Explainer video case study: The BBC

BBC explainer video
The BBC is producing explainer videos, and if the BBC are doing it, you know it’s legit.

Taking extremely complex topics like stars in space and World War One and summing them up in great 3-5 minute explainer videos.

Now I know what you’re thinking, besides the obvious, ‘well this is sort of interesting’, why do I care about what the BBC is doing?

The reason is because the skills that they are employing to generate interest and engagement around their videos can be used for your business. They even made a helpful instructional video:

There are three main takeaways from this video:
  • Create a completely integrated approach between script and animation

  • Have a big idea!

  • Be selective and clear with the subject, but not too simplistic

These messages are incredibly important and are keys to the success of any explainer video.

Create an integrated approach

This is most likely a general rule for all content that the BBC creates and should be a rule for everyone. It’s simply, if the animation doesn’t help to explain the content, then the animation is only detracting from the content, not adding to it. The core purpose of the animation is to help articulate the idea in an engaging way. But if it is not doing this, you’re doing it all wrong.

Have a big idea

The BBC are lucky, they have lots of big ideas already. They just have to look at history and there are plenty of stories to use, but the idea is key. Without one overriding idea for the entire video, viewers will become confused. Aim to generate one overriding idea that follows through the video the whole time.

“Explainer video needs to get its point across very efficiently. It’s impossible to cover all the ground in a particular area, so you need to focus on a story ‘hook’ that is fundamental, understandable and repeatable.”

Don’t dumb it down

This is key, and this is something that could easily go wrong. If you create a dumbed down version of your idea you are going to bore your customers. However, go the other way and your complicated video will alienate your target market. You have to get this one perfect, smack bang in the middle, simply and concise, not dumb, and not too intelligent.

Now the BBC, a very respected company that produce program length TV content, are creating explainer videos? I think it has become very clear to all, including the BBC, where the value lies and how important explainer videos can be to communicate specific messages and ideas to audiences.

Want to create your own explainer video? Of course you do. But I mean, do you want to do it now? Contact us or check out some of our work!



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