The Smart Marketing Blog


May, 2014

VIDEO EXPERIMENT: Whiteboard Animation Vs. The Talking Head

By: | Tags: , , , , | Comments: 0


As if the science behind whiteboard video success wasn’t clear enough, additional studies have challenged whiteboard animation’s position as the ultimate explainer video on the web. We’ve discussed their ability to capture and hold attention while effectively educating viewers, but how does that compare to other video formats? Thankfully, someone smarter than us has already tackled this question, and we’re excited to share the findings.


That someone is Dr. Richard Wiseman, an award winning professor of the public understanding of psychology, who can be seen all over the internet and television speaking about psychology. In fact, he’s even written 10 books and countless articles exploring different areas of the subject. So when a guy like Dr. Wiseman conducts an experiment that investigates the power of whiteboard animation, people take notice.


Dr. Wiseman pit our beloved whiteboard animations against a common (though reviled) mode of internet explainer video  – the talking head. In an effort to see how people respond to information delivered by the two different styles, Dr. Wiseman created a talking head video of himself, as well as a whiteboard animated version using the same audio. Groups of people were shown either one or the other, and then instructed to answer some questions about what they’ve learned. According to Dr. Wiseman, the difference in learning efficiency was ‘absolutely massive.’
That is, in favor of the whiteboard animation of course. Overall, there was a 15% increase in memory from the talking heads to the whiteboard videos. Dr. Wiseman discusses how unprecedented a difference of 15% truly is: Anyone involved in education or research will know that is absolutely massive. Normally you have to work incredibly hard to get 5, maybe 10 percent increase in any kind of behavioral measure like that. Simply by animation you’re seeing a 15 percent increase.” He credits the immersive experience of the whiteboard video for the drastic increase in memory.

We know that in order to remember something, you need to attend to it in the first place. If you haven’t got people’s attention, you’re not going to get the information in. I think what the animations do is hold that attention. They hold it in an incredibly engaging way. 
-Dr. Richard Wiseman

The results also rated the whiteboard video as the more entertaining medium (duh), which explains why whiteboards are 3 times more likely to be shared or referred to a friend versus the talking head. Anytime you set out to create an explainer video, it’s essential that the vital information about your business is absorbed by the viewer, and the increased virality of a whiteboard is a large help in the distribution of that information. To us, there is no surprise that the whiteboard video scored better in every facet of Dr. Wiseman’s experiment. To you, it’s become clear where your marketing dollar should go.


Let’s talk more about what a whiteboard video can do for your business. Schedule a free consultation today!