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Explainer Video Trends for 2021

This past year was truly one for the history books. From a global pandemic that kept many of us in physical isolation to racial justice uprisings, our world feels very different than it did at this time last year. 

Here at Next Day Animations, we love the chance to do some looking back, and some looking ahead at what’s to come.

In 2020 we:

In 2021 we’re looking forward to telling more of our clients’ stories in a compelling and shareable way.

So, what’s next for animated explainers? When we gaze into the Next Day Animations crystal ball look at trends in video marketing, here are a few things we notice. 

Explainer Video Trends for 2021

Explainer videos, which used to be five minutes or more when they first hit the internet in the late 2000s, are now clocking in at a minute or less. Simple, to-the-point explainers designed to catch someone’s eye in ten seconds or less are doing really well. 

We’ve also seen a rise in infographics, which share a lot of information at a glance. 

But we also see a hunger for value. COVID-19 brought all of us inside and on our devices more than before, which means many of us have burned out on consumption for the sake of consumption. Sure, we still do The Mindless Scroll fairly frequently, but we’re also canceling our cable and streaming service subscriptions the moment they stop feeling valuable to us.

This means organizations that can connect with their clients and audiences in authentic ways really stand out

We also see more companies using explainer videos as a change management tool – check out some examples here. Whether it’s COVID-19 protocols, a new work-from-home-policy, or a regularly scheduled software update, animated explainer videos are a great way to share the same consistent message with teams in multiple locations in a way that people actually want to watch.

Visual Trends for 2021

Form and function work together, and how your story looks visually can be as important as how you tell it. Here are some emerging visual trends you’ll want to keep your eyes on.

As with explainers, authenticity is huge. A great example is this New Yorker cover that clearly resonated and was reposted all over the internet.


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A post shared by The New Yorker (@newyorkermag)

Mixing 2D and 3D animation is becoming more popular. Think of 2D animation as creating drawings that move, and 3D animation as a model that moves. Combining these animation styles makes for a visually unique way to share information.


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A post shared by Jasper Hilgers (@jasperhilgers)

Natural and organic forms are making their way into graphic design and animation – no surprise after a year when the great outdoors was our only safe break from staring at the walls.



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A post shared by Jasper Hilgers (@jasperhilgers)


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A post shared by Procreate (@procreate)

Finally, Whiteboard animation is seeing a surge in popularity because of its versatility and accessibility.

If you’d like to try any of these tools or styles of storytelling, you know who to call! We’d love to chat about your big idea.