Whiteboard Videos vs Explainer Videos: Which One Should You Use?

Where to watch? / Sunday, November 11th, 2018

If you’re reading this, chances are, you read the title of this and thought “Aren’t Whiteboard Video Animations a type of explainer video?” before clicking the link. Well, yes, they are. However, Whiteboard Video Animations and live action, or even digitally animated, explainer videos can each be used in strikingly diverse ways from one another.

You can reach different audiences, convey different tones, and even present different formats of data, by using the various forms of explainer videos. In this article, we will take a look at some of the options available to you, and why a particular type of video may be more effective than another depending on the situation.

Whiteboard Video Animation

Good for: Light tone, dense information delivery, delivering a message

A Whiteboard Video Animation is precisely as it sounds: an animation on a whiteboard, usually drawn by a “disembodied” human hand, with narration. Whiteboard Video Animations are a great way to target children or present an educational explainer video.

The hand-crafted drawings are usually simplistic, but cute, making them appealing to a broad demographic, and Whiteboard Video Animations are uniquely suited to deliver vast amounts of information in an entertaining and short amount of time. Often with a personal and stylish feel, due to the calligraphic writing, Whiteboard Video Animations masterfully mix the ‘drawing hand’ into the videos, which give a very human feeling, to another impersonal cartoon.

Drawbacks with Whiteboard Video animations are that they cannot target all audiences. Too much information will take away from the animations, and vice versa, and despite having a human touch apparently, it’s never quite the same to looking into someone’s eyes while the talk, or even seeing their face.


Live Action Explainer

Good for: Delivering a message, testimonials, comparisons. A live action explainer is likely to include digital animations, transitions, and effects. Despite this, the focus of this form of explainer is the person(s) on camera. Often giving a testimonial, or griping about competing services, live-action explainers can deliver stirring messages from those that a viewer may consider a peer or role model. They can be humorous, sad, exciting, or even devoid of emotion.

These are more appealing to professional consumer crowds, but by choosing the actors wisely, they can be focused at any demography and industry.

Too much on-screen information forms a disconnect between the viewer and explainer.  A viewer might ignore the data, to focus on the person, or focus on the information only, with no context. Worse, a viewer may find themselves trying to focus on both, but being unable to focus on either.


Digitally Animated Explainer

Good For: information delivery, corporate presentations, being insulted. In theory, while a digitally animated explainer may be used against a broad audience, they generally end up looking like a highly dynamic powerpoint presentation or a used car lot commercial. However, this isn’t necessarily bad if you’re trying to target a corporate audience or boardroom. The emotional styling of Live Action and childlike drawings of Whiteboard Explainers just aren’t suitable for such a setting.

These are ideal for people who want to share a significant amount of information, statistics, projection, and more, to people who wish to receive a significant amount of data.


In Conclusion

Which style of explainer video you choose to use, is entirely up to you. Of course, one method may perform better than another, while targeting a particular audience, but each of the styles has their advantages and disadvantages. Just please, try not to show digitally animated explainers publicly.

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