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The Psychology Behind Effective Explainer Videos

Updated: May 21

Explainer videos have become a staple in marketing strategies due to their ability to communicate complex messages in a concise and engaging manner clearly. The effectiveness of these videos, however, isn't just about the animation or the script—it's deeply rooted in psychological principles that captivate attention and persuade viewers. This blog post explores the key psychological tactics behind effective explainer videos and how you can use these insights to enhance your video content.

1. Simplicity and Cognitive Load

The human brain appreciates simplicity. Compelling explainer videos reduce cognitive load by breaking down complex information into manageable pieces. This approach is rooted in Cognitive Load Theory, which suggests that learners are more likely to understand new information when it is presented in a way that does not overwhelm their cognitive capacities. To leverage this, ensure your videos are straightforward and focus only on the essential elements of your message.

2. Storytelling and Emotional Connection

Storytelling is a powerful tool in explainer videos because it builds an emotional connection with the viewer. According to the psychological principle of narrative transportation, when people lose themselves in a story, they are more likely to be persuaded by it. Crafting a narrative that viewers can relate to, complete with characters and scenarios that reflect their own experiences, can significantly enhance the impact of your video.

3. Visual and Verbal Synchronization

The Dual Coding Theory posits that information is more easily retained when it is presented both verbally and visually. Explainer videos capitalize on this by synchronizing voiceover and visuals to create a rich, engaging viewing experience that aids comprehension and recall. Make sure your visual elements closely align with the spoken content to maximize retention.

4. The Use of Metaphors and Analogies

Metaphors and analogies are effective because they link new information to existing knowledge, making complex ideas more accessible. By drawing comparisons to well-understood concepts, explainer videos can quickly convey the essence of a product or service without getting bogged down in technical details.

5. The Primacy and Recency Effects

Psychologically, people tend to remember the first and last parts of what they watch—the primacy and recency effects. A strong start and a compelling finish are crucial in explainer videos. Begin with a gripping statement or question that piques interest and end with a memorable conclusion or call to action that reinforces the key message.

6. Colour Psychology

Colours influence mood and perception, and their use in explainer videos can significantly affect viewer response. For example, blue can evoke feelings of trust and security, while orange might be used to suggest creativity and energy. Choose colours that align with the emotional tone of your message to enhance the psychological impact.


Understanding the psychology behind effective explainer videos can transform how you develop this content, ensuring it not only informs but also engages and persuades your audience. By applying these psychological principles, you can create explainer videos that are not only visually appealing but also deeply resonant with viewers on an emotional and cognitive level.

This exploration into the psychological elements emphasizes the need to consider how human behaviour and cognitive processes influence the effectiveness of marketing tools like explainer videos.

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