The Delaware Department of Labor (DE DOL) needed to educate their unemployment insurance claimants. They found that their claimants did not understand the process of obtaining unemployment insurance (UI), and once they were on UI, claimants were unclear as to what was required in order to continue to receive these benefits.

These issues led HNH Multimedia Productions (HNH) to create a series of animated videos for the DE DOL. We began by studying the DE Claimant Handbook and working closely with the DE DOL task force. We took all of the claimant’s educational needs into consideration. We learned the in-depth UI process from the perspective of the claimant.

After our research, we realized that the videos needed to be not only educational but also entertaining. The claimants should enjoy watching the videos, and the information must be presented in an easily understandable format. By using voiceover and animation, HNH holds the viewer’s attention in a modern, fun, and informal way. By discussing the information in this casual style, HNH met the education level of the DOL benefit recipients from less than a high school diploma to PhD.

The animation concept was based on the idea of an “angel” and “devil” on the UI claimant’s shoulder guiding him as to what to do. Next, HNH created a character, Benny Fits, who is the heart of the video series. This character is likeable but often misguided. The narrator is the voice of the DE DOL getting Benny back on track.

Under the guidance of the DE DOL task force, HNH wrote four scripts to cover the topics they believed were the most difficult for their claimants.  These completed videos are displayed in the DE DOL offices throughout the state as well as on the DE DOL website. The DE DOL has found the videos to be highly successful. Claimants watch the videos attentively in their offices. They comment that people often gather by their monitors, engrossed in the videos. With the success of the English versions, we are now translating and adapting the videos in other languages, including Spanish and Haitian Creole.