I’ve started collecting instances of animated digital stories. This video from Moo.com matches their light and quirky branding. The music is bluegrass-y, the visuals march along at double-speed, and the stickers created in the video would be very familiar to their average viewer: likely a professional, artist, small business owner or professional artisan. I challenge you to show me a person who is in the market for $50 business cards who hasn’t been exposed to a small batch handmade soap or exotic coffee from Smallsville, St. Elsewhere.
A caption-less video that affords the viewer an omnipresent procedural view, assumes that the viewer already possesses a baseline understanding of the subject. The video then is not purposed as an informational piece, it is a promotional one.
The video shows the entire production process; from when the user initiates the order, to the printing, cutting, order fulfillment and mailing then finally end-user implementation. The video presents each part of the process so quickly that the viewer quickly realizes that one must grasp the images as meaning or else miss the entire message. The video doesn’t have any captions or titles, so the speed remains constant throughout, and there is no external presence inserted. We are left to our own devices to interpret the images before us. This indicates that MOO assumes that the viewer already understands or has a baseline conceptualization of the product design interface, printing press and paper cutting process.
A person without such a mental schema would not understand the images presented to them.
For example, we, the omnipresent viewer, watched the user design their stickers “at home”. Next, we watched the file become a printed object. We saw the “chomp” motion of the paper-cutter, and we watched the disembodied hands of the worker gather the stack and place it into the MOO package. As the omnipresent viewer, MOO gave us a front row seat to view of the entire process, and are thus expected to understand it, to comprehend it, to make sense of it because of the social capital we bring to he table. Such a video assumes a baseline knowledge on our part, which indicates their audience has certain experiences, information and professions which would need their services.
Moo presents this video on the front page of their website with the caption:
It is advertising lay-speak : akin to the hunter laying on their belly on the forest floor, so that he or she will blend into the bushes. The hunter wants to be hidden, obscured from view. This particular introduction implies that MOO accidentally caught the slippery production process on tape, like a puffin just wandered into the trap of their frame, and they decided to share it with the rest of us who have no idea what the centuries old printing process looks like.
Clever. Clever indeed.Even knowing all that I do about digital storytelling and advertising, I’m still designing my MOO cards…how DO they make them anyways…. :-)