Explainer Videos

Animated Explainer Video Vs Live-Action Explainer Video: Which One to Choose?

The main goal of any business is to sell its products and services to make a profit and grow. However, the business must reach the target audience to make a successful sale. 

One of the ways businesses can reach their target audience is through promotional video production and marketing. There are different types of promotional videos to make a powerful impact on the target audience. Two of the most popular types of promotional videos are Animated Explainer videos and Live-Action Explainer videos.

Most businesses are confused about which one to pick up to convey their brand message. However, let’s tell you there is no simple answer to this dilemma. Both animated explainer video and live-action explainer video has their own purposes. 

But knowing which will be the best choice for your brand will make it easier to promote your brand. Hence, in this blog post, let’s take a quick look at how animated explainer videos and live-action explainer videos compare. And which one will be best for your brand. 

Let’s get started.

Animated Explainer Video: What is it?

You might have seen animation movies, duh! 

Now, imagine having an animated movie that is 30-second to 2-minute long explaining everything associated with your brand and products. That’s an animated explainer video!

Explainer Videos

Most times, when we say explainer videos, we think about animation. There are different types of animated explainer videos, and based on your requirements and resources, you can choose the one that suits you. 

Live-Action Explainer Video: What is it?

A live-action explainer video involves real people (one or more actors) delivering the brand message. It also includes other aspects of filming a live-action explainer video, such as finding the right location, having a set and camera crew, production crew, sound equipment, and more. 

A live-action explainer video can sometimes be expensive to make. However, it can turn out to be the best promotional video you make for your brand. With one or more actors involved, it will become easier for your brand to connect with the target audience and convey the message. 

Live-Action Explainer Video

Making any live-action explainer video will require you to work on the script, production resources, and post-production, such as editing and publishing. 

Animated Explainer Video: Benefits and Drawbacks!

To get a better perspective of whether an animated explainer video is a good choice for your brand, knowing the benefits and drawbacks will help.


  • Animation is liked by Everyone. No matter the age, people like to see animated videos. Hence, an animated explainer video will be able to reach a larger audience. 
  • Free-to-Use Animation Templates are Available. Although you may need a highly skilled team to create animated explainer videos, you can also use free-to-use animation templates available online. You can make your own animated explainer videos using them. For more information, you can read our blog detailing the 7 steps to creating animated explainer videos. 
  • Make Complex Concepts Easier to Understand. Technical brands have products that might need expert knowledge to understand. However, animated explainer videos make it easier to explain complex products and services. 
Animated Explainer Video
  • The Sky is the Limit. Whatever you can imagine, you can animate. Talking cows? Flying bears? Laughing dinosaurs? You name it, and animation can create it for you. 


  • Lacks Human Touch. Since animated explainer videos are made using motion graphics or drawn by hand, they lack the human touch. It might be difficult to build an emotional connection with the audience. 
  • Not Meant for a “Serious” Message. Although animated explainer videos can be used for several brands, they are not a great fit to convey a “serious” message. The colorful graphics and characters aren’t suitable for conveying a formal message.
  • Patience and Time are Needed to Create Professional Explainer Videos. As mentioned above, you can use free-to-use templates. However, for a more professional touch, you need to invest a lot of time and patience. Creating an animated explainer video that looks professional and makes a striking impact can take a long time. 

Live-Action Explainer Videos: Benefits and Drawbacks


  • Short Turnaround Time. The turnaround time is short when you make a live-action explainer video. The pre-production process is a bit quicker than any other brand video type. A live-action explainer video can be easily conceptualized even before the video is produced. The resources to produce a live-action explainer video are easily available. 
  • Highly Accessible. If you compare a live-action explainer video to any other brand video, for example, an animated explainers video, making a live-action explainer video is accessible. For an animated explainer video, you would need a highly trained and experienced team in animation technology and using different software. You will also need state-of-the-art equipment. However, with a live-action explainer video, you can use minimum resources and still make an amazing brand video. Making a live-action explainer video doesn’t need complicated equipment or highly skilled people. This makes live-action explainer videos more accessible to several brands that are pressed on a budget. 
live-in action explainer videos
  • Emotional Connect: A live-action explainer video can build an emotional connection with the target audience. Using a real person to convey the brand message and product usability makes it easier to build an emotional quotient for the audience. This also helps the brand to build trust and credibility with the target audience. 
  • Tangibility: Since a live-action explainer video uses a real person, the videos seem to be more tangible. The brand, along with its products and services, looks very grounded. This makes a live-action explainer video a more powerful form of brand video. 


  • Difficult to Update. Updating a live-action explainer video can be difficult. To get the updated footage, you need to assemble the whole cast and production crew. This can be difficult to achieve. 
  • Expensive. Creating a live-action explainer video can be expensive. Your expenses will include getting the actors on board, getting the production crew, finding a location, equipment, and more. 
  • Location is key. If you don’t find the right location, your live-action explainer video won’t be impactful. It is a choice you need to make between either your office premises or an outdoor location. Making a wise choice is critical, and this is where most businesses make a mistake. 

Best Examples of Animated Explainer Videos

  • Canon

You might know the high-quality and innovative technology Canon brings to its clients. 

And it can have been easily explained using 3D animation in an explainer video. The 3D animation offers a clear and sharp view of different components. Animation makes it easier to showcase the efficient technology and products of the company. 

  • MatrixCare

This senior care company offers different elderly care services with a professional and certified team.

The animated explainer video for the brand uses minimalistic designs, motion graphics, and UI illustrations to make it easier to understand the services. 

  • CariClub

The company works with major brands to find talent and young professionals who want to support a non-profit organization and cause. 

The animated explainer video uses fun sports analogy and Celanimation to explain what they do and how they can help professionals and non-profits. 

Best Examples of Live-Action Explainer Videos

  • Express VPN

The brand is known to make it easier for people to browse the Internet no matter where they go while protecting their data. 

The live-action explainer video of Express VPN tries to bring an emotional connection from the get-go. The video shows a businessman trying to stream TV, connect with his family and look for directions when he is far away from home. This emotionally connects with business personnel who stay far from home and struggle to connect due to poor internet connections. Express VPN easily conveys using their app to overcome the problem. 

  • Dollar Shave Club

This is probably one of the best live-action explainer videos made for any brand. Dollar Shave Club initiates building trust and credibility from the beginning. 

The live-action explainer video shows an employee (or an actor posing like one) in professional attire telling everything about the company, its business model, and the problem the product is trying to solve easily. The ease with which the “employee” delivers facts makes it highly believable and helps build trust and emotional connectivity. 

  • Moved.com

A company that provides an assistant to help people plan their house moves gives another simple yet incredibly powerful live-action explainer video. 

The live-action explainer video explains how the company can help ensure hassle-free house move. The audience can connect with the emotional stress and confusion of moving house depicted by the man in the video. 

These three examples show how powerful and effective a live-action explainer video can be for a brand.

Which one to choose?

After reading all the benefits and drawbacks, it might be a tad bit easier to choose. 

Bottom Line

Animated explainer videos and live-action explainer videos are both favored by brands based on what they need to convey. 

If you want to know more about animated explainer videos or live-action explainer videos, you can get in touch with us at Gisteo. The goal of our company is to use the power of video marketing and convey the gist of your business message to the target audience.  

Our team is highly professional and will guide you through the process effectively.

Contact us now to know more.

Stephen Conley

Stephen Conley

Stephen is Gisteo's Founder & Creative Director. After a long career in advertising (a way more dysfunctional industry than even Mad Men portrays), Stephen launched Gisteo in 2011 and the rest is history. He has an MBA in International Business from Thunderbird and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he did indeed inhale, albeit in moderation.

Leave a Reply

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.