Kia ora! I'm Blair. I design fun, educational tools that help people take action.

How a protein becomes a muscle

Blair wrote this on 31 Jul

Today we’re breaking down of an explainer video. The purpose of this post is to break down the elements of the video and analyse why it does or doesn’t work well as a communication resource.

The video

It’s made by Giant Ant for Men’s Health.

The breakdown


Every good video starts with facts and figures. In this video they are about how your body turns protein into muscle. Not completely boring, but close enough. The creative directors have tried to use a story (the journey of protein in your food as it is processed and eventually becomes muscle) to add context to all this information. It’s pretty good considering the subject matter. If you play the video and close your eyes (or switch browser tabs) you can hear the story. They did a great job of keeping a fairly complex topic to a concise one minute explanation.


Next up the illustrator and animator have used pictures to clarify all those words and numbers. Again, playing the video with your eyes closed vs. with the pictures makes a huge difference. It’s not always clear what is being described by relying on verbal language alone. The pictures which are literal and figurative make this biological process a whole lot clearer and more engaging. I like the way the proteins are represented and the final tie in to the person’s muscle getting bigger. I got a little bit lost with the fibres becoming part of the dumbbell being lifted, but science was never my favourite subject :)

Wrap up

So there you have it. A nice, quick breakdown of a very well produced animated explainer video. Hope that was helpful.

Next, take a moment to think about the key business processes at your company. How could you use an explainer video to make some of them more interesting and clear, especially for new people?


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