Ah, the explainer video characters… think of how many animated characters you know.
Plenty, aren’t there?
Friendly animated mascots have always been with you starting from childhood movies and games and ending with TV commercials with everything in between.
Take a look at the last commercial you’ve watched which had an animated character in it, can you remember their face?
It doesn’t matter whether you liked the ad or not, there is a high chance you can clearly remember every detail of that character, and you have probably bought that product as well. The demonstrative purpose of the animated character is not to be underestimated, and for good reason.
Because they can be animated in any way needed, good explainer video characters are always extremely easy to relate to, and they can reach you on a deeper level than any catchy sales slogan said by the narrator.
Take the toothpaste industry for example: how many ads with talking toothpaste or toothbrushes or teeth (or all of them) have you seen in your life, telling you how important it is to have very clean teeth and how their product is the newest revolution in dentistry that will ban cavities forever?
TV commercials are only one of the places you will see popular animated characters, and the reason behind it is obvious: they are by far the best way to tell a story, make the viewer relate and finally prompt them to buy the product or service advertised.
Explainer videos themselves are no exception to this rule: explainer video characters rule in this market, and as you should expect by now they are just as successful here too.
A good explainer video is created with a couple of goals in mind. While the specifics vary from company to company and from video to video, the general things it sets out to do remain the same in nearly every situation imaginable:
- Introduce and explain your product or service to an audience that is probably not familiar with it
- Display your brand as a friendly and reliable one
- Show in a clear and straightforward way how exactly does your product make the viewer’s life, business and more better than it would be without it
- Prompt them to buy whatever it is that you are selling
The flexibility given by explainer video characters allows you to show exactly what you need to show without the limitations of a real live actor, and lets you pack things in a format that is much more fun and captivating to watch.
Because they are created specifically for your video, these characters embody the message, and become the walking and talking version of your product’s essence.
If you have taken a flight recently, you will probably have noticed that the safety information is increasingly displayed in an explainer video format, using animated characters that represent different kinds of passenger.
The video would look much more tragic and alarming if it used real live people, but the ‘cute’ factor of the animated passenger makes it much more enjoyable to watch and helps airliners get this important information across faster.
Getting your audience to identify with your explainer video characters
To make a character relatable, you need to think of the product, who uses it and why does the average customer use it. Think of the age range of the people who usually buy your product or who would possibly be interested, how do they look like and finally make a character around this profile.
You need to understand that your character is like the mascot of your product, and depending on how popular it becomes with the explainer video maybe you will want to use it later on in your branding and other forms of advertising and identifying the product, so think ahead.
Besides the physical appearance and personality of your character, the setting in which they will be presented is just as important. The explainer video storyboard needs to be one your viewers can relate to their own.
Take an explainer video about your new revolutionary paper towel that you are about to launch into the Japanese market for example…
Considering most of your customers will be Japanese or living in Japan, it is wise to make the animated character live in Japan as well.
If the product is paper towels, then you should restrict the world to situations where your revolutionary paper towels fit in together with the viewer.
In this case, either in a supermarket where they can buy a pack of your product, or at home where they are having a great time cleaning up an enormous mess with impressive ease, all thanks to your product.
The character shows that they saved time by buying your paper towels, and that therefore the viewer can do exactly that if they buy your paper towels too Wonderful, isn’t it?
Don’t forget to get creative with character development and add more than one character as needed – the main character’s family, for example. The key is to make the explainer video easy to relate to, and as relatable as possible.
Last but not least, we repeat: keep it fun. Adding a little bit of humour to your explainer video characters will make them more likeable, and this will surely score you points with the audience.
There are some cases and products where humor is not an appropriate way to sell, but those are more specific situations. Also check out our explainer video tips for more ideas.
Laughter makes it easier to remember the video and creates memorable moments, and if the scene is really good you might strike a goldmine and have people sharing your video for that – who doesn’t want to earn thousands in sales because everyone can’t stop talking about that fantastic explainer video they saw the other day?
How we create explainer video characters
Here at Spider Videos, we are sure that nobody knows your audience better than you do. We create your animated character in versatile programs like Adobe Illustrator and provide you with three or more version of them
To help you picture the final version, we put all versions of the explainer video characters in a different pose. That way you can easily tell us which elements you like from each version, revise anything you would like and finally get the ideal character you want for your explainer video.
The key to creating great explainer video characters that connects with the audience and closes sales even in your sleep is to knowing your audience inside out, being sure of what they want and what they expect from your explainer video, and putting all of that into this character. The need is there, and it is your job to feed it.