The Federal Budget in 3 Minutes

How we distilled the most important elements of the Australian Government’s 2013 budget into a 3-minute sketch video.

Big Ideas Come In Boring Packages

One of the first whiteboard animations we created was for the Federal Government back in 2013.

The prospect of summarising such a large document—the annual budget—that so many Australians were unlikely to ever read, yet all of us were all impacted by, was understandably, both daunting and exciting.

At a Glance

  • Project: Federal Budget 2012-2013
  • Client: Department of Finance
  • Delivered: May 2012
  • Duration: 2 weeks
  • Category: Federal Government, Explainer Videos
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A Process for Excellence

  1. Discover

    During this phase, our famous Empathy Forecast workshop will help us understand your audience, your key message, as well as getting everyone aligned.

  2. Concept

    Our professional scriptwriting team will work with you to turn insights from the initial workshop into a snappy script that communicates your key points.

  3. Create

    In this stage, we explore character development, themes, and visual storytelling, captured as a storyboard for you to review and help us refine.

  4. Magic

    Once the words and pictures and signed off, we’ll book a date in our studio where voiceover, music, sound effects, and post-production animations come together.

  5. Launch

    In this final step, we’ll deliver your finished product and any supporting assets, and optionally work with you on a roadmap for hosting and promotion.

Our Approach

The vision that we pitched to the client was of a sketch that visualised each of the elements in the budget, but when zoomed out at the end revealed a larger shape: a map of Australia. Our processes were not as refined as they are these days, so the actual logistics involved to shoot this video were considerable:

  • Initially, the client was concerned about confidentiality, and proposed flying the Sketch Group team to Canberra for the shoot. We assured them that our studio was not at risk of being photographed or leaked, and they agreed to letting us complete the shoot in Melbourne.
  • They didn’t know this at the time, but we didn’t actually have a dedicated studio back then—the video was shot in the lounge room at Simon’s house (Sketch Group’s videographer). We temporarily moved his couch into the hallway in order to make room, and all of the camera and technology gear sat on the kitchen bench for the shoot.
  • Because the exact numbers in the budget often fluctuate right up until they are locked in (and because the risk of details being leaked to the press must be minimised) the window of time that we had to shoot and edit was very narrow. To accommodate these last minute changes, the client provided a draft script that was largely final, but with key numbers that were likely to be different on the day.

Our Solution

The job was not without it’s creative challenges either! There was a broad spectrum of topics that demanded a visual in the script, and some were easier to depict than others. In the one video, we were able to successfully depict all of the following concepts:Vulnerable Australians

  • Money
  • A range of industries, including science, technology, wine, agriculture
  • Public services such as: schooling, disability insurance, roads, and public transport
  • The GFC
  • Currency fluctuations
  • OECD rankings
  • The challenge of balancing priorities
  • and many others

The impact

We believe we were able to successfully strike the right balance between caution and optimism, and the client agreed. And while the number of views a video receives is not necessarily the best indicator of success, the video received 20,000+ views in the first 24 hours since it was uploaded to YouTube, which suggests that there were definitely a lot of people interested in consuming this information.

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