In Learner Engagement

Why are whiteboard videos so popular? We’ll give you a hint:


To learn more about whiteboard video, please contact the Sales team at Brella.

British researcher Richard Wiseman (described by Scientific American as “the most interesting and innovative experimental psychologist in the world today”) recorded two videos of a lecture. The first was a classic “talking head” format, and the second was a whiteboard video. Professor Wiseman then tested viewers on their retention of the information contained in the lecture.

The results were stark: the whiteboard video showed a 15% increase in comprehension and retention over the talking head video. As professor Wiseman explained, “Anyone involved in education or research will know that is absolutely massive. Normally you have to work incredibly hard to get 5, maybe 10 percent increase in any kind of behavioral measure like that. Simply by animation you’re seeing a 15 percent increase.”

So based on professor Wiseman’s work, and related research (such as narrative transportation theory), we can safely say that whiteboard videos are popular because they work.


Dave Less, Brella’s video department manager, explains: “The main thing is audiences view them as easy and friendly because of the visual style. And so viewers are less defensive about being taught more intimidating concepts.”

“When done right, a whiteboard video can really engage the viewer,” says Brella’s post-production guru Matt Benepe. “And on multiple levels. There’s story, sound, music, and the built-in drama of seeing something created in front of your eyes. The viewer is filling in the visuals, and rebuilding them as the drawings become more complete. Their brains become engaged on multiple levels—so Wiseman’s work makes complete sense.”

Brella has a long track record of creating whiteboard videos for clients, so the power of the format is no surprise to us—we’re just glad that it’s catching on with the larger business community. Whiteboard videos are a great tool for engagement, storytelling, and messaging. We hope to see more of them!