Don’t Use a Whiteboard Animation Video! (Until You Read This)

30/08/23         Author: Juan Bencomo         16 min reading

1 Whiteboard

Do you think adding a whiteboard animation video to your marketing strategy is a great idea? Well, you might want to reconsider after reading this! 😉

Don’t get us wrong, whiteboard animation videos can do a bunch of great things under the right conditions, but it’s hardly the go-to style in most marketing scenarios!

So, in this piece, I’ll tell you all about the situations when you shouldn’t and when you SHOULD go with a whiteboard video to keep you from wasting time and resources on a video that’s just not meant to deliver what you may need.

Let’s jump right in!

.viglobal explainer video by yum 1 5


When You SHOULD Use a Whiteboard Animation Video

I’ve always preferred to get the good news first, so I think we should start by going over all the situations in which it’s a good idea to use this fantastic animation technique.

As you probably know by now, the whiteboard video style was developed and optimized to tackle a number of tricky but crucial marketing objectives – and to do so exceptionally well. So, let’s talk a bit about what you can use this video style for:


1. Tackling complex explanations:

The whiteboard video technique shines at condensing and delivering a lot of information quickly and effectively. The animated drawings help you organize and communicate information, improve retention, and keep viewers’ attention glued to the screen.

Its simple style helps you build a visual dialogue that uses metaphors and conceptualizations to convey a lot of meaning with little effort.

In short, whiteboard animation videos give you a way to make the complex simple.

.overclock labs explainer video b 1

2. Establishing your brand as an expert:

Whiteboard explainer videos simulate an interaction that most people can recognize and relate to; having a teacher explaining something to their students using a whiteboard as a visual aid.

By taking that familiar premise and enhancing it with a clever and memorable script, interesting drawings, and entertaining transitions, you can create something that’s not only useful but also compelling and fun!

.spigit explainer video by yum yu 10

3. Educating and informing your audience:

Since whiteboard animation excels at information delivery, it’s not surprising they are perfect for educational video content.

Educational videos are ideal for audiences at the Awareness Stage of your sales funnel and are meant to provide industry-relevant information that ties into your brand and products. Using the whiteboard style can help you nurture your leads, bringing your audience closer to doing business with your company.

4. Producing a longer video:

While most marketing videos sit around the 90-second mark, sometimes that’s not enough to communicate to your audience everything you need.

Given that whiteboard videos use storytelling, fluid illustrations, and slower-paced transitions to carry your message, they are ideal for longer content that can take full advantage of the style’s benefits and keep viewers watching all the way through.

5. Using humor:

Humor and whiteboard cartoons are a match made in heaven 😍. The style gives you plenty of opportunities to inject humor through animated graphics, and its draw-and-erase transitions are perfect to set up and pay off funny situations. Add to that a clever script with good comedic timing, and you have a video your viewers won’t forget!

.spigit 2 explainer video by yum 1 2

6. Leveraging explainer videos:

After all, they are called whiteboard explainer videos for a good reason 😉

Explainer videos are perfect to describe and illustrate what you need to say – in terms of your brand, company, products, etc. – in ways that are both easy to understand and entertaining to watch. “Whiteboard animation video” is one of the most popular styles of explainer videos, and outside the cases we mentioned before, they are perfect to easily communicate things to your audience in ways that are harder for them to forget.

All in all, a very effective formula if we do say so ourselves! 😎

.law whiz explainer video by yum 1 1


When You SHOULDN’T Use a Whiteboard Animation Video

Now, no type of video is infallible, and there are some cases where it’s not recommended to go for an animated whiteboard video. Let’s check them out:


1. If You Want a Colorful Video

Think of whiteboard cartoons as a genre, like in the movies. Genres tell you what you can expect even before you watch something. If you go see a western, you expect cowboy hats and duels at high noon. If you go see a Marvel movie, you expect to see shirtless Chris Evans (don’t worry, we all do 🤩).

When a movie fails to deliver on those expectations, we walk away disappointed and call it bad (especially in Evans’ case). We say, “it didn’t feel” like the type of movie we wanted to see.

Same thing with whiteboard videos.

The black-on-white aesthetics aren’t there to save costs on ink; it’s actually a mnemonic device that helps viewers understand and remember your message! Get rid of it, and you no longer have a whiteboard video on your hands.

If you imagine a lot of vibrant colors splashing around the screen when you think about your video, then whiteboard animation is probably not what you are looking for.

case study medvector

2. If You Need a Short Video (60 seconds or less)

A whiteboard video’s primary goal is to tell your message using storytelling and clever visuals to make it understandable and memorable. That involves giving those elements enough time to breathe (and sink in) between transitions. To “erase the board,” if you will, before jumping into the next scene.

If you need a quick in-and-out video ad or marketing piece that lasts a minute or less in length, just don’t use an animated whiteboard video. This slower-paced style needs a bit more time than that to work.


3. If You Are Reaching Out to a Younger Audience

Whiteboard animation uses a minimalist black-and-white aesthetic and a slower pace to do what they do best. It’s what makes them such a powerful tool to explain your ideas.

The problem is that those elements aren’t very appealing to younger audiences, who usually prefer shorter, visually rich content – like this animated explainer video we made!

.accelerant explainer video by yu 34

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If you want to reach out to and engage a Gen-Z or younger audience, whiteboard animation shouldn’t be your go-to.


4. If the Message Is Simple

The thing about whiteboard explainer videos is that they’re great for explaining complex concepts in a really simple way. But what happens when your message is already… simple? Going for this style is probably a bad move.

Think of it in terms of complementary opposites: uncomplicated topics benefit from visually rich, elaborate videos, while a complex idea is easier explained with a smoother, uncluttered piece.

Whiteboard videos are all about effective simplicity: eliminating distractions to keep the viewer’s attention where you want it. If your message is already pretty straightforward, it’ll probably benefit from a flashier video style 😉


5. If You Want to Make an Impression

“Minimalist”, “cartoony”, “uncluttered”… they all go hand-in-hand with the whiteboard animation style. “Stunning”, “vibrant”, “dazzling”? Hmm… Not so much.

If, when you think about your video, you want some spectacular piece that impresses viewers in seconds with dynamic visuals and fast-paced shots, you should go for something other than a whiteboard video.


6. If You Are Looking for Emotional Impact

.carely 03 explainer video by yum 2

There are plenty of marketing video styles and techniques you can use to pull at your audience’s heartstrings. Whiteboard videos ain’t one of them.

Yes, there are plenty of emotive black-and-white videos out there, but remember what we said about genre: If your video doesn’t have the staple elements that make it a whiteboard video, it’s something else entirely.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that humor is a common ingredient in the whiteboard cartoon formula. But other than that, this style isn’t the best at provoking an emotional response in the viewer.

If you think the emotional impact is a vital piece of your video’s puzzle, then there are better styles out there than a whiteboard explainer video for you.


7. If You Need a Short Video Ad

A compelling advertising videoor video ad, for short – has to be impactful and short to work (60 seconds or less, remember?). And if we are talking about social media ads, you have even less time to work with – even YouTube keeps non-skippable ads below the 20-second mark!

They are meant to get in quickly, have people thinking about your brand, and get out before overstaying their welcome.

As we mentioned before, whiteboard animation videos need more time than that to really be effective. So, if you are working with a limited time window, try a different style for your video ad instead 😄


8. If You Need to Showcase a Product’s Features

Product videos are a specific type of marketing video designed to show your product’s key value propositions. Not to be confused with explainers – which use a storytelling formula to convey a message – product videos are all about displaying your product’s features in practical scenarios.

More often than not, we use live-action footage and 3D animation for physical products and screencap footage or 2D animation for products like apps or software platforms.

If you want to show viewers that your product can do everything they are looking for and more by showcasing its features, a whiteboard video is probably not the style you are looking for.

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While whiteboard animation videos might not be the best choice to nail any of the goals I’ve mentioned above, there are plenty of other options out there! And you know what the best part is? You can quickly learn the basics of each of the other available video styles in this fun video we made about them:

.14 explainer video styles for 20 34


Whiteboard Animation Video Best Practices

So, you weighed the Dos and Don’ts of whiteboard explainer videos and decided you wanted one. Now, you also want to know a bit more about how to do them, right?

Sure, we can help with that as well! Let’s talk about some situations when the whiteboard explainer video style is second to none 😊.

1. Use detailed animations:

The whiteboard video style has come a long way since we used to draw on a whiteboard while recording the explanations. And even though that was good enough for the times, the massive advance in digital tools (animation boards, vector graphic editors, etc.) makes it so that the traditional way is just no longer enough to meet your audience’s expectations – or capture their attention 😋

Using professional-level, detailed animations for your whiteboard explainer video not only makes it more appealing and memorable but it sends a better message in terms of the quality of your content and, by extension, your brand.

2. Add connected transitions:

The whiteboard technique is all about maintaining on-screen continuity and minimizing scene cuts and interruptions— each scene is usually connected to the next by elements that remain from a previous one. Adding connected transitions helps form a sense of flowing continuity that keeps viewers hooked. Like this:

.medvector explainer video by yum 2

3. Include a drawing hand:

While not mandatory, having a simulated hand producing your video’s drawings is a staple of the whiteboard style for a reason. Not only does it add a bit to the viewer’s immersion, but it also helps underline scene progression and transitions within the piece.

So, even though we do things digitally now, maintaining the iconic drawing hand is a useful and respectful nod to the roots of the whiteboard video style, and it’s worth keeping around.


4. Hire a professional video production company:

Having a professional Whiteboard video production company involved with your project will make a world of difference in terms of quality and results. While the style looks simple from the outside (and it is indeed designed to seem that way), there is a lot of nuance to producing a high-quality whiteboard animation video that gets the job done.

Remember, these videos are often the first point of contact between a potential client and your brand, and a low-quality piece can send the wrong message and start that relationship on the wrong foot.

Our advice? If you need a video for personal use, it’s ok to go with a DIY approach. But if we are talking about content to boost your marketing results, you’ll want to talk with an experienced company to help you out.

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5 Great Whiteboard Animation Video Examples

For you to better understand how to best leverage whiteboard videos, I’ve chosen five perfectly crafted examples for you to watch and get ideas from:


1. Stack That Money – Animated Whiteboard

.stack that money explainer video 1

(Created by Yum Yum Videos)

Affiliate marketing is already a complex topic, but explaining how a premium affiliate community works in a way that anyone can understand is even more complex. Luckily, STM knew that a whiteboard animation video could fix that problem for them 😏.

This piece is a perfect example of how a thorough explanation of a specific topic can be entertaining and engaging. Moreover, it goes to show that it’s even possible to inject a bit of humor to make things more lighthearted and interesting.


2. How To Save Energy & Money – Whiteboard Video

.how to save energy money with el 2

This is another great example of how the simplicity of whiteboard animations can help when dealing with difficult topics. In this case, the situation is quite a relatable one that most of us are probably too familiar with, and the characters make it so we can all see ourselves reflected in them and connect with the message. 


3. A New Blueprint for Good Work – Whiteboard Explainer Video

.a new blueprint for good work rs 1

RSA often likes to leverage whiteboard animated videos to unpack important concepts, such as “good work.” This way, something that would probably be too abstract for people to easily understand becomes a fascinating experience of watching the concepts and characters come to life.


4. PCI Pro Appliance – Finance Whiteboard Animation

.ultracomms pci pro appliance 1

If we’re being fully honest, a video about payment card compliance is not really something we’d willingly watch in our free time. I know I’d skip such a video if it popped up on my feed. However, this unique animation style managed to catch my attention and encourage me to watch the video until the end. Moreover, it explains the technology in an easy way and without going too deep into the subject.


5. How We Learn – Animated Whiteboard

.how we learn 1

Whiteboard animation is so versatile that it can be used in educational videos for students or the general public too! In this very interesting example, the Forney Independent School District explains how the brain works and the process by which people learn.

Being almost 6 minutes long, this piece is comparatively longer than most whiteboard videos. But length is not an issue when you can keep your audience’s eyes glued to the screen. What’s even better is that you don’t even need highly polished drawings for that to happen!


Why You Should Make a Whiteboard Animation with Yum Yum Videos

You can trust that we at Yum Yum Videos have the necessary experience to produce an awesome, high-quality whiteboard video for you. In fact, we’ve created nearly a thousand videos in the last ten years for all kinds of companies, from startups to Fortune 500 companies and across all verticals.

Our dedicated team of experts is made up of talented designers, producers, directors, and writers, all of whom ensure an organized process and layers of quality controls to deliver a quality signature for our work.

Bringing an out-of-the-box type of thinking while remaining flexible and down-to-earth, we are simply passionate about making videos that taste different 😁.

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If this sounds like something you’d be interested in and you’re looking to produce a video to engage your audience and deliver results, get in touch! We’d be happy to hear from you!


Frequently Asked Questions about Whiteboard Animation

Now, this wouldn’t be a thorough guide on whiteboard videos if I didn’t also include some of the most commonly asked questions about them!


1. How much does a whiteboard animation video cost?

This is a tough question because the answer depends on many factors, such as the video’s approximate length, how quickly you need it done, and so on. But to give you an idea, the cost of a fully customized animated whiteboard video usually averages between 8,000 and 15,000 USD. 

Of course, there are also cheaper approaches, such as DYIng or hiring a freelancer, which can cost about 1,000 USD. However, you should bear in mind that the final asset might not have the quality you’re looking for.


2. How can I make a whiteboard animation video?

These videos’ production process doesn’t vary much from other types of animated pieces. In most cases, you’d have to follow 10 steps:

1. Research
2. Script
3. Storyboard
4. Art Direction
5. Voiceover narration recording
6. Illustration
7. Animation
8. Sound Design
9. Integration
10. Deliverable

If you want to know more details about the video production process, you can check out our article on that topic.


3. How long does it take to make a whiteboard explainer video?

Here, at Yum Yum Videos, we have a regular whiteboard animation video production cycle of six weeks. To that, you’d have to add the time it takes to integrate your feedback and any changes you wish to make.

If that sounds like it’s too long for you, you have to remember that many professionals from various areas immerse themselves in your project during that time. There are directors, scriptwriters, illustrators, animators, voice-over talent, and the list goes on!

For that reason, most projects take around eight or nine weeks from start to finish when it’s all said and done. However, if you need faster turnarounds, we can figure out a delivery schedule that works with your company’s timetable.


Wrapping Up

While an awesome whiteboard cartoon video can do plenty of things for you and your brand, the style isn’t a great fit for any marketing situation!

If you just need a short ad, want a colorful video, or simply have some ideas for your piece that don’t mesh well with the style’s conventions, there’s probably a better alternative out there for you.

Make the most out of your whiteboard videos by using them as top-of-the-funnel evergreen educational content or to explain complex topics, and we promise you won’t be disappointed with the results! 😉

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Juan Bencomo

Juan Bencomo – Content Specialist and Chief Editor

A seasoned digital marketing expert, professional writer and translator, and the chief editor for all our web and blog content. Writing is his life, but when he’s not working his magic on our website and blog, he’s often found with his nose in a book, listening to some music, or playing video games.

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