How to Create Explainer Video Characters?

Picture of Komal Chaturvedi
Komal Chaturvedi

Co-Founder & CEO, MotionGility

Explainer video Characters
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    Brands often produce animated explainer videos to win over customers. 96% of customers watch explainer videos to determine how a product or service works. 


    But have you ever wondered why these videos are so popular among the audience? 


    n engaging script, a captivating hook, or fantastic visuals, there are multiple factors that affect an animated explainer video’s popularity. But one element that often stands out the most is — the explainer video character. 


    Animated Explainer videos use animated characters to pour life into the video. These video characters enable brands to formulate realistic scenarios that attract and entertain viewers. This results in a higher viewership and engagement for brands. 


    Explainer video characters make explaining a product effortlessly. Brands show animated characters using their product or service and highlight its benefits through various storytelling techniques. 


    Still, creating unforgettable video characters is not an easy task. It requires so much research and effort. 


    This blog will discuss the different types of explainer video characters and how you can design your own animated characters. 


    But first, let’s see some examples of explainer videos with excellent characterization.

    Examples of animated explainer videos with amazing characters

    1. Slack - work, simplified

    Explainer video characters should be relatable to the viewers to be successful. This video by Slack portrays the everyday work life of people. The animated character goes through a hectic day that we can all relate to. 


    The video contains many elements, but the character always stays in focus through the use of different colors. In addition, the video production company weaved a story around the main character’s life to show how Slack can bring positivity and ease into work.

    2. Amazon Smart Home

    The best way to explain a product is by demonstrating it in use. In this video by Amazon, we can see how its Smart Home product series works in real time. 


    The video was made engaging by incorporating relatable scenarios into the animated character’s story. 


    We see multiple scenarios that demonstrate the product’s benefit. The animations enabled Amazon to showcase multiple products in the same videos without once breaking the flow.

    3. Moonworkers

    Every character needs a solid story, robust voiceover, and smooth video effects to make it more notable.  This explainer video by Moonworkers had a straightforward script paired with fantastic character animations. 


    The video had a minimalistic character design, and the setup created a relatable ambiance for viewers. The visuals and strong narration made it easy for viewers to follow the story. 


    Moonworkers efficiently introduced and explained its product with the help of storytelling.

    4. Super Sync Sports

    This explainer video for Super Sync Sports is full of fun animations, quirky music, and an engaging storyline. In addition, the video is full of humor and anticipation as the character runs, swims, and cycles toward the finishing line to win the trophy. 


    Though the video has a minimal voiceover, the characterization, illustrations, and script enable viewers to grasp the meaning of the video. Even with so many elements on the screen, the main character is always in the viewer’s sight and engages viewers through fast-moving visuals.

    5. Salesforce

    This is another video where the explainer video characters are secondary to the core messaging. Through the characters are secondary, they complement the visual so effectively that it makes them stand out. 


    Salesforce used a background with their brand’s colors and highlighted the characters with vibrant colors. This helped bring attention to each character in the video.


    How to create the right explainer video character for your videos?

    1. Audience identification

    The best way to engage viewers is by creating a character that looks and behaves just like your client’s target audience. The video becomes more intriguing and alluring when the characters and the viewers share the same problems, products, and ideas.


    Therefore, it is crucial to design characters based on your target audience. You can do this by conducting thorough research on the target audience and creating a buyer persona. This buyer persona represents the likes, dislikes, buying behaviors, and buying journeys of the target customers. 


    Once you clearly understand what the customer needs, you can provide them with an effective solution. The buyer persona also helps write a script that resonates with the viewers. 

    2. Decide how the character will narrate the story

    Different messages have different character uses. Before designing the right character for your animated explainer video, you should first define what the character’s role is going to be. 


    For example, when you want to evoke strong emotions in your audience or establish empathy for a topic that directly affects them, your main character should be the story’s main focus. This gives the characters more room to appear relatable and to support the voiceover’s points. 


    But your characters should play a secondary role in videos sharing more broad information or idea. This allows you to utilize your characters more creatively.

    3. Generate empathy and emotion

    Emotions and empathy are great tools to encourage viewers to purchase a product/service. By evoking the right emotions in the viewer, you can significantly influence their following actions. 


    You can create the right mood and atmosphere by selecting the appropriate colors, backdrops, objects, on-screen text, fonts, and narration. However, one of the finest ways to do this is through your animated video characters.


    With animated characters, you have the freedom to present whichever emotion you want. The voiceover can also greatly impact the audience’s purchasing behavior.  Furthermore, these emotions are heightened when the viewer feels related to the character. 


    So, designing the right character and choosing the perfect voice artist is crucial to building an emotional connection between the viewers and the character.

    3. Add Unique characteristics

    There should be some distinctive traits in your character. Unfortunately, when you try to create relatable characters, they sometimes become lost in the sea of several others. 


    To ensure that your character makes a memorable impact on the audience, adding exaggerations becomes crucial. 


    A quick way to distinguish your character is by adding unique elements to their appearance.

    Types of explainer video characters

    1. Realistic characters


    These animated characters look like real people and depict real-world scenarios, as the name implies. In this case, there is no room for exaggeration. Everything should look and feel like it was plucked from the pages of a book. 


    Though animating such characters takes time, they have the advantage of having a more detailed appearance.


    In addition, they can be portrayed to look like your target audience and used to reach a specific consumer group because customers connect emotionally with such fictitious beings.


    Realistic characters are frequently featured in explainer videos for B2B, government, banking, and financial organizations because it allows people to relate to them easily.

    2. Cartoon character


    A cartoon explainer video character is a drawn depiction of a persona, an emotion, or a situation. Cartoon characters are very colorful and saturated. However, they are frequently overdone, and events are exaggerated to make them more enjoyable. 


    Videos with a more informal and casual tone typically feature cartoon-animated characters.


    These characters only resemble real humans because of their exaggerated features or dimensions, and they are frequently drawings of expressive heroes who take part in unbelievable situations.

    3. Stylized character


    Stylized animated characters are a distinctive blend of realistic and cartoon characters. Though some traits may be overdone, these personalities closely mirror actual customers. 


    Characters that have been stylized are perfect for a variety of businesses, including the government and entertainment. They are a fantastic opportunity to establish the perfect mood and add passion, charm, or humor to your explainer videos. 


    Instead of being targeted toward a particular group of people, these characters appeal to a broader audience.

    4. Stick figures


    Stick figures are mostly used in whiteboard explainer videos where the story concerns an intangible process or a conceptual idea. In such videos, the character is simply a structural element to which you must refer rather than an actual “person.” 


    Such characters are also used when the audience is unknown or when you want to avoid addressing a specific group

    Reasons to use Character Animation in your Explainer Videos

    • Animated characters induce a sense of nostalgia in the audience.
    • Video characters add more value to the script and improve the storyline.
    • Animated characters allow brands to produce relatable videos and attract a wider audience.
    • Being customizable, animated characters can be changed to match your target audience’s characteristics.
    • Animated characters make it easier to explain complex products/services.

    Final Words

    Animated explainer videos are undoubtedly the best way to drive leads and conversions to your brand. Thus it is advisable to always choose an animated explainer video company that understands your target audience and helps you create characters suitable for them

    The unique characters can capture a viewer’s attention within seconds. In addition, they evoke deeper emotions in the audience and help brands form better relationships with customers. 


    As a result, character animation explainer videos are quickly becoming a popular tool in the marketing world.

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