While this is one of the biggest benefits of animated explainer videos, it also poses a key (but fun!) challenge. Creators need to deploy their imagination, and identify the best-fit creative elements for their specific brand and messaging. So, to help inspire your creative process, we’ve shared our favourite explainer video examples. Below, you can find 20 fantastic examples of sleek, engaging and memorable explainer videos, chosen by our team of experienced motion graphic designers.
What makes an explainer video captivating?
Captivating your audience is one of the core aims of creating an explainer video.
With captivation, comes memorability, engagement, strengthened brand identity, and increased conversion rates. But, successfully gaining (and keeping) your audience’s attention is often easier said than done.
Creating captivating explainer videos is dependent on the following factors, all of which you’ll need to carefully design and deploy.
- A clear CTA
- Concise messaging, which is succinct, easy to follow and readily understandable
- Compelling storytelling
- Emotional engagement
- Bold visual elements
- A strong visual identity (which aligns with your branding)
- Relevant messaging, which viewers can personally relate to
- Characters that strike an emotional chord, or viewers can identify with
- High-quality visual and audio elements
- Fun and creative motion graphics
- Music and sound effects
- A voiceover that achieves the same tone as your visual elements
- A problem-solution format
- Smooth, sleek animated movements
- A length of between 1-2 minutes
- Careful pacing and timing
- A format that is optimised for viewing across all devices
20 animated explainer video examples
1. UCI - Understanding the symptoms of a concussion
One of the best explainer video examples in the OK Social showreel is this video that we created for UCI, demonstrating how to spot the symptoms of a concussion. The video supports the UCI team’s efforts to maximise cycling health and safety standards, by explaining the impact of a concussion, and the procedure that is required. It is designed to help viewers understand the best steps to take in the event of a cycling accident, thereby improving the education of the team and keeping cyclists as safe as possible.
2. Apple - Introducing Apple Business Essentials
In this elegant, short and concise explainer video, Apple outlines how its Apple Business Essentials service can support small businesses. It includes a highly relatable message - about the challenges that small businesses face when growing - and details how this service can help users to seamlessly manage all devices, and keep business IT easy.
3. Crash Course - How and Why We Read
Crash Course are the giants of educational explainer videos. The duo have been creating fun-filled animated educational videos for years, generating a huge fan base of over 15 million global learners. This entertaining example comes from their English Literature playlist, and is hosted by John Green (alongside an assortment of animated characters).
4. Microsoft - Introducing Microsoft 365 Copilot
As part of the launch of its Microsoft 365 Copilot, Microsoft went beyond the usual modern video styles, and designed a completely futuristic piece of animated content. These demonstrate both the core benefits of the tool, while also fostering Microsoft’s assertion that this represents ‘an entirely new way of working.’
5. Slack - Communication Without Chaos
Slack is one of the masters of explainer video examples. In this video, Communication Without Chaos, Slack explains the key features of its messaging service, how it works, and the benefits that it brings. Cleverly, Slack uses its iconic branded shapes to illustrate this message of Slack bringing order to the otherwise chaotic process of business messaging.
6. Edays - Software rebranding
To support its new rebrand, Edays wanted to create an explainer video that highlighted the tool’s key features, and its ease-of-use. The Edays explainer video also highlighted how the intelligent absence solution limits employees’ stress and anxiety when taking time off, thereby helping to drive healthier and more productive workforces.
7. BRIGHT SIDE - Ocean Depth Comparison
For students of all ages, YouTube is playing an increasingly important role in education. In this 3D educational explainer video, BRIGHT SIDE uses animation to illustrate how deep the ocean is. Not only does this create a strong impression amongst viewers, but it is infinitely more memorable than a verbal description alone.
8. Insider Science - What if humans tried to land on Saturn
Sticking with educational explainer video examples, this animation from Insider Science creatively illustrates what would happen if humans tried to land on Saturn. It makes highly complicated scientific concepts - including some of the key findings from NASA’s Cassini probe - easy to understand and fun to ponder.
9. University of East London - Ethical framework
The University of East London recently commissioned the OK Social team to create an informative animation, which would help them to explain their fundamental, intricate ethical principles. The video makes their policies and processes crystal clear to viewers, but delivers this critical information in a way that is easy to understand, and in a visual style that resonates with their target audience.
10. Which? - How do smart meters work
Which? is renowned for the clarity and precision of its messaging, helping its wide audience to easily understand its content. In this video, Which? outlines how smart meters work, including how energy is measured, what is an IHD, and what can be done if property owners don't want one. The video covers all of these FAQs in a neat visual style, and a succinct script.
11. Apple - Every product carbon neutral by 2030
Back with Apple, their engaging explainer video examples don’t stop at products and services. They also deploy their signature sleek animation style across their sustainability campaigns, too. For this video, Apple explains its sustainability efforts in a way that is at once clear and easy to follow, and powerful and emotive.
12. McDonald's Coffee - The pursuit of sustainable
As you’d expect, communicating sustainability efforts is a huge area of investment for the world’s leading brands. So, continuing with the topic of sustainability, McDonald's has created this explainer animation to educate viewers on how it sustainably sources its coffee. What really makes this video stand out is the way that they have enlisted Danielle Paris for the voiceover, who is part of McDonald’s own Culinary Innovation and Commercialisation Team.
13. UberEats - Restaurant dashboard explainer video
For this SaaS explainer video, Uber wanted to promote its new restaurant dashboard, in a way that explained all the technical benefits, while still being engaging to watch and easy to follow. What made this video so effective was its use of an abstracted UI. The UI was illustrated, which dramatically simplified the dashboard that Uber was promoting, and allowed the video to achieve a fast, engaging pace.
14. Capita - Explaining the benefits of the onboarding platform
Capita’s explainer animation is designed to support its new staff through the onboarding process. What makes this video so effective is the way that it is deeply informative and firmly on brand, but its subtle use of design elements (particularly the continuous flow and seamless transitions) achieves a sleek, modern and professional effect - ideal for impressing new starters!
15. PayPal - How PayPal works
PayPal’s tutorial explainer video is the ultimate in crisp and clean animation. PayPal has completely stripped back the design, to ensure it is as sharp and easy to follow as possible. The intention? To demonstrate just how fast and easy it is to use PayPal.
16. CoPilot AI - Platform explainer video
This explainer video is designed to explain how CoPilot AI works, and the benefits that it offers. What’s interesting about the style of this explainer video is that it blends a modern, futuristic design, with a very personable, human feel. As a result, the video demonstrates the power of the sophisticated platform, while still emphasising its trustworthiness.
17. Hootsuite - What is Hootsuite?
This snappy and stylish tutorial video gives users a clear insight into what Hootsuite is, how a social media management platform works, and how it can benefit businesses. These points are clearly articulated by the voiceover, while the charming visual elements make the video fun, and speak to the creativity of its marketing user base.
18. WWF - How much wildlife have we lost?
The explainer video examples of WWF artfully demonstrate how emotion can be deployed in animations, to great effect. The video How much wildlife have we lost summarises the key findings of The Living Planet Report 2022. It summarises its key findings of the current trends in global biodiversity, particularly the revelation that there has been a 69% decline in species populations since 1970. The video illustrates this powerful statistic in a way that emphasises its meaning, and urges the viewer to take action.
19. American Express - How Do Frequent Flyer Miles Work?
Frequent flyer programmes are a concept that can change regularly, in terms of how they work and the benefits that they offer. So, American Express dedicated this explainer video to helping their customers understand how frequent flyer miles work, and so, how they can get the most from them. Despite this being a step away from their usual fintech-based explainer videos, this video is still instantly recognisable as part of the Amex brand, and is just as crisp and modern (with just a touch of playfulness) as all their other content.
20. Ford - Break down the benefits of the new Ford Focus
This one-off short explainer video was commissioned by Ford to showcase the benefits of their new Ford Focus. The key USP was that this car has more rear legroom than ever before. So, taking this fact, we wanted to create a heartwarming and creative piece of content, with a relatable message. So, we developed a visual narrative that uses the child’s perspective, and took inspiration from 80’s Cartoons like ‘Rhubarb & Custard’. Then, we took this further by using mixed crayon textures and a child's voice to narrate the story. The result was an explainer video that stood out from the content of Ford’s competitors, thanks to its charm, warmth and authenticity.
As you can see, animated explainer videos are a hugely versatile advertising medium, which can be used across a huge range of different sectors and industries, as well as businesses of all shapes and sizes.
With these leading explainer video examples as your source of inspiration, you can ensure your upcoming campaign is bold, captivating and utterly memorable.
Why work with an animation agency like OK Social?
OK Social is a professional motion graphic studio, trusted by some of the world’s biggest brands to create their animated explainer videos. We’ve worked with the likes of Ford, Coca-Cola and Deliveroo, to create animated videos that fulfil all of their specific KPIs. Our content is renowned for its bold creativity, coupled with a precise, targeted approach, to ensure the maximum possible level of engagement. To find out more about our animation services, or to see any additional explainer video examples from our portfolio, don’t hesitate to get in touch.