Doodle & Explainer Videos in 5T (Even Better than 3D)

Sometimes a marketing email is right on point -- all help and no sales. Today I was lucky enough to get one from a product I already use (Doodly). The founder, Brad Callen, sent me an email with a link to an article he put together explaining when you’d want to create a doodle video (where you watch the hand drawing concepts as you listen to the narration) versus an explainer video (animation including the narration).

Great article as I’ve had the very questions mentioned. It was even better when I realized how Brad’s approach aligned with how I coach people on integrating technology into their work more generally.

As I went through the article a second time, I focused on the dimensions from my writing and research. Is the approach plugged-in? Does it show thinking (and acting) in 4T? (Now 5T -- new post in the works thanks to my 2019 EMBAs!)

© Bryxen, Inc. All rights reserved

© Bryxen, Inc. All rights reserved

Example of Thinking in 5T from the Toonly Blog


Here the Brad/Team Toonly focuses on marketing and other forms of persuasion. They highlight the target (first of the 5Ts): promoting your brand, persuasion towards a goal, education, creating a connection. “Successful marketers know that your objective should determine the type of video you use.”


There are three angles to the talent dimension here. The article is clearly design with human usability in mind (reader as talent to consider). The article also highlights strategies for engagement - a very human process (video consumer as talent). I wish they also mentioned that the technology (next up) is designed to be easy for the talent on the other side of the screen (video creators as talent). Perhaps they let that go to be sure to keep sales out of it, as promised in Brad’s email. I’ll share that I picked the Doodly platform because it was easy.


So, the unsung heroes of the article are all the platforms offering doodle and explainer videos. Here I give credit to Brad for offering value in this post regardless of the specific platform you use to create your videos.


Brad also does a good job with multiple examples of how to create the different kinds of stories. Through examples of small business sales and non-profit fundraising, I came away with a much better set of processes around how to map out the content I’d want to create. I haven’t looked for it, so maybe there other posts cover this, but I’d also like examples of how different teams approach the content creation. Are there group brainstorms, individuals pitching different built-out approaches? That would be more on the technique that brings together the talent and technological capabilities.

And Finally, the New, Fifth “T”: Time

As I was explaining Thinking in 4T to my current EMBA students, I shared my struggle with keeping the concepts simple, but not losing sight of the critical components we use to design our work and organizations. Context - hot/cool market, strong/weak resources, local/global setting wasn’t fitting and a C didn’t fit with my saying: “We see in 3D. We need to think in 4T.” They hit on Time as a fifth T. Time as in “our times,” our context, our moment in our history.

Brad closes out by summarizing that you need to pick the “best weapon for the job.” Keep the target in clear focus, understand your time in history (e.g., all the contextual issues that may or may not make something go viral).

As I first read the post, I understood its value and saved it for future use. As I took a moment more (a stop-look-listen moment), I realized that part of that value was coming from the strength of the implicit 5T approach. I’ll be working on the updated presentation of Thinking in 5T, then I’ll be working on doodle and explainer videos as other ways to bring the ideas to life. Thank you, Brad.