Barnett Waddingham: adding clarity through animation | Grist



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Barnett Waddingham: adding clarity through animation

A series of engaging motion graphics videos using animated storytelling to bring clarity to complex issues.

The purpose

Technology is a key differentiator for actuarial consultants Barnett Waddingham. The firm has developed a powerful suite of proprietary software and online tools to help pension fund trustees and corporate clients better understand and manage their schemes.

Aiming to bring clarity to complex issues like risk management, funding and investments, the firm wanted to find a compelling way to promote the technology to existing clients and prospects, without getting bogged down in technical detail.

How we helped

As an alternative to a more traditional ‘explainer’ video, which might have included a straightforward walkthrough of various screenshots, Grist recommended animated storytelling to deliver a clear and powerful message and bring to life the key benefits of Barnett Waddingham’s specialist products, Illuminate and BWebstream.

The narrative for the Illuminate video shows trustees attempting to navigate the confusing pension fund ‘journey’ in the dark. A pitstop at Barnett Waddingham to install an Illuminate ‘satnav’ highlights the road ahead and helps to show the opportunities and risks along the way, giving a clear visual metaphor.

A different type of journey also drives the video narrative for BWebstream, a dynamic online platform that offers a range of insights for different user groups such as pension trustees, corporate sponsors, HR and payroll. The video weaves sophisticated motion graphics and lifestyle footage within the storyline to show the interaction between groups, and the added value benefits of the system.

As a consultancy firm, Barnett Waddingham is keen to show that their software forms an integral part of their service offering, rather than replacing it, so both video narratives are careful to feature the human interaction and partnership approach on which the firm has thrived.

Each script underwent a rigorous editing process to eliminate technical speak and deliver the key messages in a language the audience would understand, with professional voiceovers adding a confident and authoritative tone to the proceedings.   

The results

The videos are a prime example of Barnett Waddingham’s increasingly sophisticated, visually rich marketing communications. They form the centrepiece for bespoke landing pages on the website, helping to maximise time on page and ensure strong search rankings. Each video is integrated and cross-promoted around the site, shared widely on other owned channels such as email alerts and at events, as well as via social media.

They are also used as an engaging introduction to Barnett Waddingham’s innovative technology before, during and after client or new business meetings, and to capture attention at in-house and industry events.

“We like to challenge ourselves to get out of our comfort zone,” says head of marketing, Simon Rusling. “If we’re encouraging clients to embrace new ideas and technology, then it makes sense to deliver those messages in more innovative digital formats, too”.


Account manager: Phil Harding

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