Animated Video Production

Whiteboard Animation: The 12 Best Whiteboard Videos from 2007-2017

Shawn Forno 09.07.2017

When whiteboard animation burst onto the scene over ten years ago, most people thought it was a fad. Yet even in the digital age of 3D animation, CGI, VR, and even augmented reality, the unmistakeable clarity and simplicity of whiteboard videos continues to engage millions of viewers, year after year. We’ve been making explainer videos for over a decade, and whiteboard videos are still popular for one simple reason—they work. So to help you better understand the power of whiteboard animation, here are our favorite picks for the best whiteboard animation from the past 10 years.

The Best Whiteboard Animation from 2007-2017

Note: We didn’t include any whiteboard videos from our portfolio in this whiteboard animation “best of.” We are, of course, exceptionally proud of all our whiteboard animated videos, but want to use this opportunity to shine a spotlight on others. That said, we have to show you the opening credit sequence we did for Season 8 of Showtime’s Weeds. We’re just too darn proud not to.

UPS: Whiteboard Freight (2007)

This video isn’t exactly “whiteboard animation” per se, but this wildly successful tv ad campaign (and the accompanying online videos) catapulted UPS to even greater brand identity in the disruptive delivery space. This whiteboard video also helped set the stage for the whiteboard explainer video explosion that was to happen.

Purina: A Pet Food Label You Can Trust (2014)

Purina launched their new “Beyond” pet food campaign with a series of lush, professional whiteboard videos. While this animation might not look like typical whiteboard (it’s not on a whiteboard for starters), these videos embody the spirit of whiteboard animation. A hand animates and interacts with every scene, and the entire thing plays out on the artist’s drawing pad.

The stripped down look, and “peeling back the label” take on advertising is a brilliant fusion of the message and the medium. No wonder more than 1.8 million people watched this short 15-second ad.

CrossFit: Functional Movement (2012)

This whiteboard video isn’t particularly “refined,” but hot dang is it effective. This video communicates more about the fundamentals of CrossFit in 30 seconds than your overly hyped co-worker ever did. If you want to convince someone to come spot you at the CrossFit gym, send them this simple, clean whiteboard video.

Minute Physics: Is it Better to Walk or Run in the Rain? (2012)

No one does short, information-packed scientific explainer videos better than Henry Reich at Minute Physics. His captivating videos (and video titles), interesting concepts, and thorough knowledge of the inner workings of physics make this bite-sized whiteboard explainer videos an absolute pleasure to watch. Each of his explainer videos answers a question in a way that makes them easy to understand and even easier to share. Whiteboard video like this has social media marketing value baked right in.

Coca-Cola Content 2020: Part 1 (2011)

This whiteboard video isn’t honestly all that exciting. It’s long, a little dry, and clearly meant for internal use (it talks about content strategy of all things). However, the fact that a major brand like Coca-Cola turned to whiteboard animation for a major internal video says something about the power of animated video. Coca-Cola even invested in fancy transitions and wipes (the fizzy bubbles).

What’s even more interesting is that this “internal” whiteboard explainer video has over 600,000 views on YouTube. That means it’s been watched, shared, and used heavily by the Coca-Cola marketing and sales team, as well as HR for on-boarding and corporate training. Remember, a whiteboard video doesn’t have to go “viral” for it to be a great investment. Heck, they made an even longer Part 2 whiteboard video.

RSA Animates: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (2010)

With over 15 million views on YouTube (and counting), this RSA-style animation (based on a talk given by Dan Pink) became one of the first bona fide viral video sensations. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the success of this simple whiteboard video changed the way people make online videos.

This original lecture is long, dry, complicated, and technical, but whiteboard animation makes all of Pink’s points come to life. The animation and visual representation of the talking points communicates better than simply a video of a speech ever could. And people noticed.

“The Marker Maker” (2009)

Whiteboard animation hasn’t always about “corporate synergy.” Whiteboard videos can be creative, exciting, and just downright fun. This video was one of the first whiteboard animations to go viral on YouTube all the way back in 2010, thanks to the combination of real life whiteboard animation and stop motion (he’s actually drawing every frame on a real whiteboard with a marker). The effect is magical.

Add in the perfectly timed music and inspiring voiceover and it’s no wonder that this beautiful whiteboard animation has over 2.5 million views.

Weird Al Yankovic: Mission Statement (2014)

Speaking of corporate synergy…this beautiful satire of whiteboard animation from none other than the lampoon master himself, Weird Al Yankovic, addresses every single trope, trap, and tradition of whiteboard animation. With over 2.7 million views, the lesson from this video is clear: Don’t take yourself (or your corporate communication chain) too seriously.

AsapSCIENCE: Humans in 100 Years (2015)

Much like Minute Physics, the AsapSCIENCE YouTube channel features the bread and butter of whiteboard animation—simple clear visuals, informative voiceover, and brief yet comprehensive takes on complicated ideas in 5 minutes or less. The whiteboard animation isn’t stellar, but it always gets the point across. This video has over 7.8 million views, so it’s obviously working.

ESPN: Why Marshawn will Lead Seahawks to Super Bowl Win (2015)

This RSA-style whiteboard video didn’t make the list for the actual animation—that’s pretty basic. This video made the list of best whiteboard videos because it’s absolutely hilarious. Marshawn Lynch’s monosyllabic “Yeah” answers every single detailed question for a sports video that’s actually entertaining (shocking).

The humor of the whiteboard comes from the situational depiction of the “interview.” Marshawn is in the shower, on Who Want’s to Be a Millionaire (he says maybe on that one), and all over the locker room. It’s funny, compelling, full of information, and highlights one of the biggest strengths of whiteboard animation—animating “dull” interview segments or tepid voiceover.

Hitchhiker’s Choice (2006)

It’s difficult to place the start and popularity of whiteboard animated video. UPS introduced a large audience to whiteboard video. RSA showed viewers the power of explanation, and countless creators have used whiteboard explainer video to talk about everything from cats to physics. However, the earliest example of awesome whiteboard animation is from 2006—just one year after YouTube was founded.

Animation student, Kristopher Strom created this short whiteboard stop motion video for a fun project. To date, this video has over 5 million views, and people keep coming back for more.

The Best Whiteboard Animation

whiteboard animation graphic

There’s just something about whiteboard animation. Watching the animation unfold before you eyes—following that disembodied hand as it draws the next frame. If whiteboard videos continue to deliver suspense, story, and intrigue, these videos will be around for another decade. Check out our whiteboard animation portfolio to see more.

Shawn Forno

Shawn Forno is a massive Studio Ghibli fan who does content marketing. In that order. Find his other writing and extensive travel blogging here.

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