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Live-action or Animated Explainer Video - How to Choose?

64% of business owners say explainer videos boosted sales. So you want to create one for your business. But should you choose a live-action or animated explainer video?

The live-action vs. animated explainer video debate has been around forever. But the truth is that the method you’re going to use depends on the goal of the video, the intended audience, and the product or service that you want to promote.

The main difference between the live-action and the animated explainer video formats is that animations give you more flexibility when you want to explain an abstract idea or a complex topic that would be hard to film and edit.

On the other hand, live-action videos are more personal. If the human aspect is important, then live-action videos would be the best choice.

Let’s look at the Pros and Cons of Live-action explainer videos.

Pros for Live Action Explainer Video

With live-action videos, we usually have real people so the content is more personal. If you have a psychical product and it is important to showcase how it looks and works, the live-action videos would be the best option for you.

Live-action videos humanize your business and product and make people gain trust in your brand. And since nothing makes us want food, a certain beverage, or a piece of clothing more than to see it in its best light, live-action videos work best for tangible products you can touch, smell or taste. Take food, for example – even the best illustration can’t beat the image of an actual tasty burger. Live-action videos are great if you sell food, as well as for the beauty and fashion industry.

Depending on the goal of your video and the outcome you’d like to achieve with it, you can either hire a professional crew or film the video on your own. Sometimes, you can even film on your phone and still create a great video. This is not true with animations, and if you have no knowledge in this field, it would be almost impossible to create a video on your own.

It all depends on the scope of your project, but if you’d like to create a video on your own or need a quicker turnaround time, the live-action videos would be the better option for you.

Cons of Live Action Video

On the flip side, if the scope of your project is bigger, there will be more people involved in creating your video. You’ll need to hire a crew, cast, equipment, and the whole process might be a lot more expensive.

This also means that you have less flexibility with live-action videos. Say, for example, that you want to add another scene or change a title after you’ve already filmed the ad. It would be incredibly expensive to reshoot all the footage just to change a scene. This is not the same with animation. Since animations are digital, it would be way easier to add a scene even in the middle of the process.

Pros of Animated Explainer Video

When we talk about animated explainer videos almost anything is possible. Even if you have the most abstract idea, a good animation studio can turn it into an engaging video that people would love to watch. So, if you have a product or a service that would require more freedom in explaining what it is that you do, or if you want to educate people on a specific topic- then the animation would be the best option for you.

Animated explainer videos are perfect for simplifying a complex idea or a more abstract concept. Say, you want to educate someone on how the blockchain works – you will have a really hard time doing that with a live-action video. However, an animation would be great for the task. Animated explainer videos are perfect for the tech and medical field, as well as other types of services.

There is a great variety of styles that you can choose from and make your video really interesting to watch. The perfect animation style for you depends on a number of factors and if you want to learn more about how to choose it, check out our article on the topic.

An animated explainer video offers you a lot more options than live-action. For example, it is way easier to adjust the video once it’s done and repurpose it. For example, creating a few different cuts for social media ads and even changing the call to action or a scene in the video. This is way harder in live-action videos since you’ll need to reshoot the footage and hire the crew again to do it for you.

Not to mention that animations are way more creative and engaging than live-action. Since you have almost no restrictions when it comes to explaining complex concepts, you can be sure your brand stands out from the crowd by being more creative than your competitors.

Animated explainer videos also have a longer shelf life. Say, for example, that you create an animation for your website, but decide to change your prices in 2 years. In animation, you can make a change like this in 2 seconds and upload your new video to make sure it is relevant. Or even more common – you want to launch an explainer video for your application, but the UI is still not ready. You can simply have your animated studio put a generic UI mockup and people will still know what you’re talking about. You can also change the animation if you rebrand. The animated content you produce can last years before you need to produce another one. And this is not the case with live-action videos. This is why animated videos are way more cost-effective in the long run.

Are There Any Cons?

Of course, the human touch is missing when we talk about animation. Leve-action is more relatable and easier for viewers to identify with. Regardless of how well it’s designed it’s much harder to see yourself in an animated character.

So which one to pick?

If you have a psychical product or want to be relatable, live-action videos would be the perfect choice for you. For instance, when you create testimonials, it’s better to show real people as this will give their words credibility.

Animated explainer videos are primarily used in explaining complex ideas or educating your viewers on a specific topic. Animated educational videos are way more interesting to watch than a reel of a person presenting something on camera.

When it comes to picking between the two formats, always consider your message, target audience, and goal. That would help you make the best decision on which one of these formats is better for your brand.

Different types of videos are also suitable for different stages of your marketing funnel. Do you want to know more about what that is and how you can use video to increase sales? Download our FREE ebook below.

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    Author avatar
    Iva
    Iva is a content creator and script-writer at Kashu. She's been a member of the team for over a year and her favorite pastime is to create, read, watch, and listen to stores.
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