Explainer Videos: Digital Brew finds its niche
Issue: August 1, 2016

Explainer Videos: Digital Brew finds its niche

ORLANDO — At the Democratic Convention last month, Hillary Clinton once again referred to husband Bill as the nation’s “Explainer in Chief,” referring to the former president’s skills at communicating complicated issues in easy-to-understand language. Likewise, the explainer — a short animated video — has rapidly become a powerful communication tool used by thousands of businesses and organizations, large and small.

Fuse Animated Explainer Video from Digital Brew on Vimeo.

Digital Brew (www.digitalbrew.com) in Orlando is an Emmy award-winning animation studio that fancies itself as an explainer in chief when it comes to communicating in a video format. The studio has a team of talented animators who specialize in the art of short-form ‘explainers,’ the term they use to describe their work. Michael Cardwell founded Digital Brew to focus specifically on businesses and organizations that require entertaining, simplified and to-the-point explanation of their products and services. 

“For decades, :30 and :60 commercials ruled the world of television,” says Cardwell. “But as the Internet matured, other forms and platforms for short-form messaging appeared, more recently the explainer. As a result, we’re seeing the TV spot facing major — and quite possibly existential — changes.”

A significant part of the marketing picture, the explainer is employed in a mix of online marketing strategies, from Websites to social media. “Live action content is great and is a very powerful tool,” explains Cardwell. “But what’s great about the explainer is that most of the time they’re much cheaper to produce, and you can tell a story in more creative ways than you can with just a live-action video. For example, if you want to have a character on the moon, or have a classroom full of kids, or a lion dashing through a remote jungle, with simple animation it’s very easy. No need for cameras and lighting, a casting director, live actors, permits, crew and a complex shooting and post production schedule, all quite costly. And people just enjoy watching an animated video a lot more than a boring testimonial or the usual live action video.”

Cardwell points out that the explainer allows Digital Brew to really focus on storytelling while employing imaginative imagery to communicate the client’s value propositions, resulting in the conversion of the viewer of the explainer into a customer. 

“Through a well-executed explainer, we find that businesses can easily expect conversions up to 70 to 80 percent.”

Cardwell pointed out that a Digital Brew explainer for an online school, Vergence, performed exceptionally well.

“Vergence is not just another online educational program,” he says. “Vergence is the school of the future, and we promised ourselves to give our client an explainer that would not only highlight their best features and benefits, but also set them apart from other online educational programs in every sense of the word. What was truly unique about this project was that our client needed a video that would simultaneously strike a chord with not only students and parents, but also with potential partners.”

Likewise, for software company Fuse, the company wanted a video that could be used on their inbound as well as outbound marketing. For that reason, it was important for them to have a video that would resonate with both types of audiences, one that knew how painful the process of getting their software platform developed and one that had no idea what that process entailed.

“Because the tone of this video was a little bit more serious, we used fun elements in the animation to capture the audience,” says Cardwell. Digital Brew’s pipeline includes Adobe’s Illustrator, After Effects and Audition titles as well as Maxon’s Cinema 4D.