Animated Explainer Video

A guide to writing a successful script for your business’ animated video.

Whether you’re creating an animated explainer video or a photorealistic 3D animation, it’s easy to assume that the visuals are the most important part when in reality the most important stage of the project is developing the script.

A great script can transform an animation. The animation style may be stunning, the flow and movement perfected but if the script falls flat, it’s all for nothing. Whilst the overall look and feel is hugely important, they won’t be enough if the script isn’t up to scratch. As with so many things, if the core concept is weak or overlooked, it’s going to be much harder to realise your objectives for the project or to effectively communicate with your audience.


Often viewed as an afterthought, the script is crucial – the very foundation of any successful project. It’s written to keep the viewer’s interest, and really tell your story. If it’s too long, people will switch off. If it uses convoluted language and/or industry-specific jargon, viewers might become confused and simply won’t understand you. If your project is an explainer video, that’s the exact opposite of what you want! Below is a guide on how to create a script that will transform your animated video.

Start with a brief.

To write an engaging script, you first need to begin with a project brief. Ask yourself what you want to get across in your video. What’s your overall goal for this animation? How will this be measured? Why do you want to share this with your audience? Who even is your audience? Where will this be used?

Find your target audience.

How do they speak? How does the demographic usually consume media and via which platforms? Make notes on these and use them to make sure your script will appeal to them. If you overlook this, you could create an animation that appeals to nobody!

Don't rush.

We can’t stress enough how important this stage is so don’t rush it. Sure, it would be great to get started on the more creative parts of the project straight away but the project as a whole will suffer. Make sure you factor in enough time for multiple rounds of amendments and for all stakeholders to feedback on the script.

Establish a tone.

In order to speak authentically to your audience, it’s important to establish the tone. Scripts for animated videos should generally be conversational and concise. It’s always beneficial to read your script aloud so you can get a feel for the tone and also spot any awkward or needlessly complex sentences or words. Read your script aloud. Does it sound like a real conversation, or more like a bank’s terms and conditions? Also, don’t forget to include emotion. Laugh or cry, your viewers will be more invested, connected, and engaged right from the start if you give them an emotional hook.

Structure your story.

For animated explainers or product videos, it’s best to stick to four sections. Start off by establishing the problem. Then, introduce the solution. Once you’ve done that you can briefly mention a few benefits of your service or product. Now it’s time to include a call-to-action so the audience knows what to do next.

Check the length.

Compared to a regular conversion with a friend, the voiceover needs to be slowed down slightly so the important information can be absorbed. A good rule of thumb is to aim for around 200 words for a 90 second video. Many people think the best way to get a better ROI is to cram in as many features and benefits as possible but this actually has the opposite effect. Bombarding them with too much information could result in them struggling to remember anything – less really is more. You want viewers to relate to the problem your product solves and then get hooked by 3-4 killer features/benefits. The call-to-action (CTA) at the end will then direct them to the website to find out more.

Show, don’t tell.

Animation is a powerful medium that can engage audiences like no other. According to studies, our brains process videos 60,000 times faster than text – take full advantage of this. It can also be used to communicate more complicated actions or narratives than you can communicate verbally. Let the visuals do a lot of the heavy lifting. Don’t list overly complicated features of your product or service, briefly mention them and have the visuals communicate them to your audience. Here at Atom Studio, we also create an audio/visual script (AV script) that allows us to break down the scenes. Here, you can quickly write down ideas for each scene and it’s a highly efficient way to see what is and isn’t working.

Keep it simple.

The KISS principle says it all – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Jargon, way too much detail, going off on a tangent, and even just talking for too long will turn a viewer off. They don’t want to know the ins and outs of each process, and they likely won’t retain it if you tell them. Imagine you’re explaining it to a friend, or even a child. As Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”


Most viewers simply don’t want to watch a 5 minute explainer when they know they can find out the same information in 90 seconds. There are exceptions to this though and this is where knowing your audience is incredibly important.


For maximum ROI and engagement, keep it short and concise. 60-90 seconds is the sweet spot, with engagement rapidly declining after the 2 minute mark. Ideally, you need to engage your audience within the first 30 seconds, making it clear what your message is and why they’ll benefit from watching it. Doubling down on this approach, it’s even better to try and hook your audience within the first 5-10 seconds to keep them engaged.

To summarise.

Overall, one thing is clear: you should start every project with a script and really take the time to perfect it before moving onto the next stage of the process. It’s far more efficient to iron out any issues early on compared to when production has started. It also gives you a chance to focus on the core concept and the audience before moving onto the style. The look of the animation will be informed by the script, which is another reason to focus on getting it right.


If you have any questions or would like to discuss a project then please get in touch with us. Our talented team would be more than happy to take a look at your script or chat through developing one in collaboration with us.

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