Why animated explainer videos work in B2B marketing

There is this perception in the world that animation is designed purely for children. I might be coming from a biased point of view when writing this as animation forms a massive part of my life. I do have to admit that I have probably watched most of the animated movies released on screen since I was a child. I recently asked my dad if he had seen the newly released animated movie Storks (a movie that plays on the concept of storks delivering babies, a concept that came about because parents were too scared to tell their children the exact origin of their existence). So the story around ‘Storks’ is actually quite an adult concept in itself, a humor in the name that children probably won’t understand. He immediately answered "I’m not a kid anymore, I’ve finally grown up!", now, granted I have been living away from my parents and my home town for quite some time now and like to think I am an adult myself, yet I don’t see that as a reason to stop watching animation. 

Animated movies are designed to cater for both adults and kids, because at the end of the day, it’s parents who are taking their children to go see these films. When Finding Dory was released earlier this year I read a meme on Facebook that made me chuckle a bit in my office because it was exactly how I felt about the movie’s launch. The meme was just a picture of Dory with text overladed that said “Parents can you please just give us a chance to see the movie first before taking your children. I’ve been waiting 7 years for this! All that your kids see are fish!"

Which is very true. I went to go watch the movie by myself, it also happened to be father's day which was a big mistake, but anyway, I was the only millennial amongst a bunch of screaming, crying kids. To me the movie was a very real depiction of the struggles of mental illness along with how parents have to cater for the needs of their children with these very real diseases. It was a tale of Dory becoming self aware of her own mental illness and learning how to make the world aware of it too. The hurdles she had to overcome and how she interacted with the other fish who only ever greeted her with misunderstanding. There were a lot of tears from my side but also a lot of healthy laughter. All I kept thinking was, “I wonder what these kids think this story is about”. I mean obviously it was entertaining for them, but it was even more so for me and it was about a lot more than just fish.

Which brings me back to the point that I’m trying to make here, that the idea that animation is purely for children is a myth. Now when it comes to the work that we do, you can imagine this is something we have to deal within our cliental quite frequently. Trying to convince your client why an animated video will work to help explain their complex CRM application is hard work - but trust us, there is reasoning behind it, this is why we do what we do. 


Using animation to explain your product or service relates to that inner child, at the end of the day, animation is used as a medium to explain life scenarios to children in a fun and exciting way. Your consumer market still wants to be entertained and there are some products and services that are hard to grasp off the bat - so we use animation. Animation helps people over that hurdle of understanding something new by making them feel comfortable and less anxious because it’s presented in a medium that feels fun and familiar. Animation simply makes your audience feel like they should be able to understand what you are explaining as it is communicated to them in a format that is used to explain things to children. 


The best part about animation is that it allows you to focus less on the actual film work and gives you full creative freedom to go mad with the concept behind the video. This means that a combination of creative, bold and humorous writing with over exaggerated graphics/ relatable characters or even just aesthetically pleasing visuals result in a video that directly reflects your brand personality the way you want to show it. 

People need to be able to gain a good feel for who you are before making a purchasing decision, they want to feel like they can trust you, video allows you to make this virtual connection. 


Animation is able to create an atmospheric stage of your design that is able to engage with your audience by using relatable characters or storylines that are used to trigger emotions. It is much easier for your audience to stay hooked and interested by what you are explaining when they feel like they are emotionally invested, especially when positive feelings are experienced. The information presented in the form of animation is more likely to stay in your audience's heads because they have related some kind of emotional reaction to it, which automatically boosts your brand's chances of word-of-mouth marketing being spread. Animation comes across as a story being told as opposed to live action marketing videos which seem more staged and scripted. Animation is usually something your audience chooses to watch/ wants to watch. 

There are a lot of positive aspects to using animation to market your product or service. Especially due to the fact that we are in a visual age, we retain information shown to us in video 80% more than we do when it’s read. There is a lot you can say in 90 seconds of animation, a lot more than you would with text. And, most of all, everyone just seems to love animation. And just like my dad, if you tell me you don’t, we all know you are lying, because animation is for adults too.

Jason van Niekerk

RGB and Alpha, 48 Pine Road, Cape Town, WC, 7925