The Ultimate Guide to 'Explainer Animations'!

By Patrick Campbell

Picture the scene.

You’ve come up with a fantastic new product/service/scheme/campaign (delete as applicable) for your business.

You’ve managed to convince your CEO/big scary boss person that a video promoting it is a fantastic idea and well worth spending money on.

You’ve booked a meeting with your absolute favourite video production and animation company Stone’s Throw Media.*

Stone’s Throw Media tell you that for your video, an explainer animation – preferably one only about 60 seconds long – is the right way to go.

It’s all (hopefully) very likely, but at this point you may have two questions – what the heck is an “explainer animation”, and how much would a minute-long one cost?

Let’s back up for a moment and tackle these posers in turn.

An explainer animation is an animated video (you probably guessed that bit) which is tailored to educate and inform the viewer.

It can take the viewer through a step-by-step process (e.g. how to set up and use a new product), it can demonstrate how a service works and its benefits, and it can help explain why a scheme is worth signing up for.

When it comes to what makes a good explainer animation, the key combination is “informative” and “eye catching”.

Yes, they’re visually appealing, but they must be educational and not flippant or childish – there’s a place for puerile inanities masquerading as humour, and that place is on “Noel’s House Party”.**

So that’s what an explainer animation is. The harder question to answer is just how much one would cost if it was roughly 60 seconds long.

The costing of an animation normally comes down to production time, and this can really vary based on budget, style, and quality.

For example, creating a 3D animation will take longer than a 2D one, one style of animation such as rotoscoping can take much longer than, say, one created only using motion graphics, and the depth of quality is of course a factor too.

Once the animation’s style has been settled, you’re then probably going to start wanting to talk about additional elements to the video – elements such as script support, a professional voice-over, bespoke music, subtitles – all things that will add to the cost.

Our animator Jamie perhaps summed it up best when he said this:

“It’s like preparing a delicious sandwich. The more ingredients you have in it, the longer it takes before you can eat it!”

These elements/”ingredients” will add man-hours to the production process, but they could be essential in making your animation as fantastic as you want it to be.

So, answering “how much would a 60 second explainer animation cost?” is a bit like trying to work out how long a piece of string is or trying to understand the appeal of “Piers Morgan’s Life Stories” – very difficult bordering on impossible.

But, in our very humble opinion, we would say you would be looking at anywhere between £1,000 – £5,000 for a solid piece of animated work.

Now, when are you booking that meeting with your CEO/big scary boss person and then giving us a call?!

* What do you mean we’re not your absolute favourite?

** There’s a joke for the teenagers


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