Animated Videos vs Live-Action Videos: Which Is Best for Your Business?

animated video vs live action video

‍In today's digital landscape, video content has become an essential tool for businesses to engage with their target audience and effectively convey their message. In fact, research tells us that in 2023, 91% of businesses use video marketing! When it comes to creating videos, two primary approaches dominate the industry: animated videos and live-action videos. Each has unique advantages and considerations, and choosing the right one for your business requires careful consideration.

Below, we look at some important differences between animated videos and live-action videos, explore the pros and cons of each, and offer a few factors to consider when deciding which video style best suits your needs.

Understanding Animated Videos

animated videos, video production

Animated videos are a powerful medium that helps businesses bring their concepts to life in a visually captivating and imaginative manner. With animation, creators have limitless possibilities. They can develop whimsical characters, vibrant settings, and surreal landscapes to tell your story. This medium offers boundless creativity, letting businesses simplify complex topics and engage their audience in a fun and effective way.

One of the main advantages of animated videos is their ability to showcase abstract products or services in a visually appealing way. They can simplify complicated concepts and make them more digestible for viewers. For example, tech companies often use animated videos to explain complex technologies and break down concepts that might be challenging to grasp through conventional means. Animation is also a great way to show your viewers the internal workings of a product or device that would otherwise be impossible using live-action video.

Another great thing about animated videos is their flexibility and adaptability. Changes and revisions can be easily made throughout the production process, allowing for greater control and ensuring that the final product meets your client's expectations. Additionally, animated videos have a longer shelf life than live-action videos, making them a cost-effective investment in the long run.

However, it's important to note that animated videos may feel more impersonal compared to live-action videos. While animations can effectively convey information, they sometimes lack the human element and emotional connection that live-action videos can provide. It's crucial to consider the tone and message of your video when deciding between animated and live-action approaches.

*Check out this article to discover the best uses for animated video in business!

Exploring Live-Action Videos

live action videos, video production

Live-action videos capture real-life events, people, and environments, giving the audience a sense of authenticity and relatability. These videos can evoke genuine emotions and create an empathetic connection with viewers by using actors, sets, props, and practical effects. That's what makes them so effective for narrative-driven content, interviews, and testimonials.

One of the primary advantages of live-action videos is their ability to effectively capture real human elements and emotions. Studies prove that people primarily use emotions when evaluating brands and that a strong emotional connection greatly influences purchasing and brand loyalty. Human faces and body language can convey emotions quickly and help create that strong bond with the audience. Live-action videos are particularly suitable for telling personal stories and showcasing the human side of a business.

Additionally, live-action videos also offer the advantage of using existing resources. They can be shot in real-world settings such as homes or workplaces, utilizing objects and locations that are already available. This can help reduce production costs and make the process more accessible, especially for businesses with limited budgets.

However, live-action video production involves logistical considerations such as casting, location scouting, and coordination of multiple elements. Changes and revisions can be challenging to implement once the footage has been recorded, requiring additional time and resources to make adjustments. It's essential to carefully plan and prepare for live-action video production to ensure a smooth and successful outcome.

Comparing Costs: Animated Videos vs. Live-Action Videos

One of the first questions when considering video production is the cost involved. Both animated videos and live-action videos have their own cost considerations, and understanding these factors can help you make an informed decision.

Cost of Animated Videos

Animated videos involve various elements, including scriptwriting, style framing, storyboarding, animation, sound design, voice-over, and more. The process typically starts with writing a detailed animation script, which requires careful scene description and planning. The complexity and length of the animation can impact the overall cost and production time.

When it comes to the cost of animated videos, there are different options available. You can assemble a team of freelancers, allowing flexibility in skills, budget, and quality. However, managing the project as a freelancer can require additional time and effort on your part.

Alternatively, you can work with a company or studio specializing in animated video production. This option provides more control and allows you to manage the project from a distance. It's essential to shop around and compare prices, as different companies may offer fixed pricing or charge on a completion basis.

Cost of Live-Action Videos

Live-action videos involve different stages, including scriptwriting, storyboarding, filming, and post-production. The complexity of the video, such as the number of actors, locations, and special effects, can impact the overall cost and production time. The more involved a live-action video becomes, the more the price tag starts to go up.

If you choose to create a live-action video, you can take a DIY approach or hire professionals. Hiring professionals ensures high-quality production and access to the necessary equipment and expertise. However, it also comes with a higher cost.

Pros and Cons of Animated Videos and Live-Action Videos

To help you further understand the advantages and considerations of animated videos and live-action videos, let's explore their pros and cons in more detail.

Pros of Animated Videos

  • Limitless creativity: Animated videos allow for boundless creativity, enabling businesses to bring any concept to life and engage their audience effectively.
  • Simplifying complex topics: Animations can simplify complex issues and make them easier to understand, helping businesses explain abstract concepts or technologies.
  • Flexibility and adaptability: Changes and revisions can be easily made throughout production, providing greater control and ensuring the final product meets expectations. In addition, if your product evolves or your company makes changes, animated videos can be seamlessly updated to reflect the new information.
  • Cost-effective in the long run: Animated videos have a longer shelf life than live-action videos, making them a cost-effective investment.
*To learn more about how to maximize the life-span of your content, check out this article!

Cons of Animated Videos

  • Potential lack of human connection: Animated videos may feel more impersonal than live-action videos, potentially lacking the emotional connection that human faces and body language can provide.
  • Longer production time: Creating high-quality animated videos can be time-consuming, often taking weeks or months to complete.
  • Higher initial cost: Hiring professionals or working with animation studios can come with a higher upfront cost than DIY options.

Pros of Live Action Videos

  • Genuine human connection: Live-action videos can effectively capture real human elements and emotions, creating a strong emotional connection with the audience.
  • Authenticity and relatability: Live-action videos provide a sense of authenticity and relatability, making them suitable for personal stories and showcasing the human side of a business.
  • Utilizing existing resources: Live-action videos can be shot in real-world settings, utilizing objects and locations that are readily available, reducing production costs.
  • Faster production time: Live-action videos can be shot within a shorter timeframe compared to animated videos, allowing for quicker turnaround.

Cons of Live-Action Videos

  • Limited flexibility for changes: Once the footage has been recorded, making changes or revisions can be challenging and time-consuming, requiring additional resources.
  • Lower shelf-life: Because it can be difficult and expensive to edit and update live-action videos after completion, they tend to lose their relevancy and become dated more quickly.
  • Higher production costs: Live-action video production involves logistical considerations such as casting, location scouting, and coordination of multiple elements, resulting in higher production costs than animated videos.

Choosing Your Style: Factors to Consider

Choosing between animated videos and live-action videos ultimately depends on your specific needs, objectives, and budget. To make an informed decision, consider the following factors:

Your Specific Goals

Your video marketing goals are usually the first and most crucial consideration in deciding whether to use live-action or animated videos. You can work backward from your goals to determine your video type. Goals that include social proof, client testimonials, employee testimonials for hiring, showcasing physical products, commercial campaigning, or company culture via interviews are generally best suited for live-action videos. On the other hand, if your goal is to explain complex ideas or processes, give step-by-step instructions, map a journey from problem to solution, or create a sharable, eye-catching video with brand personality, then animation might be the best option.

Type of Video

The type of video you create should frame the message you want to convey and the voice you want to share it with. Live-action videos may be the better choice if you aim to showcase a more personal and human side of your business. On the other hand, if you need to explain complex concepts, abstract ideas, or intricate products, animated videos can simplify the process and make it more engaging for viewers.

Time and Resources

Evaluate the time and resources you have allocated for video production. Animated videos typically require more time and expertise, while live-action videos can be shot within a shorter timeframe. Assess the availability of talent, equipment, and locations to determine which approach is more feasible within your constraints.

Target Audience

Consider your target audience and their preferences. Some audiences may respond better to animated videos, while others may prefer the authenticity and relatability of live-action videos. Tailor your decision based on what will resonate most effectively with your target audience.


Choosing between animated videos and live-action videos is a crucial decision that can significantly impact the success of your video marketing efforts. Both approaches offer unique advantages and considerations, and understanding your needs and objectives is critical to making an informed decision. Consider the type of video, available time and resources, and your target audience when choosing between animated and live-action videos. Remember, the ultimate goal is to create engaging and impactful content that effectively communicates your message and resonates with your audience.

At Levitate Media, we understand the importance of video production in today's digital landscape. Our team of experienced professionals can help you navigate the decision-making process and create high-quality videos that captivate your audience with the impact of professional video production.

Contact us today to discuss your video production needs and take your business to new heights with the power of animated videos or live-action videos.