This article has been contributed by Victor Blasco.
Whiteboard videos are one of the most popular and esthetically inspired types of videos to add to your marketing campaign.
Providers of all sorts – from small businesses to educational organizations and well-established brand – rely on this style to get their message across. By most measures, whiteboard animation shows that it can deliver the goods.
There are many technical aspects involved in the producing effective video content that will have a lasting impact on your audience. We could detail the wide range of elements that make up a good whiteboard video, but to overload you with a list of facts wouldn’t be of much use!
Instead, we’re firm believers that it’s better – and more entertaining – to learn from examples.
So, we’ve chosen ten of our favorite whiteboard animations out there to help with that! Hopefully, these selection of amazing work from several skilled video production companies can help you map out your own content, and improve your strategy to come.
1. Law-Whiz – United Kingdom
Are you trying to raise awareness about a specialized product or service? Do you think it’s difficult to explain it? Watch this video from Law-Whiz, a tech platform that connects barristers with solicitors in countries bound by common law.
It is a perfect example of how an otherwise highly niche solution can become a simple idea that’s worth exploring further with video. Employing the whiteboard style, you can “sketch” the visuals in front of your audience’s eyes to describe any complex issue with dedication and appeal.
In this case, the creators set out to give a simple but effective overview of how their service works. They guide the audience through its essential steps so they can have better understand all its features. The animation focuses their attention on the main aspects they need to know and how the solution can make things easier for them.
This company provides management solutions for small and large businesses. Well, okay. That’s something useful. But why should I care? What benefits can this solution offer me over all other options in the market?
This video could’ve just gone over each relevant element of the service, but they decided to go for a more effective route: they crafted a story around them.
The video begins by posing a common and important question: How can business owners manage their accounts? But instead of framing the problem in the abstract, they brought life to sympathetic characters who go through that situation.
Following their story, we get a real sense of the issue at stake. Only at the point where work starts to pile up and disaster is on the corner, do we learn about the solution this company has to offer.
With the help of relatable characters and story plots, you can spark an emotional response from your audience. As your narrative appeals to their values, your solution will be one that “speaks to them” and motivate them to see how your product can improve their lives.
This video is a bit different from the ones we’ve watched so far. Although it features animated characters that give it a touch of personality, it doesn’t focus on a particular story. Rather, it deals head on with the problem at hand: how to find subjects for medical trials.
The folk at MedVector capitalize on the whiteboard style to guide viewers on how their solution can help the clinical trial industry. The video goes over the different functions of the service and shows the simplicity of its use.
In general, whiteboard animation works really well at showing how a product works. You can also repurpose the style to showcase other features of your product or service. For example:
- You can show its nitty-gritty details.
- If you’re running an online platform, you can explain how to set up a user account and start using the service.
- If it’s a tech appliance or gadget, show audiences how and when to use it.
This type of animation lets audiences focus on what’s truly essential about your solution and keeps them engaged.
4. Science of Persuasion
If there’s something you can do exceedingly well with whiteboard animation it is to introduce audiences to important topics, and teach them useful lessons about them.
This educational piece, based on the pioneering work of psychologist Robert Cialdini, does so marvelously. What’s very instructive is to see the ways in which the creators used the video to convey the ideas.
- The narrator lays down the basic overview at the very beginning. This allows viewers to get a general idea of what’s to come and not get lost during the development.
- The voiceover lets the information sink in. The narrator does not rush at any time, and he takes pauses so that people can digest the principles.
- The video balances perfectly the explanation with concepts and animation. It uses the images to illustrate the information concretely.
This is how whiteboard animation can (and should) simplify technical research and make it accessible to everyone. With these videos, audiences are better equipped to explore more on their own.
5. National History Museum: Stress, Neanderthals and Us
Whiteboard videos don’t always have to take on the task of explaining a product or an idea in full detail. They can be great as teasers as well!
Such is the case of this video, used to promote a public event to audiences. In this case, the event is a then-upcoming exhibition at the Natural History Museum of London that would explore the relationship between Neanderthal psychology and humans today.
The video works as a trailer in the full sense of the word. It’s not there to showcase the relics to be displayed in the exhibition, but to raise awareness about the event and generate interesting questions to pick people’s minds.
As such, they give just enough information for the audiences to be motivated to attend the real exhibition.
6. Where Good Ideas Come from by Steven Johnson
Speaking of trailers, see how this video incorporates many of the elements we’ve discussed so far, but to promote something entirely different: a book.
Using the traditional hand-drawn whiteboard style, this piece discusses Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From, which analyzes the history of innovation. What’s key here is that the video is nowhere self-promoting, but was intentionally created to present the basic premise of the book.
The element that sets whiteboard videos apart from other types of animated explainer videos is their ability to reduce the complexity of a whole process. It’s amazing to see how this particular video unfolds. The flow of the ideas is always continuous and easy to follow, since they are presented as logically interconnected with each other.
You can see this reflected in the final frame of the piece, where the camera zooms out to give us a picture of the entire drawing. This reinforces the idea that the principles discussed are a system, as we end up eager to learn more from the book.
7. Oxfam: Raising Her Voice
As you can see, whiteboard animation can be entertaining, promotional, or educational and still work. But it can also tackle on serious subjects.
Such is the case of this video by the charity organization Oxfam International. The challenge they face is raising awareness about the plight of women around the world.
It’s interesting to see how much they accomplish in such a short time (less than a minute and a half!) The video takes you through the history of women’s rights and the problems still facing them today. It’s a very powerful statement of the organization’s vision that serves as a call to action for anyone who is there to support them.
8. Changing Education Paradigms
Not all elements of a whiteboard video have to come from an editing studio. This next video is an adaptation of an RSA Talk given by Sir Ken Robinson on the history and challenges of public education.
You’ve probably seen educational organizations or think tanks adapting recorded talks, interviews, and even speeches into animations in recent years. For some purposes, these pieces work even better than a scripted video, as the speaker comes across as more natural and credible – while the visuals work as a kind of mind map that help get ideas across. This is an excellent way to convey the impression that you are in a real class or forum.
If you decide to transform a live talk into a whiteboard video, you need to pay attention to some crucial aspects:
- The voiceover has to be clear and understandable above distracting sounds. Remember: that is the basic tool you have to deliver your message.
- So long as they’re not disruptive, it’s good to preserve the laughter or any other audience’s reactions (as this video does). Viewers will feel like they’re experiencing the live discussion.
- Don’t use the whole talk. For one thing, that would be very expensive! For most purposes, a short clip is more than enough to illustrate a memorable moment.
9. Professor Spigit Explains: Herd Behavior and Spigit Pairwise
The minimal requirement of whiteboard animations is that they be black drawings on a whiteboard. That’s what makes them so distinctive! However, you can use color here and there in small doses to great effect.
Many of the videos we’ve watched so far do so to emphasize their most important images and points. But perhaps none does it better than this video from Spigit Pairwise.
The premise of the video is that herd behavior in the workplace drives out good ideas. What the platform does is to enable enterprises to manage the lifecycle of breakthrough ideas to completion.
This video portrays ideas as geometric figures (cones, cubes, diamonds and so on). Now, what you see is that from the very beginning they associate good ideas with the color yellow, which is the color of Spigit’s logo. What this does is allow viewers to make a connection between the value at stake and the solution the company offers.
This video is an excellent primer on the art of using color. When you limit it to serve a very specific purpose, it will make a good impact on your audience.
10. Beat Generals: High Quality FL Studio Tutorials
So far, we’ve seen how you can customize whiteboard videos for any purpose. Part of their versatility is their power to incorporate all the artistic forms into a meaningful piece on its own. Among these elements, finding great music for your animation is one thing not to miss on.
Beat Generals’ video is a lesson on how to use music on your whiteboard animations. At no time does the music become intrusive: throughout the piece, the music is there as a support that helps to set the tone of the piece.
But the amazing thing is what the creators of the video were able to do with the music. Observe that it evolves with the story: as they start to introduce their idea, the music becomes more and more exciting and faster. At that point, we have the feeling that the product we’re learning about has great things to offer.
Great music in videos works this way: not as an overlapping resource to add just for standard compliance, but as a fully integrated element that’s there to emphasize the power of your solution.
Making whiteboard animations part of your marketing formula is an amazing way of turning any complex message into an engaging experience. This is true whether you’re trying to sell, teach a didactic message, or reach hearts and minds for the sake of a greater cause.
If you’re interested in creating one, keep in mind the basics that we’ve discussed here.
- Use all the resources you have available to set the mood of your piece—an attractive story plus good music and visuals are your best help in this task.
- Keep the drawing lines and the ideas continuous—remember: your purpose is to show how the points you’re dealing with are interconnected.
- Express your ideas concretely and make them easily digestible so audiences can retain them.
By following the lessons in these videos, you will soon reap the benefits of adding whiteboard videos into your marketing toolkit.
About the author: Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert and founder/CEO of the explainer video company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.