5 Explainer Video Animation Styles to Engage & Evoke Emotions!

Mar 23, 2020 10:32:39 AM

In a hurry? Check out our video on 5 explainer video animation styles: 

Do you want to make a great animated explainer video? One that you would place at par with your favorites.

Amongst many factors that come together to make such a video, there is one factor that ensures that your video is a great one. Storytelling!


You might be thinking that we over-glorify storytelling but truth be told, the videos that actually motivate the viewers to perform some action tell a story. It is this story that empowers your video to engage and connect with the target audience.

Now, you might be thinking that I’m referring to writing the perfect video script. However, storytelling doesn’t end at the script.

Visual storytelling is just as important. And that is where the animation style of your video plays a key role.

5 Explainer Video Animation Styles

Just like wearing a suit to a pool party, and swimming trunks to the office isn’t a good idea, using just any random style for your video is a bad idea.

I’m all for experimenting, but every video has a style that is perfect for telling its story. It is upon you to listen to your video’s calling and pick the right one.

This takes us to a very important question: what are the options available?

Well, there are a lot of options, but we’ve narrowed them down to give you the ones that work best for businesses. So let’s get started with them:

1. Cartoon Explainer Video Animation Style for Emotional Impact

Ever seen explainer videos with cartoon characters and their experiences explaining the functions and features of the product/service?

These videos are called cartoon explainer videos and are the prime choice when you want to tell an emotional story.

Since the audience can see themselves in the characters shown in the video, they connect with it immediately, which helps build trust.

Health Monitor

B2C companies, especially those with brand mascots, prefer going for this style since it is easy to connect with and can make even serious subjects easily palatable. However, the use of this style is not limited to B2C brands.

B2B companies have seen great results with this style as well since it helps in humanizing your brand. Moreover, you can exploit the power of humor better with this style than any other style.

Some of the industries in which we’ve seen this style work best are BFSI, Healthcare, Retail, and Non-profit.

2. Infographic Explainer Video Animation  Style for Information

There are times when you need to present valuable information about your product/service to explain your product to the audience. In such cases, the focus is on the information and not on the emotions it generates in the audience.

For such videos, you need abstract shapes and objects that go with the company’s branding style to tell the story instead of animated characters.

This is where infographic explainer videos come in. This animation style is emotionally-neutral and is used where a minimalist approach is needed for storytelling.

Hiring Thing _ 1(Compressed)

Most B2B companies prefer going for this style as it is exceptionally good at explaining products and services by disseminating information to the target audience. While it can be used by B2C companies as well, most of them avoid using it.

Some of the industries in which we’ve seen this style work best are IT, BFSI, and Professional Services.

Here are some best infographic explainer videos.

3. Mixed Media Explainer Video Animation Style

Sometimes it is imperative for you to use live-action images or footage in your video but you want to exploit the power of animation in it as well. In such cases, you would need an animated overlay to be placed on your video.

This where live-action explainer videos with animated overlay come in. We call this animation style mixed-media animation.

Mixed-media animation gives you the opportunity to work with different media and try out multiple combinations to come up with the perfect one for your video. It all comes down to what your story demands.

Ted Marijuana _ Mix Media _ FactSpread _ Awareness Video _ B2W D180502

Being an experimental style, both B2B and B2C companies can use it for unique visual storytelling.

Since it is neither traditional animation nor traditional live-action, it stands out from the videos that are present online. This gives them an edge in terms of engagement.

Some of the industries in which we’ve seen this style work best are Non-Profit, IT, and Healthcare.

Here are some great examples of mixed-media explainer videos:

4. Whiteboard Explainer Video Animation Style

Sometimes you have to explain complex concepts to the audience in a simple way.

You need to educate them in such a way that they retain the information you passed on through the video.

In such cases, you need to go for whiteboard explainer videos.

Physical whiteboards have historically proven great for education and the digitally produced videos carry the legacy quite well.


Since we narrate the illustrations on the screen, it is easy to follow through.

This makes it easier to educate the audience about complex concepts without losing their interest anywhere in the video.

If your video is educational in nature, don’t think twice before going for whiteboard animation for visual storytelling.

Some of the industries in which we’ve seen this style work best are Non-profit, IT, Healthcare, and Professional Services.

Explore our blog on how to write a script for explainer videos in 10 easy steps, to begin with.


5. 3D Explainer Video Animation Style

When you need videos for explaining how your physical products work, you have to go for 3D explainer videos.

Due to the extra dimension, you can play around with visual storytelling and come up with something that tells your story best. You can show how your product works externally as well as internally. You can even use this style for services such as plumbing or carpentry.

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This style is predominantly used by companies with physical products. However, a lot of IT and healthcare companies have also started using this style lately.

Some of the industries in which we’ve seen this style work best are Healthcare, Entertainment and Professional Services.

Here are some great examples of 3D explainer videos:

IBM’s 3D Explainer Video

If you manage a supply chain, you know exactly how difficult it gets. Sometimes even a simple delay dominos into a full-blown catastrophe. When the narrator talks about how IBM helps make leaders and professionals more successful with the use of AI, you’re hooked.

Later, when the video shows a 3D spare part levitating in the air while explaining an issue, you relate further. You relate because it hits home. You relate because this product could be seen as one of the many products that you might have faced issues with.

The video demanded this very style to be used and so it was used.

Check out how long it takes to produce an explainer video in detail!

Your Animated Explainer Video Has Already Decided Its Style, Now It’s Your Turn

As we’ve seen in the cases mentioned above, the video clearly defines the animation style. All you need to do now is to recognize the right style and go for it.

Remember the following to make the right choice:

  • When your explainer video calls for emotions, character animation is the way to go.
  • Infographic animation is best suited for disseminating information with little or no emotions.
  • Mixed-media animation is our choice when the video demands to have live-action footage or images.
  • When it comes to educating the audience or explaining complex concepts in a simple manner, nothing comes to whiteboard animation.
  • The features and functions of physical products are best explained with the help of 3D explainer videos.

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