businesses up and running.
The extreme close ups on people’s facial expressions is an excellent way to get across the speechless “wow” feeling they’re hoping to give customers; and the reflections of those faces on the computer screen is technically impressive too.
This explainer video begins like a scene from a dramatic movie, with tense music playing and a character pacing in his room while police cars and a gathering crowd wait anxiously outside.
But then, we see the hilarious Romesh Ranganathan step onto the scene and it’s clear this is going to be a funny video.
Showing people how to sign up for your platform can be pretty boring, but this explainer from Twitter is anything but. There’s a lot for marketers to learn from this one.
Grammarly is known in the marketing world for their prolific video ads. They constantly make new ads and roll them out in as many places as possible. Despite this abundance of ads, they never scrimp on quality.
Their ads, like this one, are always entertaining and personable with a little bit of humour thrown in. What’s more, they typically show the platform working its magic in pop up bubbles on-screen, allowing viewers to see just how easy it is to use.
The makers of the Unroll.Me app identified a problem that affects almost all of us: junk email. Their explainer video focuses on that problem by showcasing testimonials from six disparate people recounting their frustrating experiences with junk mail. It does what many effective ads have done in the past, by showing the people using the product in question.
In just 30 seconds Unroll.Me hammers home the overarching theme of the video, which is ease of use. The viewer sees first hand how easy it is to unsubscribe from junk email lists simply by swiping the app.
Kano hit the nail on the head with this explainer video by demonstrating how their technology helps kids interact on another level with some of the things they love to do everyday, like listen to music.
They also brought in trending activities, such as Minecraft to pique the interest of their young audience. They paint the act of coding and creating a computer in a fun and energetic light leading kids to want to use their product.
The online payment giant PayPal released a series of TV spots called “people rule” along with this explainer video to go along with the spots. It’s a striking piece in that it mixes animations with live action fluidly, whisking the audience off to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” land. The addition of a humorous country tune to buttress PayPal’s core message—payment efficiency—is a nice touch as well.
No one ever really wants to talk about life insurance. It’s a dry and quite depressing topic. Enter: DeadHappy.
This video is hilarious and the brand takes the bold move to include a character that voices all of their potential customers’ barriers to sale. This humour paired with a distinct animation style makes this video highly shareable, memorable, and effective.
This video uses humour and relatability to hook viewers. After all, we’ve all searched for something weird online.
The really great thing about this explainer is that it manages to change the tone halfway through as trees begin sprouting up to represent everyone’s weird searches. The video ends by reminding viewers that no matter how weird the search request, Ecosia will still plant a tree.
Uber Eats offers pretty much anyone the opportunity to make extra cash by delivering food orders.
We could all use a little extra pocket money, so that’s an attractive proposition to many.
But what does it involve? How does it work?
The beauty of this <2 minute explainer is that it answers so many questions.
The last video in our live action lineup is this brilliant, tongue-in-cheek, think-outside-the-box masterpiece from Match.com.
The explainer, created by devilishly funny Ryan Reynold’s marketing company, is an unconventional way to market a dating site. But it definitely hooks viewers, gets them laughing and, most importantly, keeps them watching.
Product explainer video examples
This explainer video from personal-finance company Mint.com clocks in at a tight minute and thirty-one seconds—they pack a lot of info in a short time. The video takes viewers on a side-scrolling journey of the features Mint offers to its customers.
The CTA at the end informs users that they can sign up and get started with Mint in fewer than five minutes. Because of the brisk and efficient nature of this video, viewers get the sense that the application is user friendly and easy to manage.
Spotify thought outside of the box in this unique and creative explainer video. Instead of taking the traditional route and just explaining how their product works, they chose to take the opportunity to explain how their product is personalised just for you.
Between the bright neon colours and the shifts from real people to animation, Spotify made this video incredibly engaging and fun for any generation.
Like the Spotify ad, this advertisement for FiftyThree’s pencil-shaped mobile stylus relies only on music and images to get their message across. The tactic harkens back to that age-old axiom of good storytelling: show, don’t tell. What this spot manages to do without uttering a single word is impressive.
The viewer learns all about the functionality of the product without words—until the very end. That’s when a solid, simple tagline appears on screen: “Think with your hands.” Businesses today would do well to follow this example of crafting a great branded message and highlighting it above all else.
44. Google Home
Like all great product explainer videos, Google Home makes their product the star of the show here.
All it takes is some simple panning and zooming, informative text on screen, and an upbeat soundtrack. The view count speaks for itself!
Dissolve incorporates cynical humour in a simple, yet hilariously impressive video. They decide to poke fun at the tendency of modern marketing to use the same old, clichéd footage in so many campaigns, but in a bold and funny way.
The humour they use was so relatable to their audience of creatives working in advertising and marketing, it’s no surprise the video was shared in huge numbers, attracting media coverage and going viral in a short space of time.
Nest took the novel approach of using real life objects in a 2D animated world. The simple animation style, upbeat music and friendly voiceover artist work together to explain the benefits of not only using smart products around the house, but connecting them with Nest so they can automatically learn things about your home.
You save money, get comfortable and stay safe. It’s a simple message, explained with beautifully simple visuals.
This fun and colourful video is exactly what animation is for! And it goes to show that not all product explainers need to include the actual product – especially if it’s an online platform or software.
This is because user interfaces and website designs often change more quickly than you’d probably want to update your marketing videos. By using animation to represent features in a pared back way you can add longevity to your videos.
This explainer by monday.com is slightly contrasting to the Ahrefs example. While both use animation to showcase the features of their platform, monday.com is more true to their actual software. Both are great options!
Another great thing about this video is that customer logos are shown, increasing credibility. And the video goes through different use cases for their platform, casting a wider net when it comes to their audience.
Instantly this video hits viewers with a strong brand presence, thanks to the yellow and blue colour palette.
Animation is used in a clever way to explain a subject with ease in under a minute. The video does this with great characters, scenery and use of story.
This video blends stop motion puppetry with 2D animation to represent the real world ‘you’, and the ‘you’ that companies are creating based on the personal data we all leave all over the internet whenever we use it.
This video is a great example of how to explain a product or service that people don’t yet know they need. It outlines the problem clearly and then sells the solution persuasively.
We were so pleased to create this animated product video for AppToPay using this beautiful and simple graphical style.
The main motif in the video is the effortless movement between real world retailers and the app, mirroring how easy this process is for AppToPay customers. The video also ends on a strong note with a bullet pointed roundup of all of the main benefits.
This explainer video from Asana grips viewers from the start with a frightening statistic and bold, overwhelming visuals. And then, with the introduction of their platform, everything mellows out as we see how simple their platform is to use.
The constant motion is almost hypnotising to watch and the inspiring music leaves viewers ready to take action.
With animation you really can create anything, and yet so many businesses choose to make their characters human beings. Not Hive. Hive uses anthropomorphic elephants – and why not?!
That isn’t even the strangest thing about this video. From the taxi cab skates, to the football playing trout, and the catchy poem, this video is as weird as it is wonderful.
PlayStation consoles are always highly anticipated, so their explainer videos need to live up to the hype and push people towards making a purchase.
The pulsating soundtrack builds excitement while the impressive animation shows how every feature works, from the adaptive console triggers to the HDR compatibility.
55. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams really lets the platform speak for itself in this video by creating the whole thing within the software itself. The video allowed people to travel to Tokyo at a time when travel wasn’t permitted.
This video has millions of views and it’s easy to see why. It’s simple yet so effective!
With video, you can show and tell. And this video from Samsung really takes advantage of that. It highlights all of the amazing things this new product can do, while complementing the visuals with informative text on screen and a hypnotic soundtrack.
With so many features to show off, this video flies by and really gets the viewer excited about the product.
The best explainer videos
We’ve taken a look at lots of videos to compile this awesome explainer video examples list for you!
But if you’re just looking for the best of the best then this is it…
Not all explainer video examples are for brands and companies. Sometimes you just want a complex topic to be explained in simple terms. Kurzgesagt is a YouTube channel that does this extremely well.
This video they created to explain the coronavirus uses simple animations and helpful charts to break the science down into terms that are easy for anyone to understand.
58. Apple Watch
What list of awesome videos would be complete without a nod to Apple?
This simple video is a great product introduction, packed with features and benefits and an impactful, personable voiceover track.
When Headspace came onto the scene, meditation was far from mainstream. This fun and friendly explainer video helped them to introduce meditation to new users.
These whimsical, colourful characters make the brand instantly recognisable and have been used in many marketing videos since.
60. Guide Dogs
This 3D animated video from Guide Dogs shows the wonderful journey of a guide dog in training, from its first day with the puppy raiser until it is handed back to the guide dog centre to gain its qualification.
This short film grips viewers with an emotional story that educates and inspires. This is no doubt why the video has gone viral and gathered millions of views.
The above examples are diverse enough that they should offer takeaway lessons to brands big and small, niche or mainstream. If your company is struggling to strike the right tone with its message, or appeal to a broader audience, take a look at the success some of the above brands have enjoyed through solid video production. Some of these lessons include:
- Be interesting
- Be funny
- Be concise
- Be socially conscious
- Push the boundaries (when appropriate)
- Be simple
Like what you see and want more inspiration? Check out more great examples just like these.