What is an Explainer Video?

What is an Explainer Video?

With new concepts and new ideas cropping up here and there, it’s a no-brainer that you might find yourself a bit intimidated when encountering a new genre of short videos. According to Gram Pte Ltd, one of the best animation companies in Singapore, you might have heard others mentioning ‘explainer videos’ during a conversation or two. You may not have had the slightest clue about it.

All you could do in response is silently nod along. What are explainer videos and what do they comprise of?

So, what is it? What does it do?

To put it straightforwardly, explainer videos are animated shorts created by businesses in order to hook us, the viewers and possibly consumers, to their products and services via their origin stories. 

Sometimes when you come across a new business, you might not connect with it and simply scroll past it without any hesitation or even remotely registering its existence in your mind. 

Advertisements are no longer enough to pull in viewers, and it is because of this that businesses realized the conundrum being presented to them and they began making explainer videos to capture our attention.

Why in Video Format?

According to Krämer & Böhrs, videos are an invaluable visual medium through which we can express ourselves without relying on or needing any textual elements. 

While you may scroll past a traditional business advertisement, you might be more inclined to stop and watch an animated short video that interacts with you in a lighthearted yet informative manner. 

Even if the business’s brand’s origin story is not mind-blowing or inspirational, it might still convey a heart-warming message to you in some form.

It is this type of positive and pure connection that explainer videos are now able to communicate to us, the viewers.

A Closer Look: Storytelling

Now let us look at explainer videos a bit more closely. Why are they able to form this ‘heart-warming’ connection with us? And what makes us stop scrolling and watch them with complete attention? 

The answer lies in the fact that these short videos are animated. They are not merely telling you how their brand was created, what their hurdles were and what products or services they offer but rather they tell you a story. 

They not only use the age-old technique of storytelling but also employ colorful and eye-catching visuals to completely capture your attention.

Many marketing departments are utilizing storytelling to form an emotional and personal bond with the brand being shown to you. 

Only by doing this, will these marketers manage to hook your and my attention for a good minute. Interestingly, this might be similar to the tactic that businesses use in ads targeted at children. 

You and I may not clearly remember such advertisements, but we definitely have been hooked onto a few of those commercials. In order to accomplish that, they have to make sure that they employ engaging and colorful visuals while conveying a story in under a minute. 

This same method is now possibly being used to lure you, as an adult, into watching their explainer videos that are promoting their businesses.


Along with expert storytelling, they cleverly weave together catchy and at times, rhyming phrases. When they do this, you naturally come to enjoy such wordplay taking place and it becomes quite pleasing to your ear, which in turn makes you want to continue listening to it.

The Animation

Aside from the fascinating storytelling, the animation, depending on the brand, can vary quite a bit, but usually, it is shown to be minimalistic along with clean, crisp and possibly whimsical images or characters. 

Dropbox, for example, uses clean, minimalistic animation that seamlessly interconnects with the interaction of every element in the video. Your eyes continuously follow one detail flowing into another. Because of this, not even for a second does the explainer video stay at the same scene or frame but it all becomes one big fluid motion. 

This fluidity is what holds your attention so strongly. It is almost as if, you were riding on a fast but gentle roller-coaster that came to an end without you even noticing. 

And I believe this is, essentially, what their goal is. To have the video end before you even become conscious of the length and possibly start feeling tired of it.

If the animation is well-presented, then you might just sit through the entire video to simply watch the animation and nothing else. This is also considered to be a success in the eyes of the marketers because they managed to have you focus until the very end.

What have you learned?

  • Explainer videos are animated shorts businesses use to reel in potential consumers, you and me.
  • The video medium is a very powerful visual medium that you interact with on a daily basis which is why businesses use it to create a personal connection with us.
  • The marketing departments cleverly use storytelling combined with wordplay to grab the attention of viewers. Especially, to stop you from simply scrolling by indifferently.
  • Animation and the kind of animation put to work in an explainer video is of great importance. How engaging and inviting it is, is what will make you and me stop to completely watch it through.