These short, informative videos have grown in popularity over the last while because of how simply and effectively they can showcase a new product or idea. Research shows that 74% of customers who watched an explainer video on a product ended up buying it, with 83% of companies that used video advertising reported increased sales.

Animation allows companies the ability to tell a story in more creative and imaginative ways than live-action video has the ability to. Within this medium there are two types of graphics to choose from: 2D or 3D. Both have strengths and weaknesses to be considered when choosing the right format for your video.

2D animation

This is the best option if you want to break down complex concepts into simple visuals. It is effective and more economical than 3D animation. Both B2C and B2B companies choose 2D more often because it evokes emotion and puts the focus on the message without being too overwhelming for a general audience. Simple visuals are easier to plan, design, and be original with.


It is a great tool to use to explain how to use a product that may be unfamiliar to consumers. This type of animation is also effective at displaying subjects people are uncomfortable with like bugs and disease without leaving them feeling disgusted. You could even eliminate the need for dialogue, making it easier for your message to reach a global audience. Two-dimensional animation gives you the flexibility to get as complex as you want with the design of the video depending on your budget and the image you want to portray. There are a few steps in the production process of these videos, which means they can be completed in a shorter amount of time using less money.


The simplistic nature of these videos make it difficult to show too much detail, which can be limiting for some complex ideas. Choosing an amateur artist could also lead to reduced quality, jeopardizing the effectiveness of the message you are trying to tell.

3D animation

Companies have invested more money in the past few years into their brand image in a number of ways. One of which being 3D animation, which allows them to give their messaging more detail and emphasis. This is a relatively new approach to explainer videos that requires more planning and money to produce.


It makes up for the shortcomings of 2D and live-action video with its ability to bring imaginative and detailed concepts to life. It stands out from the sea of 2D videos most businesses have released. It is more immersive and engaging, making viewers feel a part of the video experience rather than on the outside looking in. It is also far more versatile with its potential to take on a wide range of tones, styles, and formats to meet your specific needs.


Three-dimensional animation requires much more planning, meaning more time and money. This may not be an option for smaller or newer companies, or for projects that need to be completed quickly.

Ultimately, your decision will be based on budget, turnaround time, creative vision, key audience, and purpose. There is not a clear winner between the two, but it is important to be aware of the end results each can produce when making a decision.