Creating Characters for Explainer Video

The hero of your explainer video can make the success of the whole story. Get to know how to create a memorable animated character your audience will love.

Creating Characters for Explainer Video 20
Illustration by Yuliia Dobrokhod

When you wrap the benefits of your brand in an explainer video, you always try to give it the best shot. You write a script and design a storyboard; you develop characters and create ways to introduce them to the narration. Explainer video characters can make your break the success of your video. 

Using animated personas, you delight your customers and prospects. The matter is that animated videos are similar to cartoons: they both have narration, characters live through different situations (and your audience knows exactly how one can experience such a situation), they have the same circumstances.  Animated videos help to build stronger connections with your viewers.

Make customers the hero of your story.

Ann Hadley

We can’t agree more. When your clients see that the protagonists of animated videos resemble them, they start to feel compassion for the story, and as a result, emotional connection to the brand. 

Characters become an effective tool in establishing stronger bonds and boosting business development, but they also set the right atmosphere of the story. They can explain the benefits of your product, service, or idea better than a listing of your advantages put on the screen.

94% of marketers say that videos help increase the understanding of their product or service. Indeed, when the characters are used, the story becomes complete and comprehensive. Even the facial expressions of the explainer video character can be more speaking than words.

Benefits of Animated Characters

Animated characters set a proper atmosphere in your explainer animated video. When used properly, they make your brand look more humanized. If you introduce characters into the video, you can also ease them in the product, email marketing, and social media. However, humanization is not the only benefit of using animated explainer video characters. Other benefits are:

Waking up emotions

For example, nostalgia. Good old cartoons are a strong tool in waking up the memories about days full of joy, freedom, and fun. Your audience will be glad to turn back time and experience those emotions again!

Adding customization

With an animated character, it’s easy to customize your approach to marketing communication with customers. By implementing graphics and animation in the video, you can create the effect of one-to-one talk.

Making it flexible
Animated video production helps to reach more clients with less effort. It assists in developing a human approach even for companies that work for complex businesses.

Giving space for versatility
Explainer videos can be combined with other types of videos and introduce them into marketing activities. Try to combine explainer animated video with whiteboard or motions, and the results will impress you.

Maximizing the Engaging Power of Explainer Videos

Currently, 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. Therefore, all of them regularly create videos, and the competition in this field is high. If you want to maximize the power of explainer videos, make sure that your video has the below-listed features.

  • It has high quality.
    A good explainer video must have a great script, perfect animation, and excellent sound. If you are not sure you can create it yourself, you can also ask for help!
  • It’s adapted to your business and customers.
    To be effective for your business, the video must be fully adapted to your customers. If a video answers the questions of your target audience and solves their problems, it builds trust and establishes stronger connections with clients.
  • It should not exceed 90 seconds
    The length of the character animation explainer video must be between 60 and 90 sec. This time is enough to engage users and show them the story in detail.
  • Use professional voice-over.
    To improve the performance of the video, use a professional voice-over. First, it must be in the language of your audience. Secondly, voice-over must be done by native speakers.

Different Types of Character

You can use any type of character to create the right setting for the story. Each explainer video character type has its advantages and can be compelling to different audiences. Therefore, always remember about your clients – what do they like, what type of animated character will represent them better?

When you choose a character, also keep in mind the video’s tone, atmosphere, and content. If you understand what goal you want to accomplish, it’s easier to choose a proper character.

Cartoon characters

Cartoon explainer characters are a drawing that depict personas, reactions or situations. As a rule, they are hyperbolized and situations are exaggerated. Cartoon characters are colorful and saturated.

Realistic characters

This type of animated character resembles real people and describes real situations. In this case, there’s no place for exaggerations. Everything should look like it’s real life. Realistic characters are frequently used in explainer videos for B2B, government, banking, and financial institutions.

Stylized characters

It is a combination of realistic and cartoon characters. Stylized characters resemble real customers, but some features may be hyperbolized. Stylized characters perfectly suit various types of businesses, from entertainment to government.

Stick figures 

Sometimes, the story is more important than the explainer video characters. If it’s your situation, it’s better to use stick figures in the video. When to use stick figures? The first situation that comes to mind is when you still do not clearly understand your audience.

Design Your Character

How to design a character that your customers will love? We would recommend following some best practices in animated videos that greatly affect the performance of the characters you use.

Generate Empathy

Happiness, fear, anxiety. There is a wide range of emotions your character may generate. It is called empathy. Emotions help to build strong connections between the company and customers, and empathy is one of the strongest tools used for this.

Spawn identification

When characters act like your customers, do the same things, and have the same problems, they start to identify themselves with the character. Therefore, they start to act like the characters. They solve problems the same way, buy the same products, and have the same ideas. Due to this effect, the video becomes more interesting and appealing.

Make use of humor

Nothing works better in a video than humor. You can always deliver your idea in a slightly different way: with jokes, funny elements, and hilarious situations. For many businesses, humor works better than any other tool. And even if you think that your business is too serious, a little bit of humor will never hurt.


A compelling character can become a ‘spokesperson’ for your business. Creating a character for an explainer video is a long and complicated process. For many businesses, it’s impossible without the help of professional animators and directors.

We at Explain Ninja will gladly help you with any stage of creating a character – from idea to execution. No more worries about finding the right voice for your brand; we work with an expert voice-over group that will help you sound great.

A character will become the star of your animated explainer video. The story will get the style, representing your creativity and finding a new way to capture your customers.

What are you waiting for? Just leave us a note, we’ll respond faster than Flash would do!

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