Pass It On

The other day my friend Liz sent out a mass email with a link to a website, simply stating:

“This is a great video to check out. If you already received this, sorry. And please pass it on…

Liz is an ultra funny gal, more likely to send out something irreverent than anything else. After watching this site’s main attraction — an amazing 20-minute video, I’m compelled to share this site with everyone, too.

The video is a tastefully subversive explanation by sustainability expert Annie Leonard of the hidden costs of our consumer-driven culture. I thought I knew nearly everything there was to know about these things (being tastefully subversive, myself), yet was astounded how much worse things really are. Basically, you’ll never rest easy once you know what’s in your pillow.

No less impressive than the video’s content is the simple and effective use of naive-looking line drawings. This apparent simpleness is the perfect foil for the many serious issues raised in the video. Of course, the word “apparent” is key here — this was no small production, I can assure you. It is very well-produced combination of film, hand animation, clever editing, and excellent use of sound (note the repetition of the angelic sound whenever there’s a reference the “yellow arrow”).

The high-production value helps keeps your interest, rather than being showy. For me, it exemplifies the importance of designing information in a compelling way to keep your audience engaged.

Take a moment today to watch the video. Post a comment here about your reactions, too. We’d love to hear your thoughts.