Okay, we love writing this blog. But, we have to admit that when it comes to the art of explaining, the all-mighty word cannot compete with a well-produced Explainer Video.

5.SHIELD_EXPLAINERWhat Is An Explainer Video?

A masterful blend of visuals, verbiage and sound design, an Explainer Video presents an in-depth picture of how a business or product works. As the name indicates, Explainer Videos clearly and concisely explain the function and value of a service, a product, or a process.

Why Are Explainers So Mighty?

Last year, Animoto, an online video creation application, reported new survey results that detail the continuing evolution and growth of video marketing. The Animoto Online and Social Video Marketing Study surveyed 1,051 U.S. consumers and revealed that four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.

But wait! Don’t go! This blog will help you make a better Explainer Video for your company, organization, or client.

Animoto's Video Marketing Cheat Sheet

Source:  Animoto’s Video Marketing Cheat Sheet

A blog or any written web content relies on a pairing of words with a scattering of images, and the occasional video link. Ultimately, the consumer must connect the visuals with the copy. Sadly for writers and bloggers of the world, a study about web use found that the average attention span in 2015 was 8.25 seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000. When you have limited time to engage your audience, it’s critical that you make your message as accessible and clear as possible.

Take A Look For Yourself

An Explainer Video is often the solution to this problem. Here’s an Explainer we recently completed for an undisclosed fast-food chain about food waste in the United States.  This video was meant to get an internal conversation started to increase food waste awareness and to implement strategies for reducing such waste. All video elements were sourced from various news outlets and food waste videos and mixes live action and illustration/animation seamlessly.

Still not convinced? Well, that’s just a taste of why the Explainer Video is superior to the written word. Allow us to explain.

Explainers Take Up Less Time

Most Explainers get the “explaining” done in less than two minutes. Which is important, because a recent Wistia study found that 85% of viewers will watch a 30-second video, while viewership drops off to around 50% after the two-minute mark.

By comparison, it will take you approximately ten minutes to read the 1,481 words in this blog. And that’s assuming you make it to the end, as most people only skim 20% of text on an average page. That means only one out of every five people will read (and maybe click on) this word: hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia. Virtual high-five for exceeding expectations!

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 2.12.20 PM copy

Source: TheProse.com

Explainers Bring Words To Life

Unless you’re Hemingway or Vonnegut, words on a page can often feel flat and lifeless. Explainer Videos take ordinary words and breathe visual life into them. We, at Coat of Arms, help balance abstract and literal interpretations of your content in order to tell your story fully, handsomely, and in a style that reflects your character. But most visual styles fall into two categories: Animated and Live Action.

Animated Explainers

Animation is the motion given to illustrated characters and designs. Coat of Arms has produced animated explainers for many wonderful clients. Our Explainer video for Project Imagine is a good example of character animation, while our video for HighTide Technologies relied on icons and motion graphics to move the story along.

Generally, animated Explainer videos are more cost-effective and malleable than their live action counterparts. Consider that with a Live Action video, you must pay both the production and the post-production teams. While the team may be large, animation only requires the post-production team.

Live Action/Hybrid Explainers

Live Action Explainers are similar to their animated cousins, but rely on film and live actors to tell the story. Live Action requires a more detailed production: on screen talent casting, camera crew, film shoot, etc. Live Action is often the preferred method for tech companies that want to introduce a new gadget or app—like the iPhone. Many Live Action Explainers include elements of animation, which you can see in our Hybrid Videos for Trunkster and Marriott: We’ve Been Expecting You.

Animation verses Live Action (or a Hybrid Video) will most likely be one of the first decisions you make in the Explainer Video process. It can be a tough decision, but ultimately, both styles excel at taking everyday words and bringing them to life. And don’t worry, we can help you decide what’s best for your budget and brand.

Explainers Make Statistics Fun

Explainer Videos are especially effective at taking statistics and presenting them in an appealing manner. Read the stats below concerning online video’s surging popularity. If you think these figures are impressive, imagine the picture we could paint by adding motion.

  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch in a video compared to 10% when reading it in a text

Explainers In Six Easy Steps

To create a unique and strong explainer video, Coat of Arms requests 4 to 6 weeks from contract to delivery. We believe a detailed plan of attack is the key to a successful video. The purpose of an Explainer Video is to simplify the complex. And we do the same thing when we produce your Explainer Video. Coat of Arms makes sure that happens by keeping all teammates and clients informed, guaranteeing schedules are outlined and met, and ensuring that contract terms and scope remain in check. We’ve narrowed the process down to just six steps. (That’s 1,570 fewer than the Empire State Building!)



Step 1: Contract

Your Explainer Video journey begins when you sign off on the contract. At that point, we provide a detailed production schedule for your custom video and begin outlining the video’s mission. We admit it; we still get goose bumps with every new Explainer we tackle.





Step 2: Scripting & Style Frames

An Explainer Video is only as good as the script. A well-crafted script starts a project off on the right foot. We work hand-in-hand with our clients to guarantee your branded message is told succinctly and creatively. And then we share style frames, because well, a picture is worth a thousand words.





Step 3: Storyboarding

The storyboards are a blueprint for your video. We map out each scene, plan out every transition, and place the voiceover in just the right spot. The illustrator and animator will follow the storyboard closely to ensure the video’s mission is seen all the way through.





Step 4: Illustration & Animation

Illustrations have the power to let you create characters and a world unlike our own, while conveying a story or a branded identity. Paired with illustration is the art of animation. Animation gives illustrated characters and designs life and movement.





Step 5: Sound Design & Voiceover

The best sound design often contributes to story without taking center stage. Along with recording voiceover and composing music, we enhance each video’s original audio by adding sound effects, foley, and adjusting/balancing levels. The voice chosen must align with your messaging and target audience. If you decide to tell your story without voiceover, don’t fret, we’ll use text, music, and sound effects to drive your story.



Step 6: Finalization

When words, design, motion and sound are working together seamlessly, we’ll package it up and send you the final files. Every situation is different, but generally the more places you market/share your video, the more visible it will be. So feel free to place it on your website, internal platforms, social media sites, and even send it to your Great Aunt Bertha! Consider YouTube pre-roll ads, web banner ads, social media ads through Twitter or Facebook, and broadcast marketing options through cable networks and digital advertising.


A Final Word On Explainers

In the next few years, there will be fewer long-form articles online. (Although, we hope that reading does not go the way of the Dodo!) At the same time, consumers will crave even more video content, and its popularity will continue to surge. In today’s digital world, the answer is clear; if you have some explaining to do, it’s best to let a Coat of Arms’ Explainer Video do it for you.