Are explainer videos effective?

People love cartoons, as kids, we were glued to the TV when Tom and Jerry, Scooby-Doo, or even The Simpsons are on, why?  Because there were things that could happen in a cartoon that could never happen in real life, the rules are not the same.

Plus, there is a simplicity to a drawing that makes it easy to understand and, anything that is easy to understand doesn’t use many brain cells and as we know, viewers are lazy.  That’s what videos are proving more successful than the written text.  It’s easier for the viewer to consume.

Dynamic Illustrations (another term for explainer videos, the other being whiteboard animation) are especially good at explaining a complex idea, the secret is to not always draw exactly what’s being said, but sometimes draw to ‘one side’, the inquisitive viewer sees it all come together at the end of that individual video.

The power of an explainer video is in the script, there needs to be a certain rhythm in the narrators’ voice, this allows the drawing to come alive.  The best videos allow the viewer to watch it unconsciously, which means more of the information is retained, so much so, that some people can visualise the drawings when they just hear the script.

Think of the script as the foundation of the delivery, with the drawings laid on top.  The mistake is to start with the drawings because then you have to shoehorn the script into it.

Write ‘illustratively’ – For example, if you want to state that your profits are increasing you would say ‘profits are going through the roof’, which enables the artist to draw a currency sign crashing through the roof, it has a powerful visual impact.

For explainer videos to be effective, less is more, a lot of drawn videos have background music and, whilst that can be jolly, you must never lose sight that it is the story that needs to resonate with the viewer, not the music.

Overt selling, whilst it is the videos’ objective, won’t always work because people have been conditioned to be resistant to a ‘sales pitch’.  It is much more effective to design the video so that viewers believe they are ‘discovering’ the solution.

When you read a book there are certain areas where you feel you are discovering something, despite the fact the writer provides a call to action, this approach enables the viewer to be much more receptive to the ‘call to action’

It is often preferable to write in the ‘third person’, almost like a case study and it is important to highlight the problems at the start so that the viewer can empathise with issues, especially if you make the issue emotional.  For example, highlight that the person is suffering from a  lack of sleep through worrying about an issue (that the solution fixes)

It is important to write for the ear, not the eye because it is the ears that will digest the spoken information and it will be the eyes that will consume the drawings, you’re are immediately using two senses.

The third sense is emotion.  We tell jokes because they create mirth, but also it enables you to remember the story to recite it to someone else, by introducing humour into your script makes YOUR story more memorable.

By making the story happy, sad, funny, or contentious stimulates the limbic system which responds to emotions and, when an experience is linked with emotion the ability to retain and remember is that much higher and, after all, isn’t that the whole point of the promotion?