Why MakerDao Made An Explainer Video SeriesEmma Gallimore 03.18.2019
By now, pretty much everyone has heard of cryptocurrency. While the idea is seeping into the public consciousness, only a small percentage of the population is actually using it. And an even smaller portion actually understand how cryptocurrency works. When MakerDAO wanted the public to understand its cryptocurrency offering better, they turned to an animated explainer video series as the ideal solution.
MakerDAO is an organization that creates the Dai stablecoin, a bit of cryptocurrency that’s 100% decentralized and asset-backed with its value pegged to the US dollar. If that last sentence felt confusing, don’t worry. The video will make things clearer.
You can either buy the coin using an exchange platform like Coinbase Pro, or you can take out a loan and give yourself a stable store of value to be traded with other people. For example, one man took Dai out, turned it into US dollars, then used those dollars to pay off his mortgage. That was a good deal for him, because his regular mortgage rate was around 5% while his Dai accrued only 0.5% interest.
Why MakerDAO Chose Video
While MakerDAO already had an exhaustive whitepaper explaining how their cryptocurrency worked, they wanted something that was a little more accessible to the average user. The whitepaper explains the whole maker system, how it works together, and the processes that run in the background to keep the currency operating. For many people, that much information was overkill.
Just as you don’t necessarily have to understand global economic policy to use a dollar bill, you don’t have to understand the whole system to use Dai.
MakerDAO’s Head of Marketing, Coulter Mulligan, knew they needed to present the basics in a visual way that quickly illustrated context and how the pieces worked together.
“We believe that visual models are often easier ways to explain complex concepts faster.” Mulligan said. “We also like it because it allows us to talk in chapters.”
Each video in the explainer video series stands alone. While you’ll get the fullest understanding by watching all of the videos in sequence, you can can also watch just one to gain functional knowledge of one peice of the MakerDAO system.
Why MakerDAO Chose Animation
The people already operating within the MakerDAO system know how it works. Many of them helped or are helping to create it. As a decentralized collection of interested individuals, MakerDAO evolved organically. It’s fueled by people who are driven by the desire to make the blockchain work for everybody.
“We have a passionate and really engaged community and user base,” Mulligan said, “but for us to hit scale we have to go to a wider audience.”
“Animation has endless options,” Mulligan said. “I remember being fascinated by all the options that the team were presenting. Logically, you understand that they are a billion different ways to communicate through animation but when they’re presented to you…”
Narrowing down their options took some time. They wanted to portray dependability and accessibility without being dry or boring. Their final choice was a simple but playful style that personifies the Dai coin, Maker, and the US dollar, clearly showing their relationship in the marketplace.
[Insert video – What is MKR]
Global Reach With An Explainer Video Series
Although it’s tied to the US Dollar, Dai can be bought and used anywhere. Mulligan sees a lot of potential for it in countries with debilitating inflation. People in those countries can convert their local currency into Dai and prevent it from losing value over time.
MakerDAO even has partners that will allow you to instantly convert your Dai into the currency of your home country.
When you organization has international reach, video is an efficient content medium. It’s inherently more scalable than a blog post or white paper. Instead of rewriting the whole piece of content for different countries, you can simply add voiceover in a different language.
Even without understanding the language, the videos give you a sense of what Dai and MakerDAO are all about. Mute this video to see if you can still follow the basic concept.
[Insert Video – What is Dai]
“I really like the idea of video as a powerful way to speak to a global audience, video as a powerful way to tell complex stories simply, and video as a way to bring a personality to something as exciting, but also potentially complex, as a decentralized crypto asset backed stablecoin,” Mulligan said.
An explainer video series was the right choice for MakerDAO. What could it do for your organization?