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The power of video marketing is undeniable, and explainer videos are increasingly being used to drive value propositions and awareness of brands. There are two types of explainer video; animation and live action. Whilst animation is often favored, live action explainer videos also have great benefits.

As the saying goes, ‘people buy from people,’ and live action can convey human emotion in a way that creates real emotional impact. Another bonus is being able to make use of your own resources, including employees, which can help kick-start that ever-important relationship between brand and customer. Also, if your brand offers a tangible product it might be better to use live action, as you can show real people reaping the real benefits of using it.

To show how successful live action can be, we have found four of the most effective examples, and will outline how and why they’re the best.

1.Dollar Shave Club

We’ve mentioned it before, and many other explainer video companies also consider The Dollar Shave Club’s explainer video to be one of the most successful. Not only did it bring the business incredible success, their low-cost, subscription-based, razor delivery concept completely disrupted the razor and blade industry.

The Dollar Shave Club uses live action to move through their chaotic warehouse whilst giving a comedic description of what their subscription service offers. So what makes it so successful? It’s the conviction with which the ‘employee’ reels off facts about the business model, the company and the problem they are trying to solve.

The use of an employee (or someone posing as one) in ‘professional environment wearing a shirt and tie and sat behind a desk encourages the audience to trust the brand from the very beginning. They can get a good idea of what they are about, and the use of questions coming from an actual person really prompts an answer (and therefore, likely higher consideration of their brand in consumer decision making).

2. Express VPN

Express VPN is an app that offers remote servers in 160 countries across the world. It protects users’ privacy online, whilst allowing them unrestricted browsing worldwide.

This live action explainer video is particularly effective form the emotional perspective. It opens by addressing the problem they solve, the unreliability of the internet when you are away from home. For business people staying in hotels, this is a relatable situation that can be connected with emotionally. We follow this businessman in his attempts to stream TV, get directions and video call his family, all of which are made easier by the app.

3. Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix is an online personal styling service, where using an online profile, the company sends customers a personalised box of clothes. In just thirty seconds, this live action explainer video explain exactly what the process is and how easy it can be for the customer.

This is a great example of the benefits of live action for brands that offer a tangible product or service. The video shows the process the Stitch Fix team undergo to select products based on customer preferences, and also show exactly what customers can expect to receive. Physically seeing what they will receive may move the potential customer from considering purchase to actual purchase.

4. are an online service that provides people who are moving house with an assistant that helps them plan it for them. The video runs for less than a minute, but still explains how the company can help save you time, money and the stress associated with moving house.

This is effective in the sense that it conveys real human emotions and problems. Viewers can step into the shoes of the man in the video, and see how their life really could be made easier by the service offers.


Live action can sometimes be overlooked in favour of animation, but these examples prove just how great live action can be.