See, understand, and tell. About the importance of topic analysis in the production of Explainer Videos.

Understanding is the key to success. An in-depth analysis of all the aspects of animation is the first crucial step in laying a solid foundation for each story.

In today’s world, where almost all things electronic are connected, hundreds of thousands of businesses are struggling to catch customers’ attention, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is one of the reasons why a consumer is not able to or, more frequently, does not want to devote more than a few minutes of their precious time to one message. To increase message effectiveness, an Explainer video should not last more than 180 seconds, which still some consumers may find too daunting. Therefore, the range of 60 to 90 seconds seems the most reasonable both from a practical and cost perspective. You must be wondering whether one and a half minutes is enough to tell your story right—the story you have put a lot of time and effort into and whose details might be as intricate as the construction of a jet engine? The answer is yes! For this, however, you need an experienced team that cares about understanding your story, even in minute detail. Before any line is drawn on the storyboard, every topic requires research. All relevant issues needs to be discussed with the client, and the studio should learn about client’s expectations.

Keep in mind that as a person ordering an explainer, you are an expert in your field and know the ins and outs of your product or service like no one else does. That is why, you should try to provide the animation studio with as many pieces of information and tidbits as possible. Let the studio get to know you and your company, product, service, industry, market, and customers. If some of the information is confidential, suggest signing an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), i.e. a document that prohibits the contractor from disclosing any sensitive or confidential data. Studios will certainly agree to that. It is also worth adding that experienced animation studios (in order to make your and their work easier) should have a questionnaire asking about each vital issue related to your animation. We call it a Creative Brief. Our version of this document features questions on basic issues such as expected duration of animation or deadline, and also numerous open-ended questions that will provide in-depth insight into the topic.

A Creative Brief may take up to an hour to complete, but it is time well-spent. The more accurate the information the studio receives, the more precisely your story will be told, and the easier it will be for consumers to hear your message.

Only when no question remains unanswered can we move on to writing a voice-over text and the story itself. Remember, if the studio you want to hire is not committed enough to get to know you and your story, consider looking for a better alternative.

I will share with you one situation that left me both surprised and deeply satisfied. It proves that trying to understand and analyze each topic plays a tremendous role. We were once contacted by a Canadian company and asked to make an explainer animation. After discussing the initial issues, I sent a Creative Brief and requested them to complete it as soon as possible. A few days passed, and I still did not have the completed brief. I e-mailed the client, asking for an update. Shortly after, I received a reply with an apology for the delay. It turned out that our questions had prompted their team to rethink its concept of external communication and the message they most wanted to convey. In other words, we managed to kick off important changes within the company that merely ordered an animation!

This just proves that every positive change (as well as every skillfully-executed animation) starts with the right question.

 

Jarek Nowak
Lead Project Manager / Producer at BluBlu Studios

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