CASE STUDY: EXPLAINER

Political Tours offer group tours, holidays and tailor-made trips for people with a passion for international affairs.
We were asked to explain the workings of Political Tours and the intellectual holidays they offer. Each tour is led by an expert or journalist who helps you to see how a country really works, and you may even get to see history in the making. Their natural appeal is to ‘news junkies’, so they required a 1-2 minute explainer video to extend their reach to a wider audience making them more accessible and understandable as a company.
We went to meet the Political Tours team in person to get to know the founders Nick and Karen, the inner workings of the tours, and their vision for the future. This allowed us to step into their shoes, and really get a sense of how best to approach the animation to fit the needs and personality of both them and their company.
Once we had a good understanding of the company and the people behind it, the next challenge was to break it down into its simplest form. This involved creating a narrative that explained why these tours differed from conventional tourism and then conveying these fascinating alternatives to regular holidays in a manner that was both intriguing and accurate.
We worked closely with Nick and Karen to produce a script. Using what we had learnt in stages 1 and 2, we focused mainly on the tone of voice, to communicate the personality of the company. Alongside the script we sketched out a storyboard. It was important for the imagery to entice the viewers’ imagination without alluding too strongly to any particular news story, as each Political Tour is unique in its own way.
Storyboard
Artwork & Style
We decided to go with a simple black pen on white background. This style conjures up associations of news/newspapers, befitting of the Political Tours approach and tagline: “Travel Beyond the Headlines”. We also decided to go with a ‘whiteboard animation’ style which gradually reveals the drawings, to reflect the revealing nature of these tours.
We recorded the narration with journalist and BBC Radio 4 broadcaster John McCarthy in a Soho studio. We felt that his voice perfectly complemented the tone and personality of Political Tours.
Wireframe
The wireframe uses the approved artwork and style, with basic movements timed to the voiceover. In this case, this involved timing the appearance of each drawing to the voiceover to allow for constructive feedback on the overall look of the animation, before investing time in creating the ‘animated whiteboard-reveal’ on all the artwork.
Once all the above was in place, we create a first draft and subsequent drafts until the final version was ready. At this stage we also sourced sound effects to ground the visuals and bring the whole animation to life. This particular animation didn’t require music, but we source/compose music for those that do.
Drafts & Final Delivery
Throughout the entire process we sent regular updates and were always available for communication with the Political Tours team, to ensure that they remained in control of their animation every step of the way… but we dealt with the faff!
We were asked to explain the workings of Political Tours and the intellectual holidays they offer. Each tour is led by an expert or journalist who helps you to see how a country really works, and you may even get to see history in the making. Their natural appeal is to ‘news junkies’, so they required a 1-2 minute explainer video to extend their reach to a wider audience making them more accessible and understandable as a company.
We went to meet the Political Tours team in person to get to know the founders Nick and Karen, the inner workings of the tours, and their vision for the future. This allowed us to step into their shoes, and really get a sense of how best to approach the animation to fit the needs and personality of both them and their company.
Once we had a good understanding of the company and the people behind it, the next challenge was to break it down into its simplest form. This involved creating a narrative that explained why these tours differed from conventional tourism and then conveying these fascinating alternatives to regular holidays in a manner that was both intriguing and accurate.
We worked closely with Nick and Karen to produce a script. Using what we had learnt in stages 1 and 2, we focused mainly on the tone of voice, to communicate the personality of the company. Alongside the script we sketched out a storyboard. It was important for the imagery to entice the viewers’ imagination without alluding too strongly to any particular news story, as each Political Tour is unique in its own way.
We decided to go with a simple black pen on white background. This style conjures up associations of news/newspapers, befitting of the Political Tours approach and tagline: “Travel Beyond the Headlines”. We also decided to go with a ‘whiteboard animation’ style which gradually reveals the drawings, to reflect the revealing nature of these tours.
We recorded the narration with journalist and BBC Radio 4 broadcaster John McCarthy in a Soho studio. We felt that his voice perfectly complemented the tone and personality of Political Tours.
The wireframe uses the approved artwork and style, with basic movements timed to the voiceover. In this case, this involved timing the appearance of each drawing to the voiceover to allow for constructive feedback on the overall look of the animation, before investing time in creating the ‘animated whiteboard-reveal’ on all the artwork.
Once all the above was in place, we create a first draft and subsequent drafts until the final version was ready. At this stage we also sourced sound effects to ground the visuals and bring the whole animation to life. This particular animation didn’t require music, but we source/compose music for those that do.
Throughout the entire process we sent regular updates and were always available for communication with the Political Tours team, to ensure that they remained in control of their animation every step of the way… but we dealt with the faff!