Thinking about adding motion graphics to your video marketing strategy? In this post, we’ll give you a rundown of motion graphics basics and show you some of our favourite examples of this fun video style in action.
What are motion graphics?
Before we take a look at some of the greatest motion graphics videos ever, let’s review what makes motion graphics different from other types of video. The answer to this question is all in the name: motion graphics is essentially moving graphic design, often with text as a key component. Motion graphics can be used in videos – like the ones we review below – or it can add movement and excitement to a website, moving logo (like this pulsating mark from Shazam), social media post (like this great example from Oreo’s Instagram), mobile app, or other piece of digital content.
As you can see, brands use motion graphics to amp up their marketing mojo in all kinds of applications. Layer on music and great copy and you’ve got a killer piece of video content to enhance your marketing efforts.
22 awesome motion graphics videos
Without further ado, let’s get to it! Here are 22 of our favourite motion graphics videos from brands that show the vast potential of this video technique.
When You Say You’re a Swimmer (Eli Guillou)
At the core, this video is fairly simple. It features text overlays and basic shapes on top of simple backgrounds – but just a few seconds in you can feel that this video packs a punch. Full of nearly tangible energy, this piece is a beautiful example of how motion graphics, sound effects, and voiceover can work together to create a powerful feeling that grabs viewers’ attention and doesn’t let go. This inspiration is a great reminder that motion graphics videos don’t have to be complicated; sometimes the simplest ideas make the biggest impact.
One (Pearson English)
This video by the world’s largest education company is a great example of how motion graphics can create informative and interesting explainer videos. For many companies, especially service and software companies without physical products, explainer videos are about showing processes – a difficult task when using live action footage. Motion graphics removes those difficulties and opens up the possibility of putting anything on screen. This video is straightforward, easy to follow, and fun to watch. We give it two thumbs up.
Google Cloud IoT Solutions (Google)
Speaking of concepts that are hard to communicate visually, this video from Google tackles a highly intangible concept – data collection, distribution, and storage – using a combination of traditional graphics, movement, and abstract shapes. This motion graphics style has been a cornerstone in Google’s videos in the past, and we can see why: while it’s simple and easy to understand, it’s simultaneously mesmerising.
Mayweather Vs Pacquiao (Wyzowl)
This motion graphics video we made before the Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao fight packs a punch. As you watch, notice how the fun and funky graphics style pairs perfectly with the announcer-like voiceover and triumphant music. It’s a great example of how these various video components can come together to create a harmonious energy that gets viewers excited.
First Step (ChildLine)
More a work of moving art than a piece of marketing content, this video tackles a heavy subject: sexual abuse. Notice how this video uses slow-moving visuals and sound (and sometimes silence) to create a serious, even sombre tone. While it’s easy to associate motion graphics with fun and cheerful subject matters, this video proves that it can be equally profound when applied to tough topics.
Industry 4.0 (Deufol)
Describing the next industrial revolution sounds like a tall order, but Deufol makes understanding it a piece of cake in this motion graphics video. While the graphics are impressive, notice how this video puts copy front-and-centre. They use a strong voiceover to communicate about a complex topic and gracefully weave in their solution; meanwhile, motion graphics add visual interest to keep viewers entertained. This video is a great example of how important copy can be in delivering your message via video.
MLS Playoff 2017 (ESPN)
While motion graphics videos can be completely animated, they don’t have to be. You can combine live action footage and motion graphics to create a unique animation style, just like ESPN did in this promo video for the 2017 Major League Soccer playoffs. Watch this video once, and then go back and rewatch it to check out how incredibly detailed and deliberate it is. The level of attention to design excellence at 0:11 and 0:24, and the perfectly timed movement of text graphics throughout the piece make this video not just a promo, but a thrilling work of art that could get even non-soccer fans’ blood pumping.
Sugar of the Day (Tien-Min Liao)
While voiceover can be a compelling part of a motion graphics video, sometimes it’s better to let the visuals do all of the work. That’s the case with this video, which shows how much sugar the average person eats in a day (spoiler alert: it’s more than you think). This video combines simple live action footage with motion graphics overlays to tell a sugary story and drop some serious nutritional knowledge. While it might be enough to make you think twice about grabbing a glass of water instead of a juice, it’s certainly enough to get your creative juices flowing.
Just Gentle Cooking (Beech Nut)
This video turns a kitchen counter into a produce production line, telling the story of how Beech Nut sources and processes their ingredients, and building confidence in their consumers. It makes the food the star of the video, and communicates brand messages and key differentiators along the way. Our favourite part is their unique illustration style, which reinforces Beech Nut’s simple, homemade, farm-to-table approach.
Stuxnet: Anatomy of a Computer Virus (Patrick Clair)
Ever wonder how computer viruses work? Wonder no more. This motion graphics video breaks down a seemingly complicated topic and makes it easy to understand. Its editorial-style graphics tell the story via a moving infographic filled with statistics, text, and visual data representations. This video shows a more scientific approach to motion graphics, and we can’t get enough of it.
Live Fearless (Blue Cross Blue Shield)
Another infographic-heavy piece, this video from Blue Cross Blue Shield uses a more fun vibe (cue the upbeat pop music in the background) to celebrate the company’s 30th birthday. The fact that this video is not just informative but also fun to watch is the cherry on the cake. Consider whether you have something to celebrate at your company, and whether motion graphics is the right medium to share your milestone.
The Deep Web Explained by Keanu Reeves (Duncan Elms)
If you want to create a compelling video, it helps to have a movie star involved – but this video shines regardless of its Hollywood voiceover. While Keanu Reeves explains the deep web and its origins, high-contrast motion graphics create a technical, dark, even eerie vibe. It’s one of only a few videos in this post that shows the true range of emotions you can evoke with motion graphics, and that’s exactly why it earned a spot on our list.
The ABC of Architects
This video condenses a world of architectural achievement into a single, stunning motion graphics piece. The ABC of Architects is a chronicle of some of the most influential architects around the globe and their best-known work. Sure, this video could have been more like a slideshow of photos of each building – but when you see just how captivating these intricate illustrations are, you’ll rest assured these creators selected the perfect media for this piece.
That One Time: What Made Mark Webber Lose his Cool (Red Bull)
Red Bull brings their A-game in this video narrative. While professional racing driver Mark Webber tells the story of that one time his dad left his laptop at the airport – a story so alarming that it would have you on the edge of your seat even if it was just an audio clip – Red Bull adds quick-moving graphics designed using their branded style to add another layer of interest. As you watch, consider how you could turn a simple interview or audio clip into a multimedia piece like this one.
Active and 50+ (Pfizer and The New York Times)
Who knew bacteria could be so fun? This video from The New York Times uses bright colours, lively motion, and light music to elevate a topic that would otherwise be a bummer: pneumococcal pneumonia. Just reading those words is daunting enough, so this video’s creators had a task in front of them when they were challenged with promoting a vaccine for an infection most people can’t even pronounce. But they rose to the challenge and made disease prevention informative, easy to understand, and even fun to watch.
Google For Education (Google)
Google deserves a second spot on our list because of their elegant video promoting Google for Education. The video promotes the company’s IT and digital services, but more so focuses on the benefits of selecting Google as your service provider. Like a few other allstars on our list, it does all of this without voiceover, relying solely on motion graphics to tell the story. And like Google always does, they set the standard for video excellence yet again.
Fable (Charles Schwab)
Some brands use motion graphics to tap into their emotional side and build a deeper relationship with their viewers, just like Charles Schwab does in this motion graphics video. A heartwarming story about perseverance and the power of the human spirit, it’s evidence of how you can use video to tell a tale about the human experience everyone can connect to.
108 Years of Herman Miller in 108 Seconds (Herman Miller)
Herman Miller uses a modern illustration style and colour palette that matches the brand’s infamous aesthetic to tell the 108-year history of the company in this video. The video was created to launch WHY Magazine, the furniture designer’s digital content platform, and does so beautifully while building brand value along the way.
Welcome to Humancare (Seton)
This video says it all in their first line: even the word healthcare “doesn’t exactly make you feel all warm and fuzzy.” To stand out amongst the competition, Seton launched a marketing campaign focused on providing “humancare,” an approach to healthcare that puts people at the centre. This campaign video perfectly sums up the concept and frames Seton as a people-first brand, all in under a minute.
Introducing the Reddit Mobile App (Reddit)
Motion graphics are a great tool for explainer videos, like this one for Reddit’s mobile app. The video explains the product and its features in a way that’s more engaging (and more fun) than simple screenshots. They incorporate product screens to show the app in action, but rely on motion graphics to build excitement with colourful illustrations.
The Rise of Bitcoin (Duncan Elms)
Having a hard time wrapping your head around cryptocurrency? Take a look at this explainer video that overviews the concept in just two minutes. On top of explaining a convoluted idea that has people around the world scratching their heads, this video educates viewers with stunning visuals. The futuristic nature of Bitcoin is perfectly translated into a cutting-edge illustration style in this video about the rise of this new form of currency. It’s a great example of how motion graphics styling can create a very specific visual tone to reinforce a video’s message.
Perhaps one of the biggest perks of motion graphics videos is their flexibility. When you watch this video by Experian, imagine all the different places it could be used – on the company’s website, in a paid digital ad campaign, on screen at a trade show booth, or to kick off a public speaking event. When you produce a motion graphics piece, you can oftentimes squeeze a lot of juice out a single lemon – a big benefit to companies that want to maximise their marketing budgets.
As you start thinking of how to incorporate motion graphics into your video marketing strategy, keep in mind the three best practices we learned from the brands above:
- Make your motion graphics work for your brand: The variety of examples included in this post alone shows just how versatile this form of video can be. When adopting it to fit your brand, be sure to select an illustration style, colour palette, and motion technique that fit into your established brand identity.
- Leverage motion graphics when live action footage won’t cut it: Some subjects are too difficult to explain with live video. When you need to make a complex concept simple in just a few minutes, consider bringing your idea to life with motion graphics.
- Let your mind out of its box: Motion graphics doesn’t have to be reserved for commercials or other traditional video media. Pair motion graphics with an audio interview, use it to tell your brand story, and leverage it in a marketing campaign to explore all the creative possibilities of this powerful video technique.
If your mind is swarming with ideas from all this animation inspiration, why stop here? Check out “6 Types of Animation Used by Brands (Plus Examples)” to learn about more popular animation styles and how leading brands are using them.