We like to think that a big part of Zopa’s appeal as a peer-to-peer lending service is that it takes every opportunity to be as simple and transparent as possible. So when it came to scripting, we placed a blanket ban on unnecessarily long words, pointless jargon, and misleading or confusing messaging: these are all things that can alienate our beloved customers.
Video’s a great way to communicate a complex message in a simple, digestible form. It helps that it’s a form people tend to be comfortable with: according to Psychology Today, the average person watches over 206 videos per month. But like any other content, it only works if it’s engaging, direct, and communicates something of value. We made sure to keep messaging above everything else.
Storyboarding and animating our service
With this in mind, when we first set about creating our web animations, we insisted on three things: simplicity, transparency, and relevance. Borrowing and lending money alike can be intimidating experiences, so it was important to us to do what we could to demystify this process and reassure both our prospective and current clients. A needlessly busy, complicated, or overly tangential video would only put viewers off. When it comes to animation, it can be a little tempting to overindulge. Unlike live-action film, you can have basically anything in these videos – rocket ships, superheroes, underwater kangaroo squadrons – so why wouldn’t you?
Tempting as it may have been, it wasn’t the way we wanted to go about it. We needed this to be distinct, but without being distracting. We opted for a simple, professional aesthetic that would communicate Zopa’s message effectively – and could be easily reproduced across multiple videos. Check out this image from the final storyboard:
Even without the aid of the voiceover, it’s pretty clear what this is: a direct and uncomplicated representation of peer to peer lending. Compare with this image from the storyboard for our video on risk management:
Now, it uses the same iconography, and even takes a similar form (using more stick figures), but it’s also clear that this image represents the distribution of loans across multiple borrowers. Here’s the final form of the first image:
It looks even better in motion, trust us.
That isn’t everything, of course: there’s editing, there’s finding VO artists with exactly the right voice, and there’s ensuring tonal consistency across every clip (not always easy). But the most difficult part of making any animated video is getting the messaging and the visual grammar exactly right – and we think we did the job here.
Zopa created its explainer video series in collaboration with TopLine Comms.