Idea Blog

PICK OF THE WEEK: The History of Dried Fruit (Whiteboard Animation)

Claude Harrington 02.18.2016

Have you ever found yourself deeply contemplating the history of dried fruit? (Don’t worry, neither have we). At least not until we came across our PICK OF THE WEEK: a fun, engaging whiteboard animation produced by Crispy Green.

For those unfamiliar with Crispy Green, they’re a New Jersey based health food company that sells freeze-dried fruit snacks. The company was founded in 2005 by Angela Liu, a career chemical engineer (in the pharmaceutical industry) who decided to follow her entrepreneurial passions. For a smaller company like Crispy Green, one imagines that it must be difficult to compete against the marketing power of larger entities in the fruit or health food space. Which made us appreciate this whiteboard animation even more; not only because of Crispy Green’s faith in RSA-style animation but also because of how they chose to approach this digital marketing opportunity. Although it is ultimately a branded spot for Crispy Green, they’ve chosen to open up the content and provide a larger scale history about what turned out to be a surprisingly interesting topic.

To watch the video, click on the link below:

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3 Things We Loved About This Whiteboard Animation:

1. Judicious Use of Color: When introducing color into whiteboard animation, it’s often to avoid going overboard. We’re so used to seeing color in most of our animation. We’re also conditioned to believe that if something is working well (say a splash of color of here) then more of that something will work better.

The problem, though, is that while it’s tempting to keeping adding more color and wider splashes–much of which tends to look nice on an isolated basis–falling into this trip will ultimately betray the reason that you chose to go with whiteboard animation in the first place. It’s not supposed to look like the cartoons you see on TV. It’s supposed to possess a salt-and-pepper simplicity in order to better convey certain kinds of messages. As makers of whiteboard animation, we know that it’s not always easy to figure out how much is too much. That’s why we applaud Crispy Green’s judicious use of color.

For example, look at how they treated the opening. They went bold on the initial shot (though the palette choice wasn’t overly showy) and then immediately tapered down the use.

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Not only does this show a commitment to a more simplified narrative approach, but it also helps identify the mango (our colored-in character) as the through-line for this animated video.

2. Well Paced: Similar to what we discussed above with regards to color usage in whiteboard animation, there’s a similar temptation–or, at least, a similar challenge–when it comes to depicting history. How much is too much? And also that persistent concern about making sure to select the right historical examples.

How well this video addresses that concern is not necessarily something that jumps out the first time you watch the video. But upon further review, we realized just how many years (chronologically-speaking) this whiteboard animation ultimately covered. Basically spanning from the dawn of man to modern day.

Figuring out where to draw that line and which historical examples best exemplify the point is important for so many reasons. One being that these are essentially your key pieces of evidence in the thesis you are trying to make and another being that if you choose the wrong examples, you’ll throw off the narrative pacing and lose viewer interest.

To highlight the point, here are the few, well-placed and well-paced examples utilized in this whiteboard animation:

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3. The Freeze-Dried Mango: Who would have though that he’d make such a good tour guide?!

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