Explainer Video

PICK OF THE WEEK: How OnHub Keeps Your Wi-Fi Fast (Explainer)

Blake Harris 05.03.2016

At home or at work, Wi-Fi connectivity plays a big part in our daily lives. But what if I told you that your Wi-Fi experience could be even better? Faster? Smoother? More consistent? Well that’s exactly what OnHub promises to deliver. And to help get the word out, they’ve created a fun, flashy, motion graphics explainer video in How OnHub Keeps Your Wi-Fi Fast that we’ve selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.

How OnHub Keeps Your Wi-Fi Fast was created by a Detroit-based animation studio called Gunner. Led by an Nick Forshee and Ian Sigmon, Gunner describes itself as “a team of multidisciplinary artists who obsess over creating imagery that hypnotizes and stirs that lil’ feeling in our guts.” Bold ambitions, certainly, but ones that the Gunner team is able to deliver on in How OnHub Keeps Your Wi-Fi Fast:

CREDITS:

  • Directed by Gunner
  • Illustration: Ian Sigmon Nick Forshee
  • Animation: Marcus Bakke, Ian Sigmon, Nick Forshee
  • Sound Design & Music: bryanandsteve.com
  • Client: Google

3 Things We Loved About This Explainer: 

1. The Usage of Visual Complexity to Sell the Problem: The pain point that OnHub aims to alleviate is subpar Wi-Fi service. Although that’s something all of us have experienced, it’s probably not something than many of us understand. So, to open the explainer video, How OnHub Keeps Your Wi-Fi Fast gives as a quick overview of why this happen.

Starting with an overview of the problem isn’t all that surprising, but successfully detailing that pain in a way that’s not painful…that’s tricky. Especially when it comes to technology, where there’s an understandable tendency to over-explain or use technical jargon.  The Gunner team wisely navigates through these potential pitfalls by placing the burden of this message on the visuals and, most importantly, keeping them quick, clean and fun.

How do they do it? Well, they start with a simple landscape and then add in a small dome to represent a Wi-Fi powered area.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.01 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.47.46 PM

Then to show the unavoidable overlap , they erect a handful of tiny buildings around our original halo of Wi-Fi.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.03 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.04 PM

Then, lastly, a criss-cross of lines is added to highlight the chaos that ensues.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.05 PM 1Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.05 PM

All in all, a gradual progression that never feels too overwhelming. But, through watching the visuals evolve, we’re able to internalize the problem at hand.

2. The Choices Made to Depict Wi-Fi: As if educating the viewer about wireless systems weren’t challenging enough, the crux of this explainer focuses on a comparison of Wi-Fi systems. And when comparing different options–be it apples and oranges, or Paris and Madrid–it’s most helpful to visually represent what’s being compared. Which is a problem here because Wi-Fi is invisible.

Yet despite the challenge, Gunner really rises to the occasion by using parallel lines and threading them–up and down, up and down–with geometric objects.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.21 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.21 PM 1

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.22 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.23 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.24 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.25 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.26 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.24 PM 1

The representation of this abstraction is skillfully executed, but the unsung hero of this all is the pacing. There’s a graceful fluidity to the movement that gives life to the audio, and the versatility of the narrator’s voice also really helps hammer home the points.

3. The Final Transition: In which, within a matter of seconds, we go from something very abstract…

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.39 PM 1Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.39 PM

to something familiarly concrete…

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.41 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.40 PM

to our end screen…

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.43 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-04 at 12.48.44 PM

If you enjoyed this explainer video, you’ll also enjoy this short film that Gunner recently made. Paired with first-person audio, it chronicles the homecoming of astronaut Leland Melvin…

Blake Harris

Blake Harris

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

Similar Stories