Idea Blog

PICK OF THE WEEK: A Brief History of Fast Food (Explanation Video)

Blake Harris 11.04.2015

With so much great work being done in the animation and explanation spaces, every week we like to shine a spotlight on an outstanding piece of work. This week’s selection is a hip, retro-style motion infographic about the origins of some famous fast food chains.

This explanation video was created by Raphaëlle Gamanho (@raphaellephant_), a student at The College of New Jersey, where she is currently pursuing a BFA in Visual Arts. It’s an interesting topic that Gamanho has chosen, isn’t it? Given the mental and global omnipresence of chains like KFC, McDonalds and White Castle, it’s sometimes easy to forget that institutions like these haven’t been around forever. And while Gamanho’s piece is only about a minute in length (and includes no voiceover narration), it’s impressive how she was able to provide a flickering sense of this rapid evolution. Perhaps she’ll one day expand this video out and dig into more of how the Fast Food Mythos was born and has grown but if not, for those interested in the topic, I highly recommend Eric Schlosser’s book Fast Food Nation. Regardless, and without further ado, here is Raphaëlle Gamanho’s A Brief History of Fast Food

3 Things We Love About This Explanation Video:

1) Less is More:  As alluded to above, the history of the fast food industry–as well as the origins of key companies in that sector–is significantly complex. Wisely, Gamanho doesn’t attempt to dive outside the depth of what can be accomplished in a short video like this (I mean, she even smartly titled the piece “A Brief History!”) So what she attempts to accomplish here is inherently superficial. And while in colloquial terms that word (“superficial”) often implies a certain sense of shallowness, that is not at all the case with Gamanho’s video. It’s aware of what it is: an infographic set to music and movement, and delivers upon that with aesthetically-intuitive images like these:

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2) Pacing (Before & After):  As we’ve already mentioned several times, a ticking clock is this video’s greatest enemy. And so one great way that Gamanho maneuvers through through this abridged landscape is by creating a pacing that fits the story. Like a rhyme scheme in poetry, pacing can be used to lyrically elevate content and play upon reader (or viewer) expectation. In this case, Gamanho’s snapshot of this history focuses on the Before & After of select fast food chains; pacing her images, text and music into a familiar and welcome pattern.

She does this for White Castle…

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KFC…

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and McDonalds…

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3) It’s Clear That She Had Fun Making This:  Fun is by no means a necessity to making strong content but, as a viewer, it’s certainly something that’s enjoyable to see come through the screen…

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To learn more about Raphaëlle and check out some of her other work, please visit her digital portfolio.

Blake Harris

Blake Harris

Blake Harris is the author of "Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation."
Blake Harris

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