Explainer Video

7 Great Explainer Videos That Don’t Say A Word

Shawn Forno 11.26.2019

Here at IdeaRocket, we love explainer video voiceover. The right accent, inflection, and tone adds trust, brand awareness, and persuasive power to any animated explainer video.

However, sometimes the best videos don’t require a single spoken word. Shifting viewership habits and the rise of mobile video has created a new breed of silent explainer video, without narration. Businesses are shifting to visually independent explainer videos that ditch voiceover in favor of simple product demos, on-screen text, and colorful branded images. 

There will always be a place for talented voice acting in animated video. But video is a fundamentally visual medium, and while we love a nice yarn, talking isn’t the only way to get your point across.

Silent Explainer Video Is Perfect For Mobile

To put it simply, mobile devices have transformed the way we watch online video. Gone are the days of clicking on a link only to be blasted with a video auto-playing at full volume at your desk as you frantically search for the open tab. People now watch more online video on mobile devices than desktops, and silent auto-play has (thankfully) become the default setting for mobile.

The shift away from voiceover and sound is so pervasive that Facebook video ads best practices recommends producing high quality videos that are designed to be watched without sound.

If you want to reach new prospects and current customers with your video, you have to adapt. Luckily, animation is a fantastic way to captivate viewers. 

Engage Audiences With Silent Explainer Video

An explainer video has one goal—to engage viewers. For people to learn about your startup or buy your product they have to want to watch the video, and to do that, you have to hook them—even without sound.

Mobile viewers are fickle, with short attention spans—so one of the biggest strengths of animation is the instant appeal of cartoons. People just plain like animation. The bright colors, recognizable shapes, pleasing motion, and simple presentation are enticing elements that increase engagement.

Once engagement happens, conversion is close behind. So in acknowledgement that there’s more than one way to create a great explainer video, here are a few of our favorite animated and live action videos that don’t say a word: 

Google: Introducing A Few New Things From Google 

 

Product announcements don’t always have to come with lengthy narratives breaking down every new feature — and this latest video from Google proves it. With a sleek, branded look and some upbeat music, Google showcases new products across their portfolio. 

PlaneAire – #ShareTheAire 

 

This video for PlaneAire Travel Mist takes you on a journey — literally. Using text and imagery, this animated explainer shows you just how simple it is to stay healthy, no matter where your travels take you. What’s great about this video is that it lets the audience experience what it would be like to use the product in a clear, step-by-step way — letting the customer be the hero of the story. 

Squarespace: “Create Your Own Space

Squarespace caters to designers, programmers, restaurateurs, writers, eCommerce sites, bloggers, and small business owners, so condensing all of these markets into a single campaign is tough enough. But they took their video marketing a step further by removing voiceover entirely.

The clean shots of artists, craftsmen, and creators at work are inspiring, and cohesive imagery unifies this video. Rather than shying away from the chaos of interwoven scenes – it becomes the primary storytelling element. This explainer video practically screams “even though your work may be as different as welding is to baking, you take your craft seriously – and so do we.”

But Squarespace didn’t abandon voiceover without a plan. The static, uniform overhead shot is crucial to telling the “same story” for all the different professions, and the cuts and edits are flawless. Yes, you do hear a male announcer in the last three seconds (you stickler), but this is a wonderful example of how committing to a simple style can be all the story-telling element you need. Wonderful job.

Spotify: “Spotify Has Landed In The U.S.”

The choice to ditch voiceover in this explainer makes perfect sense—Spotify brings you quality music, so why hide that awesome feature beneath unnecessary talking? Let the product shine. The stop-motion feel to the animation is synced to the music with plenty of screenshots and branded imagery. While the videos does make use of some kinetic type (almost like silent narration), the user experience comes across through the musical storytelling and vibrant animation. Even years later, this explainer video holds up.

Rubbermaid Replaceable Panels

It’s simple, sleek, and demos the product without saying a single word about the technically complex offering. On-screen text makes this product video work in a number of mobile formats on every platform.

Knock: “Faster And Safer Than Typing A Password, Just Knock”

What just happened?! The simplicity, the intrigue — without the flowery sentiment or complicated tech specs. This 56-second spot from password protection software Knock will leave you wanting more — which is exactly the type of engagement you’re looking for when it comes to creating video that captivates audiences. 

Silent Explainer Video: Embrace Animation

Sometimes the best promotion means removing clutter and letting your product speak for itself. Voiceover is a powerful tool to get your message across. However, sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

If you’re interested in producing an explainer video, be sure to checkout our portfolio for more examples.

Shawn Forno

Shawn Forno is a massive Studio Ghibli fan who does content marketing. In that order. Find his other writing and extensive travel blogging here.

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