3 TIPS FOR CHOOSING YOUR ART STYLE: To Take Your Video from Vapid to Viral

 

Everyone wants a viral video. In fact, that’s what most of our clients ask for when they come to us. But, when it’s time to look at our Art Styles page – many clients panic and think,

 “What if I choose the wrong one?”

That’s why we are going to talk about the difference that art choice can make to your video and a few things to think about when choosing yours. Because although we pride ourselves on working with the most talented artists in the industry – that doesn’t mean that every one of them is the best choice for your project.

Let me tell you a short story.

Once upon a time, a client named Booz Allen came to us for their first whiteboard animation video. They are a serious, respected firm with very serious, important clients. Even though this video was internal, they wanted it to be serious, professional, and aspirational.

But, there was just one thing.

Their Scriptwriter had a gut instinct – what if we juxtaposed the informational tone of the script with a fun, unexpected art style like Calvin & Hobbes to create a surprise effect?

Well, Booz Allen decided to go with Semi-Realistic instead. Here’s the first scene from the first set of images delivered by their choice of artist:

 

This works. It gets the job done. However, Booz Allen isn’t in the business of just getting the job done. So, they made the command decision to switch artists (for a small fee).

Here’s the first scene again – with the exact same script – rendered in the Calvin & Hobbes style:

Now THAT’s memorable!

Just using a different art style brings the script to life in a completely new way.

In fact, this style was such a huge hit –they have made dozens of videos since in this style.

This is a perfect example of how the right art style can truly elevate a project.

So, what should you consider when choosing the art style for your project?

Here are 3 things to consider:

  1. TONE/MOOD:

What is the tone of your script – what feelings does the voiceover evoke? And, what do you want the mood to be of your video? Some examples might by light-hearted and humorous. Other scripts are heavy, covering more serious subject matter. Or, maybe you just want an approachable, informational tone. For example, this video we made for Volunteers of America was designed to be beautiful, moving and inspiring. Using our YPaint style, the images are digitally revealed and we incorporated an animated fine line connecting them to support this vision:

 

  1. ELEMENT OF SURPRISE:

Now, just because your tone and mood are serious – doesn’t mean your art style has to be! By using an unexpected pairing, you create the element of surprise! Examples of this could be the Booz Allen video – which pairs a fun, youthful art style with serious internal subject matter. Or, take a look at this video for the marketing company, Ribyt. They used color to create an element of surprise, by staying all B&W except for their brands green.

 

 

Another way to create an element of surprise is to use a mixed-media approach, by combining different types of video footage. In this case, Vital Smarts used a mixture of live video and whiteboard animation:

 

  1. AUDIENCE:

Sometimes the right art style is the one that will appeal most to your audience.

Ask yourself, “What would my target consumer want to see?”

After all, you’re making this video for them, right?

That’s exactly what our client, Wilson Electronics, had in mind when we created this short, one-scene video in our Cartoony style to capture the feeling that people have when they realize their cell phone signal hasn’t been working:

 

BOTTOM LINE:

Be willing to think outside the box when choosing an artist!

The right art style will pair perfectly with your script and grab the attention of your audience.

We love working with our clients to discuss options, send samples, and help guide you to choosing the perfect art style for your project.

Secret to Making Your Video Better

Secret to Making Your Video Better

Most everyone loves a good movie. Be it a thriller, comedy, romance, or science fiction, film remains an important staple in pop culture if only due to its profound ability to make us feel raw emotion on a purely visceral level.

What’s the secret?

Well, there’s not any one reason that elevates a mediocre film to blockbuster status. Good directing, acting, writing, editing, etc., all contribute to a film’s success. However, I’ve always held the belief that the most important element to any film, TV, or commercial lies in the musical choices selected to accompany the images on screen.

Need an example?

Watch this YouTube video that uses a scene from Steven Spielberg’s Jaws to make this exact point:

The first half of the video plays sans John Williams’ iconic score. The second half is accompanied by the maestro. Which do you prefer?

Here’s another dramatic example taken from Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial*. The first video, again, plays sans music (the score cuts off around 22 seconds), while the second video features the same scene with Williams’ magical score. (Fast forward to the minute mark in the second video to watch the scene under review.) 

*Spielberg’s films often employ a heavy musical arrangement, almost always composed by John Williams, which is why I’m using sequences from his films specifically to make my point.

Let’s venture into the “smaller” realm of television, where budget constraints often limit what a producer/director is able to accomplish on the sound stage. Here’s a clip from Breaking Bad. Actually, it’s the final scene of what many consider the greatest TV show of all time. (In other words, spoilers may ensue.)

The show’s creator, Vince Gilligan, opted to use an upbeat rock song to wrap up the tragic tale of Walter White/Heisenberg. It’s a bittersweet moment summed up perfectly through the song’s lyrics, which, if you listen carefully, go a long way in summarizing the series in its entirety.

Interestingly, Gilligan, actually had to fight to keep the song in place as his music supervisor, Thomas Golubic, felt the music didn’t fit the scene, as explained to RollingStone in 2013:

“But in came the dailies, with that wonderful crane shot moving over Walter White, and once we played the song, [we thought], ‘Oh, I get it now,'” Golubić continues. “This is a love-affair story of Walt and his love of science, and this was his greatest product – his greatest triumph as a chemist. It wasn’t about Walter White as a criminal or a murderer or an awful person. It was him ending on his own terms. It felt creatively right.”

The music renders the final scene of Breaking Bad both sad, and heroic, as the man we had come to both love and fear arrived at his final denouement amongst his greatest accomplishment — a methamphetamine factory.

As you can see — or hear — music goes a long way in helping a TV show or motion picture transcend its purpose as a bit of entertainment into a surreal artistic experience.

The same goes for commercials, which have a limited amount of time to capture our attention.

Check out this ad, which runs a lengthy three minutes in length, but utilizes a simple theme — helping people — to sell, above all things, insurance. Note the music, as it turns playful, dramatic, sad, happy …


Now, imagine this ad without music. Would it feel the same? Would it feel too long? Would the emotional impact still resonate? The message would undoubtedly remain powerful, but would we feel the sentiment? Even if you don’t remember the music, it still reverberates on a subconscious level.

That being said, sometimes a lack of music can be just as pivotal to a story’s success. Remember the T-Rex scene in Jurassic Park, another Spielberg/Williams collaboration? Think back and try to remember the music that was played during this very intense encounter between man and beast.

You can’t, can you?

That’s because there was no music. Yet, that sequence is one of the more thrilling and intense moments ever captured on film, and it’s driven almost entirely by sound FX — beginning with the rain thumping on the roof of the cars enclosing the film’s main protagonists, the forceful boom accompanying Rexy’s footsteps, the occasional burst of thunder; all of which build to a terrifying attack in which cars are flipped, lawyers are chomped, and dinosaurs run amok. Is it far-fetched to say a musical score during this sequence would’ve lessened its impact?

During last year’s American Film Institute tribute to John Williams, the maestro, in a rare behind the scenes interview, posited that one of the most important aspects of his job was sitting down with the director to decide which scenes didn’t need music.

Sometimes silence is more powerful than a grandiose soundtrack.

Let’s turn now and look at how music affects audiences.

In a study conducted by Psychology Today in 2013, a scene from Spielberg’s Minority Report was shown to a group of 245 college students, 111 of which hadn’t seen the movie. The scene in question, a riveting escape sequence through a shopping mall, is accompanied by Henry Mancini’s “Moon River” ballad rather than traditional action music. Although, you’d be forgiven if you didn’t catch the tune as its placed subtly in the background as if playing through the mall’s speaker system.

This use of music, according to film scholars, is called “diegetic music”, or music that exists within the film’s universe. “Nondiegetic music” is the term used to describe a score that accompanies a scene, ala the music in the above Jaws and E.T. videos.

The same scene was shown to the students three separate times: once in its original form using the diegetic background music, the second time with the same “Moon River” song, except this time played over the scene — in other words, as a traditional music score — and a third time with conventional action music lifted from another one of Williams’ scores.

The results, particularly from those who had never seen the movie, were fascinating, as reported by Psychology Today:

Specifically: participants who watched the original diegetic version (music sounding like it was inside the shopping mall)

  • perceived the scene as more tense and suspenseful
  • perceived the relationship between the male and female as more antagonistic, and more unfriendly and hostile
  • believed the two characters had known each other longer
  • assumed the female was more fearful and suspicious of the male
  • assumed the male was more fearful and suspicious of the female
  • believed the male character wanted to harm the female
  • perceived the female to be less romantically interested in the male
  • and perceived the male to be less romantically interested in the female


… than those who had watched the same scene with the same music presented as a dramatic score (nondiegetic).

The second and third iterations containing the nondiegetic scores resulted in very different reactions, as “those who watched the scene with the ‘chase music’ believed the woman wanted to harm the man, while those who watched it with ‘Moon River’ (played nondiegetically) thought she was out to help him.”

That’s a long way to explain how music can shape a video as much, if not more, than the visuals on screen. The wrong piece of music can destroy a quality production almost as quickly as a bad actor.

So, where does this leave us?

At Ydraw, we have a resourceful group of writers, editors and animators that come together to create the best videos imaginable for a number of companies across the world.

Yet, one of the more pivotal aspects of the videos we produce remains — you guessed it — music.

Drawing from a library of resources, Ydraw’s editors carefully integrate music (and sound FX) into our videos during the final phase of production. Except, if the music doesn’t fit, the video doesn’t work. It’s that simple.

As a former editor, I’ve seen, or been a part of, a number of videos that worked visually, but just didn’t quite deliver on an emotional level. That is, until I altered the music. That’s right, a few extra minutes of shuffling a score can make or break the final product.

Here’s some examples of Ydraw produced videos that boast terrific soundtracks:

Pretty cool, right? The music in these videos was purchased from stock music sources, and then edited accordingly. In each instance, the music goes a long way in creating a particular emotion.

Here’s another Ydraw video featuring an above average soundtrack:

Notice anything different? The music for this particular video was produced by one of our freelancers, namely Rotem Hecht, who specializes in music composition. This talented artist takes the project after it’s been assembled, and designs a score specifically for that video.

Would the video have worked with stock music? Certainly. But Rotem’s score injects powerful emotion into an already potent production, and makes it even better. Note how the pace of the video never falters, but, rather, flows rhythmically, gradually building towards a rousing climax, followed by soft piano that accentuates the overarching message.

Also, it’s important to point out that the music never overtakes the visuals. Instead, the animation and musical composition work hand in hand in telling the dramatic story. Combined with a powerful script, and an effective voice over, this video goes a long way in establishing an emotional connection with its core audience.

More importantly, because of his lucrative experience, Rotem’s turnaround time for producing one of his fantastic scores is typically a little under twenty-four hours. That’s incredible.

His name may not be John Williams, but Rotem aptly lifts Ydraw’s videos from tremendous achievements to something akin to an extraordinary Celestial encounter. Seriously, he’s that good.

Need more convincing?

Check out his website www.rotemmusic.com to listen to the various commercials, corporate ads, games, TV shows, and even films Rotem has scored over the years.

And then give us a call so we can start working on the next great Ydraw video for you!

Why 2016 Is The Year Of Video Marketing

Why 2016 Is The Year Of Video Marketing

Video Marketing the Consumer Connection

Ads are everywhere, from the logo on your coffee cup to your children’s mobile devices we are constantly immersed in a consumer driven society. Of the many different modes of delivery your company can choose to market your product or services there are none that compare to a video.

Video marketing does what print cannot, it engages the consumer with both audio and visual means. Everyone knows the old adage “A picture is worth a thousand words”, but what is a video worth? According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research the value of a one minute video is worth 1.8 million words. The human brain is constantly absorbing information and “filing” it into our conscious and subconscious mind, guiding our everyday actions. Research by comScore states that 45.4% of internet users view at least one online video in a month’s time and the average user is exposed to a median of 32.2 videos per month.

As our technological advances are ever transforming; so too are our forms of entertainment. Nielsen’s Total Audience Report stated that people are spending more time with media and less time watching live television. This means huge shifts in how companies reach their audience with advertisements.

Aside from the fact that we now have DVR and the power to fast forward through commercials, people aren’t just sitting at home watching the boob tube. They’re streaming their movies and shows on tablets, smart phones, and computers. People are streaming everywhere from parks to public restrooms. Traditional television commercials and print advertisements cannot raise your bottom line alone. The future is here, and that future is online video marketing.

100 million internet users watch videos online each day. Statistically speaking the numbers don’t lie in 2010, the Forrester Marketing Group conducted a survey and found that when an explainer video was included in an email the click-through rate had increased by 200%-300%. A growing number of people would rather watch a video than read text. This is support by Forbes Insight which states that 59% of senior executives prefer to watch than read.

Major retailers have found that 90% of online shoppers have said that an online product video was useful in guiding them to make a purchase. Researching a product via written specs and reviews is now coming in second to product videos and video reviews. Product videos are a growing advertisement resource for retailers and are statistically proven. Not only do these videos allow for the consumer to better understand and “experience” the product, but it also leaves them feeling more confident in their purchase. Consumer confidence is key to achieving brand loyalty and additional word of mouth sales.

In short video marketing is more than just an ad. It is a means of connecting with the consumer beyond the traditional – “hey here’s my product, it is amazing you should buy it” approach that traditional or virtual print ads provide. Connect with your audience and reach your target market where ever they may be.

2016 is The Year of Video

Already many large content marketing brands like Red Bull, Amazon, Cisco, Netflix, GoPro and many more have already made video their secret weapon to get awareness and loyalty from their customers. Marketing gurus say this is year will be all about video.

Are you wondering if you should invest in video marketing?

Reason #1: 50% of mobile traffic comes from videos

Reason #2: 64% of consumer internet traffic came from video last year and it’s predicted to rise to 69% by next year and 79% the year after that.

Reason #3: Nearly 80% of people watch videos throughout the week.

Reason #4: Over half of people watch videos everyday.

Reason #5: Of all the people viewing the videos, 65% will watch ¾ of it.

Reason #6: Forbes says they have found over 80% of senior executives watch more videos today than last year

Reason #7: ¾ of senior executives will watch videos related to their jobs and 54% of them share the videos with their colleagues.

Reason #8: Most people say they would like to have the text on the same page as the video.

Reason#9: Of marketing, sales and business professionals 69% of them say they have used video marketing and a lot of the people who haven’t used it yet say they’re going to in the upcoming year.

Reason #10: Respondents who are already using video marketing score it fair to extremely successful.

Reason #11: 81% of people post videos to their brand websites.

Reason #12: Of all online marketers, communication and sales professionals 93% are currently using video.

Reason #13: About half of marketers have found that marketing videos are effective for brand awareness.

Reason #14: over the next year 96% of B2B companies say they’ll be using video.

Reason #15: If you use the word “video” in your email subject lines will increase your open rate by 19% and 26% less likely to unsubscribe.

Reason #16: If your page has a video you’ll be getting an extra two-minute dwell time on average.

Reason #17: Half of marketers across the world say video has the highest ROI.

click here to read more about how video marketing can help you this year.

5 Reasons why Whiteboard Explainer Videos are so effective.

Sometimes it doesn’t work to just tell your audience how your company can be essential to their business plan and how they need you so they can live a long and fruitful life. There are a lot of ads that are patronizing to the audience with incredibly dull narratives and poor acting. Perhaps by explaining what you do will persuade consumers better than any actor pretending to care about your company ever could. But here’s the problem, sitting and explaining your company is boring. It’s not engaging, it’s uninspired and it’s so very boring. Like, Jane Austen narrated by Ben Stein boring. So how do you balance out an entertaining video and explaining your company’s concepts and ideas?

Whiteboard explainer videos, of course! Let’s go through why.

  • ILLUSTRATIONS CAN HELP CONVEY COMPLEX CONCEPTS EASIER. Visual concepts are a driving force that allows your audience to grasp your ideas easier. The perfect example are the before and after pictures of meth addicts, though grisly they may be. The before pictures shows a healthy person who doesn’t seem to have any effects of drug abuse. The after pictures show the devastating and shocking effect that meth has on the human body. It appears as though the life had been sucked out of them. Without having to go into detail on how the drug has this effect, or why the person started to take the drug, the story of how it destroys you is clearly presented instantly.

picturewords

  • WATCHING THE CREATION OF THE VISUALS IS CAPTIVATING. As the artist creates characters, environment and situations, the viewer is watching the story unfold in front of them. The simplicity of being able to watch that process pulls in the viewer and in turn they are keen on watching to see what comes next. Being able to see the illustration come to life adds a human touch to the video. Rather than having a polished animation from start to finish, the viewer gets to connect with the person behind the drawing. Knowing there is somebody behind that pen lets the viewer know there are people behind the drawing, just like there are people behind your company.

artisthand

  • SIMPLE AND AFFORDABLE. Without having to use a crowded infographic that can come across more complex than it intends to be, a whiteboard animation is simple and tells your story without having to assault your viewer with statistics and mission statements. Perhaps the thing that stops most people from using video for their company is the cost. Luckily whiteboard explainer videos are incredibly cost effective and can reach a large number of people quickly.

infographic

  • USING NARRATIVE CAN PERSUADE AND MOTIVATE VIEWERS. Any parent knows the influence any kids TV show has on their children. Why when I was a lad, I too became a victim of Saturday morning television shows and for about 2 years straight dressed up like Pee Wee Herman…. EVERYDAY. It happened, deal with it. Just because the audience you have are now older and wiser doesn’t mean they can’t be persuaded by an engaging video. A study by LaMarre and Landreville in 2009 found that the difference of watching a film that reenacted a historical event and a documentary on the same subject had similar levels of issue interest and engagement with the narrative presented. Fictional stories are as effective as factual stories in persuading and shifting ideas related to the narrative. Both can be engaging and compelling experience for the viewer.
  • EASY TO DISTRIBUTE. Distribution of digital video is incredibly simple. A video can be uploaded to a many platforms an infinite amount of times. It can be sent in an email to consumers or link to your YouTube account. The entire world can take part of your company and the video can work its magic every hour of every day. Reaching your audience has been easier than ever.

socialmedia

A promotional video using whiteboard animation can present a complex subject matter into something that can be easily understood while being entertaining. That entertaining video can retain a high engagement rate and rack up views to direct consumers to your company. It’s simple, affordable, it’s easy to distribute to your clients and perhaps you’ll be able to have some free time to catch some Pee Wee Herman yourself. If that’s your thing, it’s certainly mine.

New Styles of Animation Videos | Little Twist to Whiteboard Animation Videos

Ydraw has been busy creating some New Styles of Animation Videos. We have been inventing and when that happens, their are two outcomes.

1. We bomb

2. We succeed

I think both  of these videos are a huge success. We now have a way to create drawing videos on any type of surface and still maintain the quality. That was always the hardest thing…maintaining the quality.

We are still trying to decide what to call these styles of videos, but for now we will call them cardboard animation and watercolor animation (genius).

I also added in a new animation video for Orthodontist. The animation video can be branded to any shop

Happy Birthday

1. Cardboard Animation Video

2. Watercolor Paint video (used paint brushes.)

3. New Orthodontist Video (this video can be branded with your name)

Now if those didn’t prove that we are just the coolest here at Ydraw, I’m not sure what will.  That cardboard one was just sort of fun and new and was almost just to brag that we can draw on anything.  But can we talk about that watercolor one for a minute?  Now our artists are so good that sometimes their drawings almost look like they were created electronically-yeah I’m not kidding.  Check out some of our whiteboard animations.  If that hand wasn’t there actually drawing what you’re seeing, you wouldn’t believe that some of these lines and shading wasn’t done with a computer.  So to see the watercolor animation video, well, it really shows the true talent of our artists.  There’s not faking that with a computer!  Ydraw prides itself on having some of the best people in the business, and we are here to help you create the best video for your product or company.

Let us know how we can help you today!

New Style of Animations Videos, brought to you by Ydraw.