Cartoon Animation vs. Whiteboard Animation: Which is better for your explainer video?

explainer video

Explainer videos are one of the top marketing strategies for companies to bring their work into the spotlight and engage with their target consumers. However, interacting with your audience with the combined use of audio-visuals seems to be tricky, especially since it requires expertise in marketing, audio and video-making. Animation is the most common visual medium used in explainer videos. No matter what product the video is marketing, animation seems to grab attention more effectively than videos featuring actual people.

There are two distinct types of animation: Cartoon Animation and Whiteboard Animation. The decision to use one type of animation over the other for your brand could make or break your video. In such a case, it’s important to know the difference between the two and keep a few other things in mind:

The basic difference.

Cartoon animation is what we are most familiar with: colorful motion graphics that may or may not resemble the human world. In the case of explainer videos, they usually do.

Whiteboard animation differs from this in the sense that it is usually not that colorful. In fact, one sees the visuals being drawn onto a whiteboard for the purpose of explanation- much like teachers would do to explain concepts to their students.

The importance of color.

Since cartoon animations tend to be more colorful, they appear to be more engaging as opposed to the monochrome canvas whiteboard animation relies on. However, it is important to remember that colors are often distracting and extremely colorful videos are only suitable if the ideas expressed in the video are fairly simple. If the ideas presented are more complex, it is probably best to stick with whiteboard animation simple visuals to ensure that information is clearly communicated.


A major advantage of whiteboard animation is that it allows for the insertion of text which would otherwise be difficult to incorporate in complex cartoon animations. This, again, is useful if your video is explaining more complex ideas; perhaps why software companies usually rely on such animation for their videos!


Whiteboard animation has all the graphics being drawn on screen in front of the viewer, making them inevitably longer than cartoon animation videos. Keep in mind how long you want your video to be when deciding which type of animation you want to use for your video.

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