Using Animation in Your Health Content

31.01.2022 Animation
Molly Howe

Medical and health professionals, businesses, and charities can use animated videos to call attention to frequently difficult and anxiety-inducing topics without alienating their audience. As will be discussed, vocal and textual communications, for instance, phone conversations and leaflet distribution are ineffective ways of relaying complex information. For this reason, animation has gained traction as a superb way of transmitting instructions, facts, guidance, and direction to audiences and in turn, can bring a new depth of understanding to creating healthcare content. 

The use of animation in healthcare marketing, however, is perhaps not as futuristic as you may think. There is a long history of animation being used to explain and promote the work of the National Health Service. In 1948, the short animated public health film Your Very Good Health was developed to convey to the public how the new healthcare system would work. It was a resounding success, transforming a potentially bewildering subject into digestible information.

Let us take a look at why you should consider using animation for your health content, whether it be for health marketing, public informational films, or charity promotion and awareness campaigns.

Styles of animation

  • Traditional animation
  • 2D animation
  • 3D animation
  • Stop motion
  • Rotoscope
  • Typography
  • Claymation 
  • Whiteboard animation 

For more information on these and a wider range of animation styles read our article here.

Logistical pros of animation

Animation, when done right, can save you time, energy, and money.

Cost effective

  • Depending on the options and type of video being made animation can be cheaper, there is no requirement to hire actors or pay any location costs. Be aware that this is not always the case. 
  • Likely to be a more cost-effective option in the long run.
People on money
People on money


  • The most abstract and ambitious graphics can be developed with animation.
  • There are many forms of animation styles and formats, so you can find the perfect one for your project.
  • If you are looking to push into the realms of creativity, animation will be able to provide this for you.


  • Complex information can be condensed and simplified. 
  • Presents data in a digestible format.
Complex data
Complex data


  • Animated video content is much easier to edit than live action.
  • Changing the plan with live action footage will require reshoots which are often a nightmare to reorganise.
  • Animated video can be quickly and easily edited as many times as needed. 

Long lasting

  • The ability to easily edit animated videos allows for changes over time, this increases longevity. 
  • If details that date the production are left out, it is possible to keep and use the content for years.


  • Largely due to its associations with children’s television, some may think that animation is an unprofessional medium to communicate health information through, this is a thoroughly outdated ideology. 
  • Animation has the ability to be extremely polished, corporate, and professional whilst at the same time being accessible to wider sections of society. 


If you would like a more in-depth look into the pros and cons of live action and animation take a look at our guide here.

What is health content marketing?

Healthcare marketing

As the dynamic evolution of science continues to further advance the healthcare industry it is important that the public are aware of new developments and treatments available to them. 

Healthcare marketing allows professionals to communicate, create and provide value to the general public or their target audience. 

This includes the marketing of medical services, procedures, products, drugs and content.

As is with all forms of marketing, video has long proved to be the most effective medium.

Medical items
Medical items

Health charity marketing and awareness

Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, Samaritans and Mind are but a few of the healthcare charity organisations operating in the UK.

Charities must market themselves to the public, not only to raise donations but also to raise awareness of complex medical issues.

Again, video is most often the best way to market charities as it generates the highest level of engagement over the widest audience. 

This is especially essential for healthcare charities as they must raise donations and effectively communicate important information. 

How can animation be used in health content?

Raising awareness and stimulating conversation

Animation can bring new depth and understanding to healthcare and health charity marketing 

Through animated storytelling, advancements or changes in healthcare can be conveyed to the largest audience. 

Often advancements in technology that may change a person’s approach to their medical problem are not conveyed to the public effectively.

Animation is a clear and efficient way to convey developments so that the general public understands their medical options.

Topics involving healthcare and health charity awareness are frequently difficult to understand – animated videos provide a resource for healthcare companies and charities to educate, advertise and raise awareness of services available to communities. 

This animated informational video on the COVID-19 vaccine has been designed to be accessible to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. There has been a recent recognition in Australia that Indigenous groups experience poorer health than non- Indigenous Australians. This is because they do not have the same level of access to healthcare or medical information. Animated videos such as these are aiming to bridge this gap and ensure Indigenous groups are aware of the services available to them and what they will entail.

Emergency care instruction campaigns

Emergency care instruction campaigns are public drives to increase awareness of life-saving actions such as CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, first aid, and early recognition of the signs of a stroke. 

Several studies have suggested that animations are useful to instruct novices on how to perform these tasks in stressful emergency situations.

As will be discussed in further detail, animation aids knowledge retention, this is essential for emergency care instruction campaigns.

Health charity marketing and awareness

Animation can be a powerful marketing tool as it has the ability to get your message across to a huge range of audiences.

Charities may seek to increase awareness of an illness, promote the work they do, encourage donations, or share breakthroughs in their field of study. 

Information conveyed in health charity videos has the potential to be anxiety-inducing. It is not appropriate to scare people into donation. Animation has the ability to create moving and memorable videos that fulfil the aims of the campaign, without deterring people from the central aim.

Using a constant style of animation can increase brand recognition, this is important for charities seeking donations and raising awareness of complex medical issues. 

Using character animation in health marketing

Character animation is a type of animation that uses movement, speech, and tone to bring a character to life. Animators can shape characters to take on a desired personality, experience specific emotions, or embark on a physical or mental journey. 

Character animation can be hugely beneficial to healthcare marketing. Characters can express complex feelings and ideas in a way that both younger and older audiences can comprehend and relate to. More than anything, animated characters grab our attention, this is especially important for projects that are aiming to get important medical information across to audiences, for instance, charity or emergency care instruction campaigns. 

Benefits of using animation in health marketing


Animations have the ability to be extremely neutral.

This means that topics that are potentially triggering or scary may be turned into something that is more approachable.

Animation can be the perfect tool for conveying serious and difficult issues such as medical diagnosis or discussing charity research into a disease that can affect anyone.

This is not to say that very sensitive issues cannot be dealt with through the medium of animation. Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli have made award winning films focusing on a myriad of complex topics including war, loneliness and death with remarkable integrity.

Animation enables people who may otherwise shy away from or choose not to watch triggering content to engage with challenging topics if they are presented in a neutral format.

Its light but impactful nature also makes it a perfect tool for engaging with children.


Wide scope

Animation tends to have much wider scope in abilities when it comes to presenting visual representations of health processes.

Live action cannot confidently show, for instance, the effects of a drug or the spread of a disease through water droplets.

Animation is able to not only show these processes but simplify, slow down and communicate them to audiences in any way the creator desires.

Medical animation
Medical animation

Engagement and retention 

Visual information can be processed up to 60,000x faster than text. Unsurprisingly, videos whether they be live action or animated are undeniably great tools for learning.

Audience engagement is essential when seeking to educate or advertise, people can feel an instant connection with animated content. This is likely due to our childhood relationship with cartoon characters – our brains still recognise animation as friendly, effortless entertainment.

Studies have shown that knowledge retention of films using animation over talking-head style video increases by a remarkable 92%.

Information retention is absolutely essential when it comes to health videos, and will frequently be the main aim of a campaign.


Audience engagement
Audience engagement


Instantaneous mental recall of the actions carried out in animations is improved.

This is especially important in emergency care instruction campaigns and videos that seek to warn people of the signs of an impending medical emergency such as a stroke or heart attack. 

Learning CPR
Learning CPR

Accessibility and inclusion 

Animation is an art form that has the potential to be incredibly accessible and inclusive if it seeks to be.

For children, live action medical footage can be uninteresting or scary. Animation allows for the short engagement spans of children and provides information in a suitable way.

Animation can overcome language barriers and promotes a more inclusive ‘visual language’.

The National Literacy Trust has determined 1 in 6 adults in England have very poor reading skills.

For those that struggle to read, leaflets and videos overloaded with written information are overwhelming and inaccessible. Although full illiteracy is rare in the UK, many possess eye problems, brain trauma, mental illness, and developmental problems that contribute to a low comprehension ability. 

It is essential that these groups have access to medical content and are able to be made aware of options surrounding medical care and services.

Child learning
Child learning

Closing Thoughts… 

Logistically, animation has several merits. It is a potentially cheaper form of video production, it is versatile, informative, malleable, and holds unprecedented levels of longevity. More importantly than this however, especially in the context of healthcare videos, is its ability to be neutral and widely accessible.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2012) guidance says all patients, carers, and families should be able to fully participate in their care. At times, this seems like an unreachable target due to the often inaccessible nature of health information. The increased use of animation, whether it be transmitting health marketing, instructions, facts, guidance, or direction to a whole range of audiences, is a giant leap towards creating a more accessible and inclusive framework for the communication of healthcare information. 

If you are interested in creating your own animated healthcare video, why not contact us and get our creative partnership started.

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