Why Humor is Essential in Animated Explainer Videos
Unlike a ‘real’ video format, through which ‘real’ people could portray light as well as intense human emotions with equal magnificence, the animated video format could, at best, be used to imitate real human emotions, essentially in a fun & cheerful way. This is primarily so, because the default and prominent attribute of animation as a communication technique, irrespective of its purpose of use, is light-heartedness. And although animated characters could represent human beings (or human-like beings) in a video, they can’t replace them when it comes to showcasing real & deep emotions, that could charge or move the viewers. Thus, the only emotional appeal that particularly goes well with animated video-communication technique is humor.
The biggest advantage of using a character animated explainer video for communication is that it lets you present a visualization of your complex concept with the help of one or more personified characters. Since these characters are hand-drawn by a storyboard artist and could represent any imaginable (real/unreal, tangible/intangible) entity, there is an endless scope for creating unique character representations that are funny and lovable.
Also, since animation has motion and sound elements, the creative communication techniques, like ‘Exaggeration’, ‘Satire’, ‘Parody’ and others that trigger laughter, could be beautifully used to bring out visual humor through funny body language and/or facial expressions of the moving characters. This is another reason why humor naturally goes well with animated video-communication technique.
Types of Humor Elements & How They Could Be Incorporated in an Animated Explainer Video
Loud Humor involves those humor elements that are presented very apparently and could easily be experienced by viewers as funny and laughable. One obvious way of bringing out this kind of humor in an animated explainer video is by intentionally writing a funny script by using one or more wordplay techniques like pun, phonetic mix-ups, obscure words and meanings, double entendres, rhetorical devices, and creating supporting visual humor elements, so that the voiceover (the script) and the visual- together bring out humor. Needless to mention, sound effects play a very supportive and important role in bringing out loud humor in an animated explainer video.
Silent Humor, in an animated explainer video is the ‘not-so-obvious’ kind of humor. One way of bringing out silent humor, is by creating only visual humor elements. Imagine, for example, a video frame that is being shared between a lead animated character and a supporting animated character. When you are viewing the video, although most of your attention would be on the lead character, the supporting character could still be animated to bring out humor through its body language or facial expressions. These kind of subtle humor elements give that ‘special effect’ or ‘magic touch’ to your animated video. Although the expressions or body language of the supporting characters would go with the flow of the script, still their humorousness is independent to themselves.
It often happens that when a humor element is not very obvious to every viewer, it makes it all the more engaging because then, the viewer automatically takes interest in interpreting this subtle humor, and in doing so, pays more attention while watching the video.