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E-learning in 2021: Interview with Animation Explainers' Dylan Healy

By Michael Sum | 4th November 2021

E-Learning is an incredible tool that can be enhanced with engaging video content; the Animated Explainer format masters this. 

With the benefits of the web being so evident, augmenting the ability to teach and learn is at the forefront of people's minds. We are chatting with Dylan Healy, from Animation Explainers, to explore the marriage of animated video and voice-over for animation.

Q: Hi Dylan, it's great that you are taking the time to chat with us. So, to start, Can you tell me what Animation Explainers is and what you do? 

We are a media and production company focused on storytelling & animation content based on the Isle of Man in the British Isles. Our team scales into Europe with offices in Dublin and sales agents around the EU. We also have an HQ in Toronto, which is seeing significant growth in North America. We offer unique and eye-catching animation solutions for businesses around the globe for companies like Mattel, DHL, AIG, Munich RE, Vanguard and more.

My business partner Aaron Connolly and I bootstrapped the company as interns working at Marketo EMEA in 2018. Animation Explainers LTD as it is today, really started as a passion project/ hobby in our spare time. Once we realised we had a product offering that met the market's demands, we quit our call centre graduate jobs and took Animation Explainers to the next level. Three and a half years later, we have built up a great sales/ marketing team, animation/illustration team, and we are looking forward to scaling up further into 2022. 

Q: You have been in the business since 2018; what lessons have you learned as you have grown in this industry? 

The biggest lesson we have learnt is to have an abundance mentality when doing business. We offer a flexible approach and cater to a variety of industries. At the start of doing business at Animation Explainers, we tended to think relatively small and focused on the Irish market; that's where we started, working with many SMEs in Dublin. As time went on and with some fantastic mentorship along the way, we gained confidence (in ourselves and our business), and we started to think bigger. We now have a mindset through which we look for opportunities over obstacles day to day, and this has helped take the business from a small startup to an industry leader in the Animation space. 

The second most significant lesson I have personally learned is that of being resilient. This has translated into the operation and running of the business. I have always been a resilient person, and I have dealt with many personal hardships growing up; this helps when running a startup business & I have used this to fuel animation Explainers. We are a strong team with an ambitious vision, and we look for resilience in our new hires; this is a rare trait to find in folks in their 20s. Things may not always be plain sailing, but it's having a team around you that gets you through. We continue to strive together even in the face of adversity. 

Q: The past year and a half have been unusual, to say the least; what challenges have you had to overcome during this period? 

I think trying to manage a team of 40 remotely has been very difficult. We have team members in Ireland, Canada, the US, the UK and Asia. At times you want to reach out through zoom and be around your team in person. Nothing matches the synergy and energy you get from being together as a team in person. Keeping everyone motivated and on the same page during the pandemic, generally, we have done a great job.

In terms of client meetings and engagement, Zoom is a fantastic tool & the pandemic has actually helped us engage with our clients much better. Likewise, I always found that having a few pints of Guinness with my business partner Aaron and our Project Manager Hugo was a great way to destress & think about new ideas/solutions to problems we had during the day. The best solutions to most of our issues are usually found in a pub or on the golf course when you are switched off from the business. It's essential to switch off the tech sometimes and get away from it all. 

Q: Explainer animations are very popular nowadays; things move fast; what changes do you see happening in your niche? 

The industry is really competitive; it always has been. We see many more established players missing out on the consultancy and storytelling element of the explainer project. This is where Animation Explainers wins in this regard. We have a world-class process that we take all our clients through to create standout content. There are hundreds of marketing/ animation companies out there, but you won't get an experience or the consultation that we offer at AE. 

Q: What is the most popular use for an animated explainer video in your experience? 

I think our videos do an amazing job of explaining complicated concepts & problems concisely and uniquely. We have dealt with many Medical Device companies worldwide who use AE as a way to show their products and services in a simple, straightforward way and manner.

We have had a lot of success working with Vanguard Health, Dele Health, Roche etc. Our videos can help educate and qualify traffic on your website, so when potential B2B clients come knocking on your door, they understand exactly what you do. 

Q: Do you often use voice-over in your projects? In what ways? 

Yes, we have 75 voice-over talents worldwide in our service offering; this service is included in all of our packages. You can pick out the right VO artist that suits your brand and professionally record this content.

We signed a contract with the financial institution Moodys Analytics in New York, and they want a 90 Second Package with various multilingual translations & Voice-overs. That will all be completed and wrapped up next week.  

Q: Which project are you most proud of? 

For me, it's got to be our Fonolo Project, I love the creativity, how clear the message has been demonstrated, and the illustration is sublime. They are a Call-Back VOIP solution company based in Toronto, Canada. 

Q: To close, some less serious questions: What purchase have you made recently, for less than £150, could you just not live without? 

Well, I purchased two tickets to see one of my favourite bands, the DMAs, in Liverpool at the weekend. I really love going to watch live music, and now that the pandemic is finally in the rear - music, it's great to get out and watch some live music again! 

Q: Do you have a favourite animated movie, which is it and what do you love about it?  

Pixar's Wall-E is probably a standout. I remember it well from when I was a kid, and it has a great message about how humans should look after the environment!

Thanks, Dylan! Learning about Animation Explainers is a great way to gain insight into this industry. Explainer specialists know all the ins and outs of putting together educational or informative content. 

Voice-over for Animation

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Michael Sum

Michael Sum

Marketing Specialist and resident Content Monkey at Voquent. Michael has a lifelong passion for gaming media and bases his personality on whatever anime he is currently watching.

About Author

Michael Sum

Michael Sum

Marketing Specialist and resident Content Monkey at Voquent. Michael has a lifelong passion for gaming media and bases his personality on whatever anime he is currently watching.