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10 Effective Types of Explainer Videos


There are good reasons why you wouldn’t eat steak for breakfast, or drink a hot cup of joe to quench your thirst. It doesn’t mean you will stop being a huge coffee geek, or that you can’t appreciate a nice, juicy cut when appropriate. It just means that different foods fulfill different appetites.

Same thing happens with your videos!

Certain types of videos appeal to some marketing objectives better than others. And with so many types of explainer videos and animation styles out there, it can be easy to fall into a bit of analysis paralysis. Leaving you unsure of the most effective one to take for your business or current marketing campaign.

This piece is here to fix that! We’ll go over the most important types of explainer videos out there, reviewing their particular strengths and how to use them best.

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On Making Amazing Explainer Videos

One important point to make before going through that list is that style alone doesn’t make an awesome explainer.

While different types of video animation or live-action footage can indeed resonate better with different audiences, there are several important characteristics that all of your marketing videos should address in some form or another.

  • Quality: Online, people will gauge the reliability of your product or service by the quality of your content. Making the right first impression with high-quality content is paramount.
  • Targeting: Generic videos are quickly dropped and forgotten about. Building explainers with precise target audiences in mind is a great way to have them work as intended.
  • Branding: Color selection, logo placement, jingles… all these branding elements are present and used expertly in marketing videos that work.
  • Rhythm: Pacing is critical in explainer videos. Timing the action and story just the right way helps keep audiences entertained and engaged until the end.
  • Message: A video that lacks a clear message, or isn’t able to convey it clearly, can’t live up to their company’s expectations.

It might seem like a lot, and it can be! Especially if your business is new to the video marketing arena. However, don’t forget that there are plenty of fantastic explainer video companies out there, ready to help you out each step of the way.

Here is a great example:

10 Effective Types of Explainer Videos List

Now that you understand the main aspects that make these videos great, it’s high time we jumped into the meat and potatoes of the piece, and review the ten effective types of explainer videos:

  • 2D Character Animation
  • Motion Graphics Animation
  • Whiteboard Animation
  • 2.5D Animation
  • 3D Animation
  • Live-Action
  • Live-Action with Track Elements
  • Stop Motion
  • Typography
  • Screencast

Each of these is widely used in today’s marketing, regardless of company size, audience, or industry. So let’s break each one down and see what makes them great.

2D Character Animation

It isn’t surprising that we start this list with 2D animation, as it is one of the most popular and broadly implemented types of video animation in use today. And for a bunch of good reasons too!

Here, both character and scene are created in a two-dimensional space, using perspective to give the illusion of depth. 2D animation is highly versatile, allowing for insane customization that, when done right, leads to an emotion-evoking piece that can appeal directly to its intended audience.

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Motion Graphics Animation

Similar to 2D character animation, motion graphic animations are primarily characterized by being engaging and straightforward.

It’s an ideal type of explainer video for companies trying to showcase complex products or services – like in the tech industry – as the style works wonders at visually synthesizing huge amounts of information, quickly and effectively.

Here, clever use of graphics help illustrate your message, without getting in the way or distracting from the intended marketing goal behind it. Fresh, colorful, and dynamic, motion graphic videos hook viewers from the get-go.

Whiteboard Animation

One of the most used types of video animation for B2C and B2B. The whiteboard style provides the perfect platform to delve deeper into a product, service, or process’ details. It consists of simulating black-line graphics being drawn on a white background, illustrating the concepts or ideas in play.

This type of explainer video’s popularity lies in its effectiveness, as the dynamic graphics and animations do a great job of delivering complex messages while keeping the audience engaged. Using a streamlined style that results in a straightforward and to-the-point finish.

2.5D Animation

The main draw behind this type of animated video is to simulate a 3D environment. The technique consists of layering objects to create a more sophisticated and fluid piece – Like watching cutouts moving in a 3D-like space, even though every element is designed in 2D.

It combines all the benefits of a motion graphics animation video with a different visual style that delivers a unique, professional, and engaging piece. And it does it without the added hassle and expense of 3D animation.

3D Animation

Out of the many different types of animation, 3D stands out for delivering a state-of-the-art, high-quality finish. Its unique aesthetic feel makes it easier for some audiences to get immersed in what’s being shown, as action can rotate around or zoom into the graphics for narrative emphasis.

However, 3D style is sparsely used for commercial purposes, as producing 3D animations can be quite expensive, and difficult to get the desired result. Add to that the longer production times – as any change or adjustment requires more time to implement – and 3D might not be the best choice when time or budget is a concern.


We are all familiar with live-action footage, and it should come as no surprise that it can also be used for explainer videos. In live-action, everything is recorded using cameras and real people. It’s a good idea if you are looking to establish a connection between specific individuals from your organization and your potential customers.

It is a common style for testimonial videos, take for example this one we produced from the expierience our friends at Collaboration Squared had working with us:

Live-Action with Track Elements

These are pieces that combine live video footage integrated with elements that are tracked to the video. The idea here is to create the feeling of interaction between the graphics and the video, with the added features of dynamism, rhythm, and visual display creating a more enjoyable journey for the viewer.

Having live-action footage helps portray that “human side” we discussed on the live-action entry, while the graphics can add a new layer that can be used to strengthen the message in play.

Stop Motion

These pieces follow a particular type of video animation, using a technique for photographing an object as it’s moved in small amounts, creating the illusion of motion when played. You have most likely seen this style used in some animated films that take advantage of this truly unique effect.

While unique and interesting, the major drawbacks for this style are its cost, and the lack of flexibility to change or fix problems halfway through the production process. And even when you go the route of simulating the style in a 3D animated environment, costs and adaptability remain issues to deal with.


Based around the animation of typographic fonts to express ideas. While it might seem overly simplistic – and… it is, – it’s still an available tool that can fit perfectly with certain projects.

By clever implementation of fonts and animation, these types of explainer videos can do a great job of underlining and reinforcing specific passages and make them remain in your audience’s memory.


Digital recordings of screen captured footage, backed up by narration – It really doesn’t get any simpler than this! However, that’s not the same to say it won’t be the perfect match for some pieces.

It’s a common tool for startups – especially in the tech sector – as it does a great job communicating a process through video, at a low cost. Double that when it comes to tutorials.

Need an Explainer Like Those? Here’s How Yum Yum Videos Can Help

Having been in the business for a while now, we have put together a team capable of producing fully customized, effective video marketing pieces that bring your message to life!

Our secret? An uncompromising focus on truly listening to our client’s needs.

Whether you are looking to promote an upcoming product release or event, attract new customers, increase sales, or raise awareness among a specific target audience… at Yum Yum Videos, your goals are our compass.

We tailor-make our videos around those goals, employing the strategies and elements that fit those objectives best. That makes all of our videos unique and allows us to tackle even the most complex or abstract concepts when your message requires it.

We have detail-oriented minds, which reflects on our working philosophy and the high-end results we always strive for. Naturally, listening to our client’s feedback and aligning our vision with their expectations is an integral part of our process. One that gives our clients ample opportunity to provide input and shape the video’s creation just the way they want it.

Here’s a cool video we made that explains it all!

It’s an awesome process we’ve refined over years of working with hundreds of brands from all over the globe. From small startups to famous Fortune 500 companies like Walmart, McKesson, DocuSign, and RedBull. However, you don’t have to just take our word for it! Here’s how our clients feel about working with us:

At Yum Yum Videos, we work with great passion, dedication, and care because we love what we do! And we make sure that our videos show it.  Most importantly, we want our clients to be the lynchpin of our process and end up delighted with the outcome.

So, if you’re ready to get that awesome explainer video for your company, reach out today and let’s talk about it!

Summing Up

As mentioned at the beginning, you can think of each type of explainer video as a particular flavor! And just because you wouldn’t season that steak you have on the grill with sugar, it doesn’t mean that salt will be the choice every time.

It all depends on what you are cooking, and the same thing happens with marketing videos.

You might have an idea to show to the world, or a message you want to deliver in the best possible way. Different types of animation allow you to do just that while keeping the spice of life – variety – readily at hand.

The result? Delicious and unique marketing pieces that help put your brand in people’s minds!

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