Explainer videos plus live action video -the best of both worlds

Explainer videos are a highly effective way to communicate  the top level sell points of a product or service.  They’re most effective in explaining complex processes and software.  But one of the criticisms of an animated explainer video has been the lack of heart and individuality. An animation is entertaining and useful as an explanation, but many of the explainer video animations look the same. That’s why we introduced the Explainer Live Action Hybrid.   It’s highly impactful for a couple of reasons:

  1. It introduces a person looking back at you.  Research has shown that a human being looking you straight in the eye has much more emotional impact than a generic animated character.  And it instills trust and a bond that goes far beyond what an animated character can do.
  2. It introduces an owner or director of a company to the potential sell base.  When the owner or owners of a company are comfortable communicating on camera, it’s a powerful connector, introducer and trust builder with the potential audience they’re trying to establish a relationship with an move that audience into the sales funnel.

What makes for an effective hybrid live-motion/animated explainer video?


Recognize where the video is at in the sell cycle and communicate just enough to peak someone’s curiosity so they will either request more information via telephone or agree to join your database so you can continue to educate them on aspects of their industry that will continue to build trust or result in a direct sale.


Keying in on who your b2b consumer is will greatly speed up the migration of new to committed.  Is your audience a top level director or a purchasing agent much lower in the hierarchy?   The language you use will depend on who you’ve determined is your audience.


Since you’ve already determined your target, your message will be much clearer now.  You’ll know how much industry jargon you can use for your target. Don’t get bogged down in the minutiae yet.  Tell the decision maker the most awe-inspiring aspects of your product or service.  Create enough interest to have your product added to the considerations.  Your video should peak curiosity sufficiently enough to create a conversion, however you’ve decided that conversion to be at the beginning of the video planning stages.

The Human Factor

As detailed above, the difference between a straight animated explainer video and a hybrid, is you.  Placing a representative of your company directly into the video adds a heartbeat and a human touch.  When combined with common sense animated explanations, you have a truly exceptional sales tool that will give you a definite advantage over a run of the mill PDF or powerpoint presentation.  Human + explainer animated video = results.

Below is an example of a hybrid animated-live action explainer video featuring the two principles of the company, Direqlink.

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Tim McLarty - Ontrack Communications Inc.

About the author

Tim McLarty is creative director at Ontrack Communications in Toronto. He’s a podcaster, and his background includes 9 years as professor of media creation at Humber College and 17 years as a broadcaster across Canada.  Ontrack is a media studio creating video, motion graphics, audio and podcast content.  In his spare time he makes short films and travels to any country that will have him.