How Coca-Cola, Carslberg & Dropbox made their key presentations less boring (and more effective) by using animation
When I talk with my clients and friends about their work, they often say that they find PowerPoint presentations boring.
The reasons they give vary: the slides are bad; the presentation is non-coherent and lacks vivid examples; the presenter is tired, stressed or fails to remember important details.
And they’re not alone. If you were to search for the phrase “Death by PowerPoint” using Google, you would be presented with over 2 million search results.
Thankfully there are many ways to make your key presentations more interesting.
One of the greatest examples is Will Stephen’s ‘How to sound smart in your TEDx Talk’ during which he, much to the amusement of his audience, shows how to use pictures, numbers, quotes and questions to engage an audience. And you can see how this is a means by which you can become a very good speaker, if you are prepared to train hard.
But what if you can’t, you don’t have the time or someone else is going to present your PowerPoint presentation for you?
That’s when animation videos come in handy, especially whiteboard animation videos.
The biggest brands in the world using whiteboard animation
Imagine that everyone in the company got the same, consistent message. The employees are spared the need to play the “Chinese whispers” game. And they don’t need to rely on oral (and PowerPoint) announcements of the management’s guidelines, which could result in many misunderstandings.
The most well-known example of a company using whiteboard animation is Coca-Cola. The famous drinks manufacturer presented its “Content 2020” business strategy in a clip of over 17 minutes.
The then VP of Coca Cola, Jonathan Mildenhall (currently a CMO in AirBnB), explained the most important points of the American giant’s plans step-by-step.
The whiteboard animation video presenting Coca-Cola’s marketing strategy
The video reached the company’s business partners and was spread in the Internet among the fans of the brand. In less than 20 minutes everybody could get a big-picture overview of the company’s strategy.
This example shows that animated films can become a part of the company’s communications and explain an important subject in an easily comprehensible way.
Carlsberg also decided to use whiteboard animation. Over 2 years ago, the Polish branch of the Danish beer manufacturer ordered us to make a series of educational videos. They were covering various aspects of beer production and consumption. The aim of the video was to quickly pass the knowledge to the company’s managers.
After some time, the videos were also uploaded to the Carlsberg’s website, so that the company’s customers were able to get to know more on the subject of beer production. That’s an example of using animation as a training tool. For both employees and customers.
Carlsberg’s educational video [in Polish]
Use in B2B and B2C communications
Coca-Cola and Carlsberg are not the only giants which have been benefiting from the potential of sketched animations. Among the companies using whiteboard animation there are i.a. Google, P&G and Deloitte.
However, one of the most famous animation cases is an American start-up which has become a global brand within the last few years. It has been due to, among others, a very skilful use of an animation, which resulted in an increase of conversion on their website of over 3 %.
The use of a whiteboard animation video translated to additional 5–10 million dollars of income (depending on the source of calculations). That start-up was Dropbox.
When promoting itself, Dropbox used only a whiteboard animation film and a marketing strategy based on recommendations. As it service was innovative, the company wanted the person entering their website to know how Dropbox works and what benefits it brings within just 2 minutes.
Ordinary, run-of-the-mill, well-written explanations with nice bullets points and a couple of graphs wouldn’t be as effective; not all individuals are able to imagine and comprehend without visual aids and being led by voice-over.
A fragment of the video explaining how Dropbox works:
The animation was aimed directly at potential users. It explained in an amazingly simple way what the app was and how to use it. On the website, next to the video, there was a “download” button.
The result? The attention of the viewer was drawn completely and the number of people interested in the service, translating into the sales volumes, was enormous.
A video that serves as a great sales pitch
Whiteboard animation videos can also be an effective tool for use during a real life sales pitch. You can kick-off a meeting with a 1-minute video that explains the product and which will serve as a great icebreaker during a conversation with a client.
Clients like animations for several reasons:
- First of all, they constitute a means of advertising that is not seen as pushy. Explaining the way in which a product or service works helps to overcome the barrier of reluctance people have towards purely persuasive videos. The video is rather educational — it highlights the potential benefits and leaves the decision up to the consumer, instead of directly persuading him/her to buy what is being offered.
- Secondly, animations grab the attention of customers as they remain a form of advertising used sparingly.
- Thirdly, explainer videos are produced in a way that addresses client’s commonly expressed objections. Client’s objections are dealt with via an accessible medium which helps minimise the amount of time spent on rebuttals making it easier to close a deal, even for a less experienced salesperson.
Finally, animations are really flexible. They can incorporate a company’s elements of visual identification, for example, logos, colours and slogans.
So you can use an animation as a part of your strategic presentation, training or sales pitch and ensure it’s consistent with your brand’s image.
So what is whiteboard animation?
Whiteboard animation videos are special animated films which educate people. They are used by marketing, sales and HR departments. The topics of such videos can be anything from book reviews and new company strategies or products to e-learning courses.
The advantage of whiteboard animations lies in their creation process.
Typically, the scenario is written by the company’s employees along with copywriters from the whiteboard studio. This provides a fresh perspective as it promotes the birth of new ideas due to the involvement of someone who has not spent 20 years in a given industry and to whom some things do not seem so obvious.
This aids the communication of an incredibly clear, easy to understand, message which my friend likes to refer to as “idiot-proof”. A lot of pictures and graphs can help to deliver the message with even more clarity.
What’s more, by creating a video just once, you can deliver your message over and over again and be certain that no errors or inconsistencies are being communicated to your audience. Their attractive form is perfect especially for presentation of a set of complex information or data. And that comes in handy in sales, strategy & training presentations.
SmartHouse system overview in a whiteboard animation
There are some disadvantages, though, as it does take time (typically around a month) to create a good whiteboard animation. That’s why I was careful to mention the term “key presentations” in the subject of the article.
“Key presentations” means those presentations that circulate around a company for quite a long time, are intended for release via the media or are intended for clients. It makes very little sense producing an animation to communicate a message that is bound to be forgotten the moment attendees leave a meeting.
Apart from that, whiteboard animations have an amazingly positive influence on the viewer’s ability to memorise the material seen. It has been shown by the studies conducted by prof. Wiseman — one of the most well-known psychologists in the world.
(You can read more about that in my article entitled What is whiteboard animation (and how your business can benefit from it).
Whiteboard animation as a storytelling tool
It possible that whiteboard animation films are effective due to their influence on human emotions and behaviours. According to psychologists Melanie Green and Tim Brock, who studied the “narrative transportation” theory , when the recipient loses themselves in an interesting story, their attitude changes.
Not only is the message memorised, but also influences the viewer’s beliefs. That is why storytelling’s popularity has been increasing. One of the channels for telling the company’s stories is whiteboard animation.
And so, it’s quite obvious that whiteboard animation won’t completely replace PowerPoint. The production takes time which makes it essential that they are used sparingly for key presentations. Such animations can, however, provide great support when it comes to e-learning, sales and internal communications.
If you would like to have such a video made for the needs of your business, write to us to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org !
About the author:
Maciej Budkowski — a psychologist and marketer in ExplainVisually, responsible for marketing and sales. During his studies at the University of Warsaw, he studied the influence of large amount on information on the level of processing. Then, he managed communications in IS-Wireless, a high-tech telecom company. He gave a lecture entitled “The use of visual thinking in building customer experience” at the Marketing Summit 2016. You can find some of his psychology-related articles on imprific.com.
The most experienced producer of whiteboard animation videos in Poland, it regularly works with the biggest brands in the world, NGOs, SMEs and start-ups. ExplainVisually services are provided to such organizations as: Carlsberg, UniCredit, Orange, Ceneo.pl, Credit Agricole, Remondis, Winiary, ING, PARP, Przewozy Regionalne, Tesco and Poczta Polska (Polish Post).