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12 Explainer Video Examples To Inspire Your Next Project

Explainer videos are a valuable part of any brand’s marketing strategy, especially if that brand has a complex story to tell. These engaging videos can break big ideas into bite-size pieces and complex processes into simple steps. But making a great one isn’t easy. That’s why we’ve collected a dozen explainer video examples to help inspire you. 

What Makes A Great Explainer Video?

We’ve been in the business of creating explainer videos for more than a decade. And we’ve seen that everyone from B2B startups to B2C brands, has a story to tell. Although explainer videos come in many forms, a few key elements tie them all together. 

Whether you go for live action or animation (and whatever animation style you choose) you need all five of these elements to make an effective explainer video:

  1. A compelling, customer-driven story
  2. Attractive design
  3. Good sound design/music
  4. Dynamic motion and fluid transitions
  5. Engaging voiceover

It’s easy to write a list, but what does all of that actually look like? Here are some of our favorite explainer video examples to help you plan your animated explainer video.

Example 1:

We kick off this list with a high-speed, high-energy look at the project management SaaS, This video blends simple stop-motion animation with live action and product screenshots to get users excited about

What we love about this video: 

  • Solution focused story
  • Fun mix of styles
  • Understated sound effects
  • Fast pace carries you along
  • Voiceover we could listen to all day

It’s simple, relatable, and roughly 30 seconds – proving that short video can definitely be sweet (and a perfect pre-roll ad, too!)

Example 2: PwC

This video we made for PwC takes customer-focus to a new extreme. Structured like a case study, the story follows Tricia, a business owner with a problem. Clean 3D animation holds your attention while the narrator brings you on a journey from Tricia’s business struggles through her success with PwC’s help.

What we love about this video:

  • Customer-driven case study style
  • Clean 3D animation
  • Upbeat background music
  • Transitions that complement the storytelling
  • Authoritative but approachable narrator

The jargon in this video may not resonate with everyone and it’s not supposed to. The script was written specifically for business owners in the software industry, so it uses language that will make sense to them.

Example 3: AirBnB

This came out several years ago (2014), but we have a feeling it will never get old. Rather than following a character through an on-screen world, we enter that world ourselves on what can only be described as an AirBnB carnival ride. Detailed models and a moving camera immerse you completely in AirBnB’s world. 

What we love about this video: 

  • Viewer as main character
  • Unusual use of live action
  • Music that adds to the fantasy
  • Transitions that run on greased rails
  • Ultra-engaging voiceover

Example 4: Delix

Medical explainer videos help medication developers communicate with doctors, and doctors explain treatments to patients. In this video for Delix, we used 3D animation to bring viewers inside the human brain, visualizing processes that would usually be impossible to see. 

What we love about this video: 

  • Problem + Solution = Healing
  • Slick 3D animation
  • Gentle, atmospheric music
  • Zoom in and out transitions
  • Clear, authoritative narrator.

Example 5: Grammarly

This live-action explainer video from Grammarly is actually several ads in one. Its creators could easily edit this nearly 2 minute video into several 30-second standalones. But if you watch to the end you see the real magic, a call to action embedded right into the script. What better way to invite viewers to try your software? 

What we love about this video: 

  • Laser focus on a student audience
  • Relatable main character
  • Music that enhances without distracting

With a main character like the Grammarly Coach, you don’t need a voiceover. Although we think the transitions could have been a little smoother, overall there’s a lot to like in this video.

Example 6: Chipotle

Another explainer video classic, this one from 2013 illustrates the power of choosing the right music for an explainer video. It features Willie Nelson singing the coldplay classic The Scientist to show viewers where Chipotle’s food comes from. Sometimes, explainer videos don’t need a voiceover to be powerful. 

What we love about this video: 

  • Simplicity
  • Unusual animation
  • The music!

The CTA for this video takes an unexpected approach by inviting you to download the song, rather than buy Chipotle. In fact, if you read the fine print you learn that the label and artist proceeds go to the Chipotle Cultivate foundation an “an accelerator program designed to support ventures from across the country that are building sustainable and equitable food systems.” 

Example 6: Scandis

Smooth animation gives the explainer video we made for Scandis a modernist feel that fits the brand perfectly, if we do say so ourselves. In fact, you don’t have to take our word for it. This video won an AI-AP International Motion Art Award in 2015.

What we love about this video:

  • Everything!
  • Voiceover with smooth jazz track
  • Simple but innovative design

The principles of animation are on display in this video, and we’re pretty proud of it.

Example 7: Medium

The animation is actually pretty simple in this video. There’s no attempt at making movement look natural, but that’s not the point. The off-beat collage style does a great job of drawing viewers in. With engaging voiceover and music that shifts to match the mood, we appreciate the design work here. 

What we love about this video: 

  • Unique style
  • Artful use of music
  • Invites viewers to share the mission

Example 8: Slack

Most explainer videos describe a product or service, this one highlights the findings of a report. Slack’s state of work study came out just before the pandemic, and this video gives viewers a taste of what it has to offer. 

What we love about this video: 

  • Global story
  • Realistic animation in a symbolic world
  • Music that matches the tone

Did you notice how they switched from talking about “workers” to describing “you” when the findings were positive? 

Example 9: ISDA

We chose the fun 2D animation style of this explainer video to add a little bit of whimsy to an otherwise dry topic. Even if you don’t know what ISDA fallbacks are, you can still find something to like in this video. I mean, how cute is that document in a bowtie?

What we love about this video:

  • Fun character
  • Monochromatic color scheme
  • Cheerful music

Example 10: Purple

A fairy tale character goes scientific in this live-action explainer video. It takes the familiar story of Goldilocks and turns it into a sassy, relatable tutorial about the quality of a Purple mattress. This video has everything, a familiar story, an engaging main character, and a clever call to action. 

What we love about this video:

  • Accessible story
  • Mix of classic and modern design elements
  • Attractive design
  • Sound effects that make a point
  • Hilarious main character

Apparently, you can’t make an explainer video without cracking some eggs.

Example 11: Panorama9

No list of explainer video examples is complete without this classic. Panorama9’s IT Man shows off some serious old-school cool. The video’s 8-bit pixel animation makes you feel more like you’re in a video game than watching an explainer video. It’s an engaging environment that draws viewers in — and keeps them there.

What we love about this video: 

  • All the nostalgia
  • Classic sound effects
  • Embedded CTA
  • Playable storyline

Example 12: Simplest

We used our experience in whiteboard video to create a whiteboard-like style for this explainer video. The simple, clean style works perfectly for a brand that touts its simple approach to mortgages. Plus, we designed it to be easily cut down to fit the preferred aspect ratios of different social media platforms. 

What we love about this video: 

  • Three short stories in one
  • Clean, whiteboard inspired style
  • Cheerful music

Feeling inspired by these explainer video examples? Reach out to the video experts at IdeaRocket to start making your next explainer video. Who knows, it might end up on a list like this one day. 

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