Should I make a whiteboard animated explainer video?

No! Never.

Yes, whiteboard videos are cheap – essentially free – and they ultimately achieve what you want in an explainer. That is, they explain your product in a short video. So it may be very tempting to go this route, especially if you’re a bootstrapping startup.

But if you’re serious about your brand, you need to avoid the ubiquitous whiteboard explainer.

Here are reasons why.

Whiteboard Animated Explainers are OLD.

Remember those UPS commercials? The ones where that dude with long hair is actually drawing on a whiteboard (no time lapse). If you don’t, then that already proves my point. If you do, you know those were long time ago. Like over a decade ago. They may have been pretty nifty (to some people) back in 2007, but it lost its coolness like…ten years ago!

So now, will your whiteboard video suddenly bring back its novelty?


Whiteboard Animated Explainers look TERRIBLE.

I admit there were a few whiteboard videos that were kind of cool. One drawing leads to another drawing and there’s a nice surprise at the end where a picture emerges unexpectedly. We’ve all seen those, and even though we may not have been totally wowed, we may have thought it was kind of neat.

These days, those kinds of whiteboard videos are hard to find. Why? Because it takes skill to come up with those. And if you’re that creative – or hire someone who is – then why waste it on a whiteboard video?

These days, whiteboard videos are not actually drawn. They’re generated by some software and stock images and cartoons appear as a fake pen “draws” them.

It’s a cheat, a lame shortcut, and you don’t have to be an artistic person to know they look like garbage.

Whiteboard Animated Explainers do NOT serve your BRAND.

In fact, they do the opposite. They make your brand look outdated, cheap and implies that you are just like everyone else doing these lame whiteboard videos. Boring.

You need a customized video that reflects your brand. That means sometimes you may not want animation at all. Maybe it’s live action with real actors. Whatever the best route is, you need a video that tells your story and shows who you are as a brand.

Whiteboard videos don’t help you. They hurt you.

Whiteboard Animated Explainers are NOT CHEAP.

Okay, they are cheap to create. You download some software, put in some time, and there you go: your own whiteboard explainer. Or if you don’t know your way around a computer, or you just don’t have the time, you can hire some freelancer to do it for you for like a hundred bucks.

So, you may think they’re cheap.

But what are you losing in the long run?

Spend some money on a quality explainer and your ROI is higher. This is guaranteed.

Customers will be more compelled and engaged with your brand. In this age of short attention spans, a whiteboard video will get lost in the social media hurricane. A quality video, however, has a higher chance of retaining audiences and holding them to the inspiring call to action at the end.

Investors will see that you are willing and smart enough to do things right. Not take shortcuts, not go cheap, and understand the importance of branding and presenting yourself in a proud and dignified way.

Whiteboard animated explainers cheapens you and your brand.

So, next time you’re tempted by the whiteboard demon, shoo him away. Tell yourself, I’m going to commit to taking the right road, the harder road, which will lead to greater rewards.

Here are a few brands that took the right path:







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