Getting New Westminster homes ready for 2032 by simplifying new building methods with an Explainer video series.

Concept artwork for the Energy Save New West video series.
Concept artwork for the Energy Save New West video series.

In this case study we explain the process of an explainer video series for Energy Save New West. They reached out to us after seeing our other Explainer video creations.

 

The Problem

New Westminster’s municipal initiative Energy Save New West (ESNW) started in 2013 to:

“improve the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings, and reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions.”

This way the city’s building industry would be prepared for future requirements of the new B.C. Energy Step Code. When they approached us they had informative messaging that explained energy measurements, energy upgrades, and utility perks.

The communication problem they had was that their target audience was highly segmented. Some of their audience was very process driven and therefore skeptical of trying new building methods. To them, they feared “new” could mean extra time and money in competitive industries. Other segments were simply unaware alternatives to the existing building standards even existed.


Audience Profile

Energy Save New West’s audience included 3 groups: Homeowners, Builders, and Architects. Each audience had different incentives for trying greener building. For Homeowners, greener building meant significant improvements in home comfort and savings. For Builders, the value of trying new green building methods meant getting an edge over their competitors.

Because of the differences we proposed a series of videos that could directly speak to each group. Consequently each video could speak to each groups “pain points.” Each could address their unique concerns. Most importantly, each could explain why Energy Save New West was the right resource in a more direct, personal way.


Process

First, we pitched a character-based story that illustrated the unique problems the client would solve for each group. Each audience would be spoken to directly about their particular problems and possible solutions. Second, Vidoki wrote a draft script for the first Homeowner video. After presenting it to the client and making some revisions, it acted as a template for the next scripts.

Next, our Illustrator developed a family of characters that was warm, fun, and emotive. It was important the design was not overly simplistic so that the positive change was obvious in each character’s story.

Explainer video artwork
Character development sketches for the Energy Save New West video series.

In order to appeal to the broadest possible audience, we developed a diverse character set. For the colour palette we often follow a client’s branding guidelines. But in this case the client didn’t feel we needed to stick to their blue/green identity. After presenting some style frames we agreed on this look:

Explainer video artwork
Approved character designs for the Energy Save New West video series.

Once the character style was ready, we began the process of blocking off each scene into a storyboard. The storyboard showed what would appear visually at virtually every moment in the script. This made the visual narrative clear overall.

Explainer video storyboarding
Storyboarding for the Architect video.

Once the storyboard was approved, Vidoki got cracking on the animation! Occasionally artwork is cut due to pacing or discovering a clearer way to communicate something during the animation phase. Whenever we think it would be beneficial to stray from the plan, we always give our clients a heads up. Here are a few drawings that didn’t make their way into the series:

Explainer artwork that was cut from the series.
Some additional artwork cut from the final animations.

Outcome

The series was very well received and a blast for us to work on! Other organizations with similar communication challenges have contacted us wanting to use explainer videos to help make their job easier. Explainer videos are one of the most effective and entertaining ways of spreading your message.

Interested in getting your own Explainer video? Let’s get started.