Presentation on a laptop on a table with hands and text
Whiteboard videos can provide up to 15% greater retention of information

Telling your “incentive story” with video creates greater engagement, higher recall, and an overall increase in IC plan knowledge.  

If you’ve seen the Academy Award-winning movie, Schindler’s List, at the mention of the girl in the red coat, you can probably recall the specific scene I’m referring to vividly. This singular scene often stands out as the most revered and remembered scene in the movie. If you have not seen the movie, it is a black and white film yet in this specific scene there is a little girl walking through a crowded ghetto in a red coat.  

Little girl stands out in a red coat amongst a crowd of black and white soldiers
“The Girl in the Red Coat” is a fantastic example of vivid visual storytelling

Her red coat stands out vividly in comparison to the black and white coloring of the rest of the film. It captures our attention and draws our eyes to focus our attention on her. We follow her among the throngs of people and watch as she comes in and out of our view.  

So what does this have to do with incentives?

This simple scene also tells a narrative, albeit, without words. This little girl is out walking during the purge of the ghetto without any parent. We can sense that she is scared and confused, but she also has a bit of confidence around her. We see her being ignored by the SS – until she isn’t. The scene beautifully pulls us in with anticipation about what will happen to her, telling a story through movement and action, and setting us up for an emotional pull at our hearts. It’s the combination of story and vivid visual that captures our attention and sticks in our memory.

While most incentive compensation communications can’t capture the emotional fascination that this scene creates, there are ways of using these concepts to gain more attention and engagement.

Incentive communications that can incorporate vivid graphics, tell a narrative, and build anticipation can have a significantly greater impact on understanding, recall, and positive perception than standard communications. Using these emotional appeals can help make your incentives come alive and engage your teams. 

One of the most effective ways that companies have been using to bringing these emotional components to incentives is through the use of whiteboard videos. Whiteboard videos are a style of video that typically have a combination of hand-drawn images and words on the screen while a narrator speaks to the content. 

screenshot from a whiteboard video with a hand drawing people walking up stairs
Whiteboard videos combine images and handwritten words

While there are many styles of video, whiteboard videos offer some specific advantages for use with incentives over other types of communication. Whiteboard videos are significantly more memorable and sharable. Research shows that they:

  • Provide 15% greater recall of information compared to standard video (R. Wiseman, 2015)
  • Induce 66% more willingness to share and discuss the content (R. Wiseman, 2015)

So how is it that these videos grab our attention and emotionally engage us?  They do it through a few different aspects, specifically:

Vivid Visual Progression & Anticipation.

Whiteboard videos create a visual progression throughout a scene. The hand is drawing the visuals or writing out the words. This creates a focus for the viewer, similar to the girl in the red coat. It focuses our attention on a particular piece of information. When our brain watches this, it tries to anticipate what the hand is doing? This completion task by our brain activates different neural connections – creating stronger memories and easier recall. By pulling viewers into content and having their brain try to anticipate the completion of the visual or word, whiteboard videos offer a way to capture our attention around incentives that other communication methods just can’t replicate. 

Narrative Transportation

Narrative transportation is the immersion of individuals into a dynamic story which then impacts our beliefs and attitudes much more than data alone.  For millennia humans have told stories as ways of communicating and teaching. The step-by-step story component of whiteboard videos creates this story aspect. These videos transport people into the narrative that we are telling, bringing them along on a journey. This helps create deeper insights than traditional communication methods that just focus on the information that recipients need to know.  

Graphical Recall

People recall vivid, graphical images more than statistics, facts, and figures – even with technical information. Again, visuals are processed by different neural networks than words and numbers and thus drive enhanced learning. We process visual information almost 60 times faster than copy alone. Because whiteboard videos utilize a highly graphical interface, this increases recall of information longer than standard text or voice alone.  

We’ve created hundreds of incentive compensation videos for our clients applying these principles. The impact has been significant – more engagement, higher recall, and greater performance.  

Whiteboard videos allow us to utilize those emotional components, much like the girl in the red coat, to engage and inform employees. While your communications may not win an Oscar, they can be thoughtfully designed to have a significantly greater impact. 

Contact us now to see how you can use whiteboard videos to engage your reps in under 5 minutes.


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