asking for a friend. At one time they were a real thing, but now seem not to be.
Thanks Ethan! I wasn't involved in the first season, but can testify to the amazingness of everyone who worked on the show
I really love the animation on that show! Think about it regularly, great work!
This is true. I think that much of the Mograph community is very fond of old style 2D animation and wants to be like that and think of themselves that way, when in reality clients who would hire them really just want really good Explainer type animations that communicate well using motion
It seems like within these specific mograph circles where we share and curate, they are getting less attention. Just because they aren't in trend with what everyone is drooling over lately, doesn't mean there isn't a huge market for them. I think there is a huge gap between what we as motion graphics artists gravitate towards, and 95% of the clients actually care about.
I was being facetious: Clearly people still make explainers but I get the sense that they are no longer a go to for some companies they way they used to be. As Ryan Summers said, the startups with the VC funding do not automatically budget for an explainer for their new product/service. This is the group where the idea of the 1-2 minute explainer basically came from. Not sure what that that is about....that is why I made the post. Replies like yours show me that they are embedded into the landscape of video and are being done but for some reason perhaps a hot new company doing their first marketing does not do that. Maybe it is a fad, maybe something else...things go in cycles
I don't really understand how "videos that explain things" could be dead. If you're a company that sells a product or service and you want to educate potential customers, they're not going to be able to just divine that information.
Maybe some companies have moved beyond the most basic version of this (i.e. "How Title Insurance Works" with flat vector style animation and a stale voiceover narration). But that seems like an unnecessarily narrow definition of the term "explainer." My full time job is making explainer videos for professors who are generally aware that audiences are more likely to learn about their research by watching a video than by reading a 40-page working paper.
I also think explainers (while I'm not thrilled with the term "explainer") were noble work as well. When done well they can be really wonderful to watch while also teaching someone something new they might otherwise not read up on or research on their own.
This Vox series Earworm is a great example and are all amazing:
I spent a year of my life (spare time in between client work and parenting duties) creating my own "explainer" in the hopes of showing their value and maybe just maybe justifying budgets for pushing them a bit in terms of quality and creativity.
Man I'm happy to hear that. Gives me hope.
They're definitely not dead. Unfortunately, there are a bunch of companies claiming that they can make a 3 minute explainer for a couple grand. This has cheapened the medium in a big way. I have recently worked with high end product companies that can be convinced that a quality animated explainer is more in line with their brand. They have then adjusted their budget far above the very cheap (shitty) explainer video companies. These premium companies can be fun to work with because they want you to push the creativity and quality.
I think they've morphed a bit.
I don't think there are a lot of "This is a problem and we (insert company name) are your solution".
I think we are seeing more information-heavy videos that are technically explainers, but not in the masses that we did even 3 years ago.
Also not dead from my point of view. I'm working at a company that does e-learning courses--and the majority of them include fun explainer-like animations throughout.
Awesome - I love that show!
also, there are less "NEW" or "interesting" consumer facing startups at the moment as well where they need a marketing video.
LooseKeys is what immediately came to mind when I saw this post.
Interesting. That is where Explainers came from in the first place
well, currently working on the Vox show called "Explained"... I think I can definitively say explain-y animation is not dead :P
but maybe it's moved from commercial web video into more of the documentary/education/news arena
We've seen a bunch of internal client-facing explainers for established tech companies in the last year that have healthy budgets, but the fresh-faced VC-funded startups have started going dark.
Just because someone doesn't do them or consume them any more dosen't mean they are dead. When you're not doing them it's easy to think they are dead or something lame.
They're not dead, there just isn't a flood of them. I think a lot of that has to do with the backlash that came following the revelation that facebook basically faked that 'study' about video over print media. Major outlets seem to be a little gun shy to use explainers after that, I think.
But there's always a market for education based content. I'm working on one right now.
I recently listened to a podcast by School of Motion's Joey Korenman and he made Explainers sound like a horrid period of Motion Design that is thankfully past.
I always thought Explainers were a perfect vehicle for Motion Design and noble work, especially when the topic was important worldwide issues.
I thought they were perhaps victim of attention spans getting even shorter and moving to the Twitter 30 second ad instead.
They are still alive - budgets for them seem to be dying though.
Answering for myself. Nope. They are still a real thing. It depends on the client, but there are a ton of business who ask for these. Doesn't' mean they make the front page of Motionographer or Stash.