Animated Explainer Video vs Live-Action Video: Which Is Better For Your Business?

Animated Explainer Video vs Live-Action Video: Which Is Better For Your Business?

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As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In the digital age, the same can be said for videos. Videos have become a crucial tool for engaging audiences and driving conversions. However, with so many different video formats to choose from, it can be overwhelming for businesses to determine which one is the right fit for their needs. Two of the most popular formats are animated explainer videos and live-action videos, each with its own distinct features. Many clients seem to face a hard while navigating through this decision.

Every company has a unique message, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Choosing the right type of video is like navigating a branching tree, with every offshoot leading to more options. If you need help deciding which style to choose, consulting with professionals will also help a lot.

So, between an animated explainer video and a live-action video, which one is better for your business?

In general, if you want to showcase how your product works in the real world, a live-action video may be more suitable. However, if you need to break down the technology or mechanisms behind your product, an animation explainer video would be a better choice. In some cases, a combination of both live-action and animation can create a compelling video.

Difference Between Animated Explainer and Live-Action Videos?

An Animated Explainer Video is a type of video that uses animation techniques to visually explain a concept, product, or service. It typically uses characters, graphics, and narration to convey information in an engaging and entertaining way. They can be customized to suit any brand or message, making them a popular choice for companies that want to present complex or abstract ideas in a simple, engaging way. 

On the other hand, a Live-Action Video is a type of video that captures real people, places, and events using cameras and recording equipment. It can include interviews, demonstrations, or footage of real-life situations to showcase a concept, product, or service. They offer a more realistic and authentic look and feel, making them a good choice for companies that want to showcase their products or services in real-world settings. Live-action videos can be shot relatively quickly, and because they rely on real-life footage.

Animated vs Live-Action: Choosing the Right Video Format

When deciding whether to use an animated explainer video or a live-action video, it is important to consider several factors. These may include the type of product or service you are promoting, the message you want to convey, your target audience, your budget and time constraints, and the overall goals you have for your video. Each type of video has its unique advantages and disadvantages, so carefully weighing these considerations will help you determine which approach is best for your business.  

Specific Goals or Message

While both animated explainers and live-action videos have their own strengths, the decision on which one to choose will depend on the specific requirements of the goals of your business. In industries such as healthcare, technology, or those with complex products and services, animation is often the preferred option. On the other hand, live-action videos are better suited for businesses that need to showcase real-world locations, such as the hotel industry. Ultimately, the choice between animation and live-action videos should be made based on careful consideration of the unique needs of each business, what message you want your video to convey, and also taking into account factors such as target audience, message, and marketing objectives.

Planning Budget

When deciding on the type of video to produce, it’s important to consider the budget you have for the production.  You need to set a budget depending on who you are hiring, how long you want the video to be, what the requirements are, and what type of animation are you choosing. In general, budgeting for animated videos can be easier compared to live-action videos. Live-action videos require consideration of multiple factors, such as hiring actors, crew, and equipment, as well as location, props, styling, catering, and more. If the video involves more than one person, the cost may increase significantly. Therefore, it’s crucial to plan your budget carefully to ensure that you can produce a high-quality video while staying within your financial constraints.


When choosing the type of video to create, it is important to take into account the amount of time you are willing to invest in the project. Because you might have a tight deadline or a product launch date, making this a vital consideration. Animators create everything from scratch. Animations can take weeks or even months to complete. Live-action videos, on the other hand, can be typically shot within a couple of days especially if they are shot on location rather than in a studio. However, the production time for live-action videos will still depend on factors such as the length of the video, the complexity of the scenes, and the availability of actors and crew.

Animated Explainer Video vs Live-Action Video: Pros and Cons

It’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both animated explainer videos and live-action videos. By considering the unique benefits and drawbacks of each approach, you can determine which type of video production is better suited to your specific needs.

Pros of Animated Explainer Videos

  • No need for actors: In an animated video, there is no need for actors to perform in front of a camera. Only a narrator is required.
  • No site scouting required: Animated videos don’t require expensive set settings that are required for filming, which saves money and allows you to monitor the project from your home or office computer.
  • Simplify complex concepts: Animated videos can simplify and reinterpret complex concepts, making it easier for a broad audience to understand.
  • More room for creativity: Animated videos allow for a more imaginative approach since they don’t have to adhere to the norms of reality.
  • Lower cost: So, what’s the cost of an animation video? Well, animated videos are usually less expensive to produce since there are fewer variables to consider when calculating their costs.

Cons of Animated Explainer Videos

  • Lack of human emotion: Some viewers may feel a loss of intimacy when watching animated videos, as they don’t show actual human emotion.
  • Lengthy timeline: Creating an animated video requires meticulous planning, creation, animation, and evaluation, which may take longer than some live-action videos.

Pros of Live-Action Videos

  • More genuine feel: Live-action videos have a more authentic and genuine feel to them compared to animated videos, which can help viewers connect with the message more easily.
  • Realism: As live-action videos feature actual people and places, they offer a high level of realism that can help showcase a company’s human aspect.
  • Accessibility: With smartphones, it’s possible to generate raw-looking videos that can still perform well online, making live-action videos more accessible to a wider audience.
  • Time efficiency: With good planning and a basic production and theme in mind, live-action videos can be created more efficiently than animated videos.

Cons of Live-Action Videos

  • Higher production cost: Creating a high-quality live-action video can be more expensive and time-consuming, with higher expenses for performers, props, set locations, and post-production.
  • Lack of versatility: Reshooting scenes during a live-action shoot can throw off the entire schedule and affect everything that has been planned and scheduled, resulting in a waste of both time and money.

Which Is Better For Your Business?

Deciding whether to use live-action or interactive videos can be challenging if you don’t have a clear plan for your key message and target audience.

In a short answer – “Animated videos offer creative freedom and can explain complex ideas visually, while live-action videos can show real people and build trust with customers, making them ideal for showcasing products in action.”

However, if you have those factors nailed down, choosing between the two should be straightforward. Having considered the pros and cons of both live-action and animation videos, it’s clear that the decision ultimately depends on your product, budget, time, and your goals for the video.