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12 Explainer Video Examples To Inspire Your Next Project

Explainer videos are a valuable part of any brand’s marketing strategy, especially if that brand has a complex story to tell. These engaging videos can break big ideas into bite-size pieces and complex processes into simple steps. But making a great one isn’t easy. That’s why we’ve collected a dozen explainer video examples to help inspire your next project. 

You’ll find a range of styles and approaches in the explainer video examples below. That’s because there’s no single right way to make these essential marketing tools. Creativity and resonance with the audience is what makes each of these videos great.

What Makes A Great Explainer Video?

We’ve been in the business of creating explainer videos for more than a decade. And we’ve seen that everyone from B2B startups to B2C brands, has a story to tell. Although explainer videos come in many forms, a few key elements tie them all together. 

Whether you go for live action or animation (and whatever animation style you choose) you need all five of these elements to make an effective explainer video:

  1. A compelling, customer-driven story
  2. Attractive design
  3. Good sound design/music
  4. Dynamic motion and fluid transitions
  5. Engaging voiceover

It’s easy to write a list, but what does all of that actually look like? Here are some of our favorite explainer video examples to help you plan your animated explainer video.

Example 1:

We kick off this list with a high-speed, high-energy look at the project management SaaS, This video blends simple stop-motion animation with live action and product screenshots to get users excited about

What we love about this video: 

  • Solution focused story
  • Fun mix of styles
  • Understated sound effects
  • Fast pace carries you along
  • Voiceover we could listen to all day

It’s simple, relatable, and roughly 30 seconds – proving that short video can definitely be sweet (and a perfect pre-roll ad, too!)

Example 2: Arcade

This video we made for Arcade brings fun and color to engagement software.  We used racing game style and vibrant animation to explain this new  employee engagement tool in an accessible way. It tells employers exactly what to expect from Arcade, covering everything from employee experience to ease of rollout in a smooth voiceover. 

What we love about this video:

  • Bright, bold style
  • Funky background music
  • Video-game style sound effects
  • Quick transitions
  • Informative voiceover

The style of this video perfectly matches the tone of the brand and the solution they’re offering. It’s fun to watch, but still provides all the necessary information to make an informed decision.

Example 3: AirBnB

This came out several years ago (2014), but we have a feeling it will never get old. Rather than following a character through an on-screen world, we enter that world ourselves on what can only be described as an AirBnB carnival ride. Detailed models and a moving camera immerse you completely in AirBnB’s world. 

What we love about this video: 

  • Viewer as main character
  • Unusual use of live action
  • Music that adds to the fantasy
  • Transitions that run on greased rails
  • Ultra-engaging voiceover

Example 4: Imaginary Friend Society

Medical explainer videos have a reputation for being boring. They tend to show things like medication action or how a medical device works. The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation found a new use for medical explainer videos — helping kids understand their diagnosis and treatment. They used engaging characters and several different animation styles to make a series of 21 videos covering everything from What is Cancer? to how to deal with feeling sad. In this explainer video example, they help kids understand MRIs. 

What we love about this video: 

  • Perfectly designed for a young audience
  • Engaging characters
  • Fun, playful music
  • Smooth transitions that keep the main character in focus
  • No voiceover. The characters tell the story.

Example 5: Chipotle

Another explainer video classic, this one from 2013 illustrates the power of choosing the right music for an explainer video. It features Willie Nelson singing the Coldplay classic The Scientist to show viewers where Chipotle’s food comes from. Sometimes, explainer videos don’t need a voiceover to be powerful. 

What we love about this video: 

  • Simplicity
  • Unusual animation
  • The music!
  • Surprising CTA

The CTA for this video takes an unexpected approach by inviting you to download the song, rather than buy Chipotle. In fact, if you read the fine print you learn that the label and artist proceeds go to the Chipotle Cultivate foundation an “an accelerator program designed to support ventures from across the country that are building sustainable and equitable food systems.” 

Example 6: Jornaya

How do you make a complex data processing topic into something simple and fun? With emojis. In this video explaining Jornaya Activate, we turned familiar emoji into 3D characters who roll, bounce and hover through a clean but seemingly endless world. 

What we love about this video:

  • Solution-first storytelling
  • Characters that feel familiar but distinct
  • Upbeat music that doesn’t steal the spotlight
  • Movement in all directions
  • Knowledgeable and empathetic voiceover 

Example 7: Medium

The animation is actually pretty simple in this video. There’s no attempt at making movement look natural, but that’s not the point. The off-beat collage style does a great job of drawing viewers in. With engaging voiceover and music that shifts to match the mood, we appreciate the design work in this explainer video example.

What we love about this video: 

  • Epistolary storytelling
  • Unique style
  • Artful use of music
  • Invites viewers to share the mission

Example 8: Slack

Most explainer videos describe a product or service, this one highlights the findings of a report. Slack’s state of work study came out just before the pandemic, and this video gives viewers a taste of what it has to offer. 

What we love about this video: 

  • Global story
  • Realistic animation in a symbolic world
  • Music that matches the tone
  • Value-packed voiceover

Did you notice how the voiceover switched from talking about “workers” when findings were negative to describing “you” when the findings were positive? 

Example 9: Dollar Shave Club

No list of inspiring explainer video examples is complete without this absolute classic from Dollar Shave Club. It’s edgy and surprising, with a narrator who keeps intense eye contact with the camera. The tone wouldn’t be right for all brands, but it’s perfect for Dollar Shave Club, and that’s the whole point. 

What we love about this video:

  • Facts about the company presented in a surprising way
  • Mix of recognizable settings and unusual actions
  • Lack of music makes the warehouse feel real
  • Long, continuous shots
  • No voiceover, just one intense host

Example 10: Purple

A fairy tale character goes scientific in this live-action explainer video. It takes the familiar story of Goldilocks and turns it into a sassy, relatable tutorial about the quality of a Purple mattress. This video has everything, a familiar story, an engaging main character, and a clever call to action. 

What we love about this video:

  • Accessible story
  • Mix of classic and modern design elements
  • Attractive design
  • Sound effects that make a point
  • Hilarious main character

Apparently, you can’t make an explainer video without cracking some eggs.

Example 11: Panorama9

No list of explainer video examples is complete without this classic. Panorama9’s IT Man shows off some serious old-school cool. The video’s 8-bit pixel animation makes you feel more like you’re in a video game than watching an explainer video. It’s an engaging environment that draws viewers in — and keeps them there.

What we love about this video: 

  • All the nostalgia
  • Classic sound effects
  • Embedded CTA
  • Playable storyline

Example 12: Simplist

We used our experience in whiteboard video to create a whiteboard-like style for this explainer video. The simple, clean style works perfectly for a brand that touts its simple approach to mortgages. Plus, we designed it to be easily cut down to fit the preferred aspect ratios of different social media platforms. 

What we love about this video: 

  • Three short stories in one
  • Clean, whiteboard inspired style
  • Cheerful music

Feeling inspired by these explainer video examples? Reach out to the video experts at IdeaRocket to start making your next explainer video. Who knows, it might end up on a list like this one day. 

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