Destigmatizing an Uncomfortable Topic with Animation and Illustration

You may create videos to inform, highlight, elaborate or show transparency. However, topics for videos vary greatly, and you may be faced with a more uncomfortable topic you must inform others about. If written communication or a standard presentation won’t cut it in your business or classroom, give video implementation a try. A visual in comparison to written words can unleash a greater emotional reaction which requires a deeper analysis. Explainer videos are an ideal medium to talk about sensitive topics using animation, or in this case illustrations known as scribbles.

Destigmatizing an Uncomfortable Topic with Animation and Illustration


Softening Taboo Subjects

To get started, you need to identify the key aspects of your message. Think about it from a child’s perspective and make use of illustrations that are a more generally recognizable and relatable to explain a topic. By raising awareness of the issue and illuminating it to your advantage, you decrease its “taboo nature” and create a bridge to move from an uncomfortable topic to a more lighthearted representation that will positively engage the viewer.


Sensitive issues are most easily displayed when broken down into comprehensible parts and explained using a stimulating approach. While you want to make sure not to mock your content, try to lift some of the heavy weight by using humor when appropriate. Using cheeky references when appropriate will give your video a lighthearted edge.

Common Ground

Whether you are approaching a sensible topic to raise awareness or address an uncomfortable topic that may make people feel less at ease, you should find common ground. Making the content relatable will take some of the pressure off the topic and increase the chances of leaving a positive impact.

Background Music

Music makes your life just a little bit easier. The same is true for videos. Using a background tune in your explainer video will release tension by creating a calming and more positively stimulated atmosphere. Instead of reading about a topic where the words seem to have a more negative connotation when seen in black and white, the combination of scribbles and background music subconsciously creates a happier mindset.  


Amplify through simplifying! The effective use of implication rather than overly descriptive images is taken straight from Hitchcock’s handbook. Guided by the master storyteller’s approach of suspense, choose scribbles that imply what you want to say, yet are open for the individual’s interpretations. Leaving insinuated gaps can provide the audience with a more effective emotional experience.

Top 3 Reasons to Destigmatize Using Video

Explanatory Master Tool

Videos use scribbles as an explanatory tool, making the overall learning experience less intense compared to just reading written words. Likewise, they can trigger emotional reactions and support the understanding of an uncomfortable topic.


Videos are ideal to include cheeky references and incorporate humor, taking some of the discomfort away.

Leaving Gaps

Uncomfortable topics are much more subjective than less sensitive issues. Illustrations can create gaps that leave the viewer to interpret and speculate on their own terms.