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Video Marketing

Animated vs Live Action: Which Makes the Better Explainer Video?

By July 22, 2019 No Comments
explainer video

People retain 58% more information when both visual and auditory senses are stimulated. This is what makes explainer videos so powerful for business marketing.

However, when it comes to explainer videos, you still have to choose between two styles: animated vs. live action.

Which one is better? Well, an animated explainer video has its advantages, and they usually end up being more cost-effective for most companies.

We think animated videos are the clear winner. Keep reading for a complete comparison so that you can decide for yourself.

Animated Works for Any Industry

When it comes to animated vs. live action explainer videos, animated videos win in one big way.

They’re able to convey any topic, no matter how complex or technical, in a pretty easy way. This makes them versatile and suitable for various companies in various industries.

Why are they so versatile? The animation allows you to travel through time, easily explain certain topics with graphics, and create light-hearted stories out of technical topics.

Some of the best animated explainer videos use cartoon figures to convey deep topics.

If you sell cloud computing software, for example, how are you going to most effectively convey the value of your product to potential customers?

You can either invest in a live action explainer video with a talking head or you can invest in an animated one. The latter is going to be able to take your complex product and sell its value much easier than the live action video would be able to do.

If you’re looking to gain attention by including a celebrity or influencer in your video, then live action obviously makes more sense. But, using the voice of a famous actor can be just as effective in an animated video.

It’s also important to note that if your company sells a physical product and you’re trying to make an explainer video to talk about the functions of that product, it might seem like live action is better.

However, animation still actually seems to work best here. There are creative ways in which you can show off your product within an animated video, too.

Endless Options in Terms of Creativity

Similar to the ability to present a complex topic in easier terms, animated videos give you total creative freedom in other areas as well.

Want to set a video in the middle of the ocean but don’t have the budget to film a live action video on a boat? No problem!

Want to include hundreds of extras, travel back in time to the 1800s, and end your video with a shot on the moon? Easy!

The point is that an animated corporate video is going to provide you with the opportunity to get as creative as you want and need to. And, this will translate well in overall production value and impact.

73% of consumers say that they would prefer to see videos on social media that are “entertaining.” In the world of online video, YouTube, and social media, you’ll need to get creative in order to be “entertaining.”

This also makes your corporate video a lot more shareable, and that’s important when it comes to winning with video and social media.

Few people want to share a talking head explainer video. It’s much more likely that they’re going to share a fun animated explainer video that features a cool new product “launch” from the moon (or something similar, but you get the point).

The Variety of Cinematic Styles

Live action videos offer businesses the chance to choose various aspects of their video’s style. You can certainly choose the setting, the actors, and the music. But, you can also choose how cinematic the video is going to look.

This is great, but there are limitations. This might fall under the umbrella of the creative options that animated videos offer people, but it’s worth its own mention.

Animated videos offer a greater variety of cinematic styles. These can include:

  • 2D
  • 3D
  • Whiteboard
  • Typography
  • Stop Motion

The great thing about these styles is that they’re all incredibly different from each other. Stop motion can add a really great effect to a serious subject. Take a look at Chipotle’s Back to the Start video for an excellent example.

Likewise, combining typography with 2D animation can help readers really process and retain keywords that you want them to remember.

Here, the options are endless. This makes animation a little bit more diverse for companies looking for more than just a talking head.

Comparing Explainer Video Production Costs

Choosing to invest in an animation explainer video will help you stretch your budget a bit. This is not only due to the less-traditional production process of animation, but it’s also because animated videos are easier to edit and update.

If you want to ensure that your video marketing content is evergreen, then animated is the way to go.

However, sometimes shorter live-action videos might make sense. It just depends on how much you’re looking to spend and what you’re overall goals are with the video.

Forbes reports that the average product explainer video costs anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000 per minute. If you’re looking to produce an explainer video that targets ready-to-buy leads, you can expect to pay at least $10,000 for this.

You can compare this to the costs of animated explainer videos, which can start as low as $2,000 for a much higher-quality end product.

In the end, it’s important to view explainer videos as an investment, which means looking at the ROI compared to the money you’re investing.

In this sense, it’s more important to look at the end result. How much can you potentially earn in terms of leads and sales with an explainer animation versus a normal product video?

Getting Value from Animated Videos

When it comes to an explainer video, the animated vs. live action debate sort of depends on what your overall goals and vision are for the video.

However, animated videos do present most businesses and individuals with clear advantages.

From their ability to present complex topics with ease to their lighthearted and creative nature, an animated explainer video might be just the thing you need to take your marketing efforts to the next level.

Ready to get started? Contact us today to discuss your video needs.