When people watch a great demonstration, you can see something click in their brain. It’s like a lightbulb moment that translates to: I GET IT.
If you’re trying to sell something, that’s what you want people to feel. You want them to understand exactly how your product or app works so that they can see how much value it can bring them.
Video is the perfect tool for this. With video, you can visually walk people through the steps required to use your product, service, or app correctly – and, with an engaging voiceover, you can also tell them verbally.
Plus, videos are fun and engaging! And the results speak for themselves. According to our recent survey of video marketers, 95% said video has helped them increase user understanding of their product or service.
Why create an animated demo?
When you decided that you wanted to create a demo video for your product, service, or app, animation may not have been your first thought. But here are some reasons why animated videos are so great…
1. Features can change
You may think that in order to create an amazing demo of your app you need to directly record the screens – so that you can show users exactly how to navigate it.
While there’s nothing wrong with this approach (in fact, we make screen-recorded videos all the time), websites and apps are always being updated and features are likely to change. With a screen-recorded video, every time your app updates your video becomes void – and it can get time and cost-consuming to keep creating new ones.
With animation, you can strip back the features of your app so that you are still showing the buttons, the layout, and your brand colours – but you’re not focusing on specifics. This can give you a bit of breathing room if features change.
2. Live action can be tricky
Maybe you’re considering showing real people using your app, product, or service. Again, there’s nothing wrong with this, but live action does tend to be more complicated and more costly than animation.
With live action you need to consider locations, actors, schedules, reshoots, and a whole lot more.
3. You don’t want to alienate anybody
Another problem with using live action is the risk that you alienate a group of potential customers.
As an example, let’s say you’ve created an app that people can use to download and listen to music. Your demo video shows a young white female who lives in a city apartment with three roommates and she’s using the app at her party. Just like that, so many other potential customers who don’t identify with that person are alienated.
With animation, you don’t run that risk. Animated characters can be anyone (and anything!). And you can have ten animated characters for the same price of one – the same can’t be said for actors!
With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at 15 fantastic animated demos that inform and educate…
This video by Likezoid is aimed at young, bubbly people who love using Instagram. And the design and animation in the video really reflect that.
The music is upbeat, the colours are bright, the animation is engaging – and the app is demonstrated in less than 30 seconds. Perfect for the consumers of today and their shrinking attention spans!
The use of animation here has given Likezoid the freedom to add fun elements to their demo, such as coins popping up on screen:
Plus, by using illustration instead of real people the Instagram posts shown will never become outdated or alienate any potential users:
If you’ve seen a Headspace video before, you probably remember it. They have a really unique, interesting, and memorable style:
The demonstration part of this video actually doesn’t start until around 25 seconds in, and that’s because a little bit of scene-setting is needed to educate potential users on the power of meditation. After all, it’s not the easiest thing to get into!
They also use animation to show the benefits of meditation – using a wide variety of scenarios that would be very costly to film if shot as live action footage.
3. Google Assistant
Google Assistant is for everyone. And that can sometimes cause a problem when you’re creating a video. Do you show the product being used by a white man? A black woman? A business person? A stay-at-home parent?
With animation, you don’t need to worry about alienating anyone. In this video, Google uses simple characters in a simple home setting – so nobody can really watch this and think: “this isn’t for me.”
Animation is also used to cleverly aid the voiceover in the telling of the story. For example, when the Google Assistant is asked a question about the weather, the animation complements this in an engaging way:
DuoLingo’s logo is a cute owl illustration, so an animated demo video fits perfectly with their brand style.
This video is great because it shows how the app works with several different use cases, including different languages that can be studied with the app and different games available:
The video also uses text on screen instead of audio, which is a great way to keep people focused on the app and engaged with the video.
For this short 45 second animated demo AppToPay created an entire world! This video features lots of different characters, as well as a bustling high street:
This animated world allows AppToPay to skip between a straight-forward demonstration of how to use their app and what this would look like for customers in their day-to-day life.
This video is high-energy and informative, and the transitions are incredible:
With all of this going on, AppToPay still remembers to educate their customers by including important information as text on screen:
One of the biggest benefits of animated demo videos, that Agorapulse takes advantage of here, is the ability to show a stripped back version of your platform.
By just focusing on the bigger aspects of your website or app, such as brand colours and buttons, you don’t need to change your video every time you tweak or edit your platform:
This not only looks great, it also means your video will remain relevant for longer – so you get the most out of your video marketing budget!
This 30 second ad by Resume.io also takes advantage of showing a stripped back version of the platform.
In addition to increasing the longevity of the video, for Resume.io it also means that no viewers will be alienated. Instead of showing resumes for specific jobs and roles, this video uses shapes and colours to represent text:
Viewers are educated on how to use the platform and they aren’t distracted by reading real resumes.
The beautiful pinky-purple palette of this video by Univoice catches the eye straight away. The video also uses animation to instantly attract the app’s target audience – music lovers. From the first second we see planet Earth wearing headphones and bopping along to music:
And throughout the video we see different types of characters who also enjoy music. The split-screen is a really effective way to show the app at the same time as the animated characters. It’s like showing the cause on one side and the effect on the other:
This demo video by Zeamo takes advantage of every benefit animation has to offer! We see stripped back versions of the app in-use – educating users while not overwhelming them with features:
The video also uses animation to inform audience members of the benefits that the platform has to offer, in a similar way to the Headspace video.
We see different characters interacting with the app in different ways, so no potential customers are alienated. And the backgrounds and icons are simple – to further prevent alienation. It would be difficult for anyone to look at this and think “that’s not my kind of gym”:
If your platform presents data, that can be a really tricky thing to get across on video. Do you rely on existing data and try to block out any sensitive information? Do you spend hours inputting data specifically for the video?
With animation, you don’t need to think about any of that. You can make the data look however you want – in a way that best tells your story!
This demo video by UberEats shows potential users exactly how the platform works, without using any actual data. Even customer reviews can be represented as blocks instead of real text:
UberEats also uses the power of animation to break up elements and move them around the screen – creating an engaging, informative, and fun video!
11. Baby Elephant Ears
Did you know that demo videos aren’t just for online platforms and apps? Demo videos are great for showing your customers how to use any product.
This video by Baby Elephant Ears shows viewers how to use the product on their baby in 3 simple steps.
And then it moves onto the benefits of the product:
Animated videos are great for showing a range of different scenarios – and animated babies are a lot easier to work with than real ones!
When you create a demo video by recording the screens of your platform or app, you lose a little bit of story-telling ability. Animation solves this problem.
This video by Jotform uses characters to highlight the current pain point felt by their ideal customers:
And then also shows how their product solves these problems. This animated demo uses characters and settings to show situations that people are familiar with:
And also utilises split screens to show an animated version of the app on one side and a character on the other side. This allows viewers to actually see when the character is clicking and what they’re clicking on:
As a podcast hosting company, Acast has a wide customer base to consider. Animation helps them to appeal to everyone by showing lots of different characters:
The use of bold and contrasting colours really helps this animated demo to stand out. The video informs and educates users with call out boxes and bubbles, and it does so in a way that’s always flowing and moving:
XE is a currency converter app within Shopify, but this animated demo allows them to create their own identity.
Each page is shown on screen in a flat graphics style, with no distractions to take viewers away from the informative demonstration.
The use of animation allows XE to show different pages on screen at the same time – a great way to show how what happens in the back-end of the store impacts the front-end:
You could almost be mistaken for thinking that this demo video by LogMeIn and Slack isn’t animated. The style is so close to the original platform. This shows that not all animated videos need to look like cartoons – there is a wide design spectrum to choose from.
The animation in this video is simple and straight-forward, but the voiceover really wins the day. The voiceover educates and informs viewers in a clear and well-paced way, ensuring that as soon as they’ve finished the demo they are able to use the platform efficiently!
Demo videos are really important for showcasing the value of your app, product or service, and for educating people on how to get the most out of it.
When it comes to demonstrating your app, product, or service, animation can help you do this in an engaging and evergreen way.
Animated videos are shareable, cost-effective, and (when created by experts) look professional.
Did you know that we created a lot of the videos on this list?
If you’re interested to find out more, check out our Demo Videos page.