Which is Better a Demo Video or Explainer Video?

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There has been a debate lately regarding which is better: Demo Video or Explainer Video? For those who are not familiar with the term, Demo Videos are those videos that are either the companies CEO explaining what the product is about or customers sharing what they feel about the product in front of the camera. Explainer Videos on the other hand, are those videos that use motion graphics, or animated infographics to explain what the product is. This type of videos are mostly 2d animated and this is what you mostly see in companies’ homepage now a days. Explainer videos can contain animated character, graphics and motion to convey the message.


So which is better? Are explainer videos just a fad? Or are they the real deal?


In my opinion, both type of video is effective depending on the use. Actually, both are different and cannot be compared but for the sake of those people who are asking, here is a little insight that might help you with the question.


In marketing they say “People buy from people” which means people are more connected to real people even if that person is on camera. While I do agree with that statement, that is not to say that explainer videos are not anymore effective.


Remember, content is still the king here. What type of video to go for is just the execution, not the content itself. Content is still the most important aspect in marketing. So before we ask which type of video is better, what we should be asking is what is the content? What is the product? Who are the audience? What is the goal of the video? What is the goal of the marketing campaign? What is the budget? Explainer videos are relatively more affordable than Demo videos or videos shot with real people.


The reason Explainer videos got its popularity is because it was something new during 2009 – 2010. It has become sort of a novelty. And since explainer videos are like the standard now, Demo videos has become sort of “new”. It’s just a cycle. So now that you can see explainer videos almost anywhere does that mean it loses its relevance? Not necessarily.


There is one thing that explainer videos do better than any other type of video and that is explaining stuff. So the question is does the product needs explaining? Are people familiar with your product? If it’s something new or complex then explainer videos would be a good fit. That is the reason why startups would benefit from explainer videos.


So if on the other hand the product is already on its mature stage, and you want to sell it and show what it feels to use the product then Demo videos is the way to go. Because as they say this really connects better to people than other types of video.


So let’s say you have a new product and you use a Demo video. People wouldn’t understand what it is for, how to use it, especially if the video is just a talking head. But if it was an Explainer video they would immediately understand it. That is why TED ED uses a lot of explainer videos when explaining complex topics.


I am not saying that explainer videos cannot be used to connect with your audience. Again content is the king. It’s what you do with the content that matters. Companies like Apple, Google have used motion graphics, or in our terms explainer videos to invoke emotion.


So what’s the answer? Which is better?

My answer is both.


It depends on your needs, your branding, your marketing goals. So the next time you decide which type of video to go for, think about your content first.


Attributions to the photo above:
Photo on the left – “Ryan McCarthy” by Joi is licensed under CC BY 2.0 added play button icon and text from original
Photo on the right – copyright owned by Plainly Simple Studios