The Magnetic Effect of Drawn Video

Engaging the visiting mind is a key challenge of Conversion Scientists. It is also a key capability of video. However, there is something magnetic about drawn video. It is unclear exactly why.

Is it the symbolic nature that keeps our attention?

Is it the emergent nature of drawings as they are drawn?

Is it just that this format is unique?

Here is just eighteen seconds of drawn video I did for TEDx Austin reflecting their 2012 theme “Beyond Measure.”

Why do you think this format works?

This video was done in about an hour and a half idea to done using a Windows Tablet PC, Microsoft OneNote, and Camtasia for recording and editing.

This is inspired by the RSAnimate drawing videos found on YouTube.

The folks at How It Works Media develop cartoon-based messaging for businesses.

The Net Pool from HowitworksMedia on Vimeo.

Brian Massey
4 replies
  1. Jenny Magic says:

    First, I love your “beyond measure” clip, both in form and message. Well done, and looking forward to TedxAustin!
    I think our fascination with drawn video ties to the “emergent” theme you mentioned, but more concretely, around the brain’s inherent need to find patterns and complete them. Have you seen that brain teaser where the words are all jumbled just a bit but we can still read it? I think, in similar ways, our brains are watching the drawn video emerge, guessing where the pattern will be completed, and enjoying either the validation of a correct guess or the surprise of an incorrect one. I think it’s also why the Prezi format for presentations is so eye-catching – the patterns of movement isn’t linear, therefore harder to predict, which keeps the brain more engaged.
    Well done!

    • Brian Massey says:

      Thanks so much, Jenny. 
      For those of you not familiar with Prezi, here’s an example presentation from the Conversion Scientist’s lab.

  2. AstroGremlin says:

    Ken Robinson’s cartoon approach to reforming education is a classic.  Your 18 seconds captures that same excitement.  We come from a long line of cave people who drew plans for the hunt in the sand.  Teachers have capitalized on our fascination with drawing and writing in real time for generations.  Perhaps we are compelled to anticipate the next stroke of the stylus, are hypnotized by ideas appearing from thin air, or just want to make sure we don’t miss a detail before the drawing is erased.  Whatever the reason, we love watching people draw as they explain things.


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  1. […] Video. Definitely video. (If you want to know the reason why, check out Brian’s musings on the magnetic effect of drawn video) […]

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