Animation

In 2018, GlobalGiving facilitated collaboration with our USA-based friends at the global digital communications leader Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN). We discussed various truths when asking ourselves,

“In an era of information overload, and with a general public ‘s ever-shorter attention span and growing aversion to read, how can PSYDEH communicate what we do with accurate key phrases, images, and videos that resonate with our local partners and national and foreign funding audiences?” 

TRUTHS:

(1) The Otomí-Tepehua region is one of three indigenous zones in the central Mexican state of Hidalgo, each linked to the over 25 recognized indigenous regions in Mexico. Hidalgo is relatively small, one of 31 states + the federal district in the Republic. Mexico is just one of 195 countries around the world. PSYDEH is one of over 27,000 civil society organizations operating in Mexico. IN SHORT, PSYDEH operates in a reality where our organization and the people with whom we work, our region, our state, Mexico, WE are a but a drop of water in the ocean that is the world.

(2) PSYDEH’s multi-year scalable program is not easy to explain to our potential funders, nor to our Mexican local partners. Friends and funders are bombarded with countless data points; our important messaging can get lost amidst this oversaturation. Local rural partners are innately intelligent, hardworking and want what all citizens want — to live in communities in which ALL citizens create and access the opportunities they need to be self-reliant — yet, they are marginalized, long-suffering from social and economic inequality resulting in, for example, 2 out of every 5 indigenous women being functionally illiterate. IN SHORT, PSYDEH’s complicated but needed work is not easy to distill into a 30-second elevator pitch for the public, nor into a multi-paragraph or slide presentation for our able indigenous partners.

THE SOLUTION?

(1) Our Route to Good team and PSYDEH decided on a phrase that captures the essence of our work: “Creating Lasting Communities of Change“.

(2) We celebrate PSYDEH’s increased focus on narratives as a tool for inspiring action among disparate groups. We turn to TedEd animation’s example as our tool of choice for conveying PSYDEH’s narrative about the complex, intangible concepts underlying our tangible work.

At least 65% of people are visual learners. What we see impacts what we hear (READ: The McGurk effect). Presentations using visual aids are far more compelling than those without them. For these reasons, PSYDEH invests heavily in social-impact photography, film, and video. We now expand this focus to include animation.

The digital communications and education sectors offer evidence that animations can help learners come to understand complex ideas more easily. For example, there is a growing body of TEDEd talks on the value of animation. Moreover, TED themselves, like The Atlantic magazine, increasingly turn to animation to communicate complex ideas. If animation is good enough for TED and The Atlantic, it is good enough for PSYDEH; the process of teaching and learning and communicating are enhanced significantly through this medium.

2016 Animated short explaining PSYDEH’s work in the context of US-Mexican relations to global crowdfunding donors

As such, in late 2016, we designed our own animation as a marketing tool for our first global crowdfunding campaign (RIGHT).

In late 2018, we used cloud-based software to create our first animated lesson told in the 3rd person about a fictional woman named Maria navigating our scalable program (BOTTOM). We produce Spanish and English versions as a teaching and marketing tool. This lesson will be followed by 10 short trailers designed for social media, each of which captures a key theme of our lesson. Resources permitting, we hope to create a second lesson by the 3rd quarter of 2019.

2018 animated short on the life of an indigenous woman creating bottom-up change with PSYDEH in Mexico