Unlocking the Visual Code: How Graphics and Videos are Enhancing Corporate Communication

Credit note: The title cartoon for this blog post was created with ChatGPT/DALL-E

You almost always find the term 'slide deck' in any list of corporate communication measures, no matter what the topic or target group.

Referring to that, I tend to ask the authors

  • What kind of media has touched your heart lately? (my guess: music or film)
  • What is the most common format of news that makes you smile? (probably short text messages or cute pictures)?
  • What is the best way for you to learn new things? (depending on personality, usually face-to-face or with visual/audio support)

I bet 'PowerPoint slide deck' would rarely be the answer of choice.

So why is this still the standard in corporate environments when there are dozens of ways to convey messages differently and the advantages are well-known?

Shared stories and metaphors make messages stick

A composed visual with a 3D house, a strategy chart and an action learning photo
Visual translation of a House of Excellence strategy

I am unable to count the 2D 'house' charts I have met in various strategy, mission, and excellence projects.

For one of those, in the context of leadership communication, my team and I created an animated 3D house, with narrative elements around it, and used this element in various activities. The leaders talked about 'upper and lower floors' as a metaphor for corporate layers, envisioned various (market) surroundings, and what kind of individual wishes come with the renovation. This was in 2012 but still today this house still stands out in peoples' memories from the many campaigns over the years.

By evoking positive emotions and reinforcing shared values, visuals can help create a more cohesive and engaged workforce. Visual content can also help build a stronger company culture and foster a greater sense of community among employees.


Our watching habits have adapted to the Social Media formats and even when experts talk to experts, it might be a good idea to convey heavily data-driven different from fact-and-figure-overloaded charts. Before creating another subpage for the overloaded intranet or add slide decks to a project SharePoint space, it might be worth to consider concise infographics or an animated explanation movie.


As individuals, we scroll through images and videos all day long, and as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and moving pictures probably top that.

video communication use cases

That's why I am currently collecting video bits and visual applications around my core topic sustainability, like the population development tool of Pudding or the work of theanimationguys, helping us to grasp climate change facts and to also fathom out the key messages of corporate sustainability efforts. I will post further findings on Instagram, stay tuned.

While experts have been out there already for a while for professional and effective visual storytelling, it has never been easier, to quickly create short clips yourself with the help of AI. New tools are launched daily but so fare I have tested artflow.ai more extensively, e.g. to illustrate my teaching content (see backend screenshot). Also synthesia.io, pictory.ai, and guidde.com are great tools for testing text-to-video (event upon free registration, sometimes it's better to jump on a  monthly starter plan to use a bigger playground).


I am not aware of similar DIY video creation options coming for Microsoft business software, but I am sure this will follow in 2024, eventually providing a broader workforce access to video communication within validated corporate frameworks. With these opportunities of course new challenges for the branding and communication teams arise, to provide guard-rails for creativity, ensuring brand and story fit, but from my point of view, engaged teams or an enchanted meeting audience is worth disregarding some not perfectly streamlined video productions.  Creating a video - in a conventional way or with the help of AI - requires first and foremost formulating precise messages, considering the context and stakeholders to create a compelling plot, and finally, in most cases, it is a group project fostering team collaboration.

TIPP: Subscribe for one month to an AI text-to-video tool and try to apply it to current communication campaigns around your business or strategy topics. I recently included the task to create a one-minute video based on a new corporate mission statement in the design of the annual meeting of a midsize tech company. The outcome of the various groups was hilarious, from a Hollywood-like action drama to a sci-fi movie, all created 'ready-to-watch' in less than one hour.


A composed picture showing scenes from a cofenster.com video about corporate safety
High credibility

With all those avatars, on the other hand, the need for authentic faces and voices grows.

Germany-based company Cofenster was a pioneer in providing a platform for easy and fast creation of authentic corporate video campaigns. I very often use it myself to bring in a range of opinions and statements into events, from people that are not on-site but should be heard.

I also have the pleasure to be on the cofenster user sounding board and I love seeing many communication and HR experts coming up with creative ideas and well-crafted storylines, featuring their colleagues acting on camera.



For sure there is still a need for creative agency services and good movie production companies in the field of marketing and image movies but for many internal projects the development of 'DIY tools' provides new opportunities.


For any remaining questions do not hesitate to ask my charming assistant Carly (I created this video with Synthesia in 5 minutes!).


It is allowed to smile :-)

Humor can be a great vehicle to identify and eventually overcome roadblocks in change communication.

Especially in leadership communities and boards I sometimes experience a coffee-corner-sarcasm, that of course never is allowed to show up in official communication. But it maybe should - as long as it has a self-ironic component, and does not violate any DEI rules. Business life and accountability do not come with pure joy only, and it should be okay to acknowledge the downsides as well with a twinkle in the eye. The process of honestly assessing weaknesses, gaps, and failures might be easier when the ventile of humor is wisely embedded.
Many illustrators, cartoonists, and graphic recording artists are capable of translating intricate processes and uncomfortable messages into visuals that trigger valuable conversations. Although I am an AI addict, I strongly believe that smart and sensitive visual storytellers and educators like my fave partners Markus Engelberger and Martina Grigoleit (both websites are in German language but they work in English as well) will not be replaced by technology any time soon.

In the last years, I enjoyed a lot to jointly developing elements like innovation dilemma cards, transformation posters, and corporate culture maps.  It is the process of sensing, listening, and visioning that stays with gifted humans but for sure new opportunities emerge, e.g. in animating and continued storytelling, translating, adapting, and deploying visuals.

When art meets business

Finally, there is visual arts.

Coming from the world of art and culture myself, I love to combine artistic views with corporate communications. of course, there is an inherent resistance to 'commercialization' and it is not easy to find the sweet spot between the different ways of working, but when the collaboration is carefully curated, it can lead to great results. When the German banking institute Edekabank moved into a new building I collaborated with the photographer Mica Reinhardt and three young graffiti artists to develop a wall decoration, that visualizes the dynamic spirit and the sustainability aim of the company.
The Berlin-based international artists' network Basa Studio also specializes in organizing art projects for marketing and communication. Artists need a different kind of briefing and more freedom than regular creative agency suppliers, and it is highly recommended to have a "translator" to manage expectations on both sides to avoid misunderstandings and frustrations.

Interested to learn more about the various options for compelling visual campaigns and how to find the right partner?

Let's have a chat about your needs!

I am also always curious about new ways to visually tell stories, and more than happy to connect with others successfully exploring this field, find me on LinkedIn.

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