At TruScribe, we’re privileged to work with talented and experienced artists. Their hand-drawn images are exactly what our clients’ videos need to strengthen scripts and increase message retention. We recognize that it’s not just the strong images that bolster our videos. Our dedication to hand-drawn videos boosts engagement and retention just as much as the images themselves.
Here are ten reasons to use hand-drawn images in videos.
#1 The Brain is a People Person
We know that the human brain seeks out and pays attention to human forms. The brain’s affinity for faces is well-known, and that concept applies to the rest of the human form as well. When your viewer sees the artist’s hand, their reaction is “What’s this person doing?”
The hand immediately grabs your attention.
#2 Motion—Hey, What Was That?
As the hand starts to move and draw, motion drives engagement and engages the lizard brain. Motion makes your brain unconsciously focus your eyes and even move your head to follow the movement, so we foreground the motion of the hand to keep your viewers’ eyes locked on the screen.
#3 Follow That Hand
Due in large part to the first two advantages discussed above, the moving human hand is a fantastic focal tool. With the eye drawn to the human form and tracking its motion, the hand becomes an unmissable target for the viewer’s attention. It’s a living, drawing focal point.
#4 You Didn’t See That Coming (And That’s Why it Works)
Next, we consider the element of surprise.
When the brain is surprised, dopamine is produced. Known colloquially as the reward neurotransmitter, dopamine actually does more than make you feel good. It causes you to become, and remain, curious. That means when viewers watch a human hand draw, they’re curious as to what the final drawing will look like. Moreover, they’re curious not just for the current drawing but for the next one.
This is what continuous engagement looks like—a cascade of dopamine-fueled inquisitiveness that persists throughout your hand-drawn video.
#5 The Artist Becomes the Protagonist
Let’s build out a little further. The artist’s hand, as a moving human form that directs our attention, is the main character of the hand-drawn video. People want stories, and though your script hopefully contains one, audiences are often happy to experience more than one. Your script contains the story of your message, and the hand is a sort of insider that’s with your viewers to tell that story.
There’s a behind-the-scenes quality to the experience, even as it occurs in real-time, and this promotes engagement and excitement.
#6 Let That Sync In
The ultimate goal of whiteboard video is to synchronize a voiced script with drawn images to increase engagement and retention. The human hand drawing the images is the perfect way to drive this synchronization. It’s a sort of pacing tool, one that allows our editors to track the speed and amount of images and ensure that the voiceover aligns with the drawings. Misused synchronization can severely distract your audience and limit their ability to retain your message. Hand-drawn videos have a much higher chance at successful synchronization.
#7 The Real Thing
Hand-drawn videos possess an authenticity that other video formats do not. Audiences are all-too familiar with computer graphics and traditional animation, and while both offer many creative possibilities, neither feels quite real or relatable. By contrast, hand-drawn videos feel intimate, personal and authentic. The viewer correctly believes that they’re seeing what’s really going on.
#8 Nailing that Personal Touch
Alongside your voiceover, hand-drawn images create a holistic and robust personal touch for your video. The human voice is relatable and creates more authenticity than text. The human hand is more authentic than digital visuals. Together, your audience might even think the artist and narrator are the same person.
While this is, of course, inaccurate, it can increase engagement and retention. Think of how much easier it can be to listen to a story from someone in a one-on-one setting than to listen to three people tell the same story. The doubled focus on the personal touch can boost viewers’ feelings of trust and engagement, and help them retain even more of your message after the video.
#9 Stand Out from the Video Crowd
The over-saturation of most video formats hasn’t reached hand-drawn video yet.
Remember the last hand-drawn movie you saw?
I didn’t think so.
You might not even be able to recall a YouTube video that took the hand-drawn approach. It’s getting more popular, as people are catching on to the efficacy of hand-drawn video, at last. But by and large, hand-drawn video will strike your audience as novel and surprising. It’ll earn you some instant attention and some points for working outside the box.
#10 If It Was Easy, It Wouldn’t Look Like This
Hand-drawn videos show that your company cares about making high-quality content. Everyone’s drawn something at some point or another, and can remember that it took some effort. Watching your video, they can extrapolate from what they see the artist draw to the amount of time and work went into the drawings.
Compare that to something that appeared digitally.
How many people really know how long digital tools take to create animation? All they definitely know is that they usually don’t see a human hand—and they’ll likely guess that this is because it’s easier to use computer drawing tools.
People know that it takes time, talent, and focus to create drawings. Showing the artist’s hand creating shows them that the artist and the company as a whole dedicated major effort and time to craft their drawings and their video.
Hand-drawn videos are not a happy accident; they’re a conscious choice based on a surplus of good reasons.
The ten above tend to be foremost in our clients’ hopes and needs, but they’re by no means an exhaustive list. What kinds of advantages can you see to hand-drawn video? Is there a topic or story you’ve always wanted to see in hand-drawn video? What strength of hand-drawn video is most important to you when you consider content creation?