Why Animation is a Great Video Marketing Medium

Archie Fiddes
Marketing
 

Eye-catching, different, cost-effective. Animation is a form of video that allows for unmatched versatility and unbound creativity. Despite this, it is often overlooked by businesses as a potential marketing tool. However, statistics suggest that companies could benefit from utilising animation more frequently.

Dubbed by 83% of marketing professionals as a medium that is rapidly growing in importance, and it is easy to see why. Research shows that using animation on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 85-90%. And that using it in email communications can as much as double click rates.

The question then is, why does animation have this effect of connecting so well with the audience? The short answer is that it stands out amongst the crowd. In a field dominated by live action footage, animation has the bonus of catching the eye. It can be difficult to make your website or product stand out amongst the constant stream of online content. The bright colours, moving imagery and unique style of animation can be a great means of doing this.

Animation Company London

 

Why an animation is a good form of marketing video

The possibilities are literally endless when it comes to creating animated footage. Whilst live action pieces are drastically restrained by budget and technology, the cost of animation is unlikely to differ massively between a straightforward storyline and one of excessive extravagance. Often associated with younger generations, animation also has the bonus effect of appealing to a wider audience, as well as touching on an audience’s nostalgic side. This is an effect that is difficult to replicate when using live action footage. With this versatility comes the ability to create evocative content. Animation is associated with light-hearted content, but also has the ability to tug at the heart strings. A good example of the latter are the much-anticipated annual John Lewis Christmas adverts.

The benefits of utilising animation have seen some brands base their entire branding strategy around animated video. A prime example is the language learning platform Duolingo, whose app, filled with animated characters, progress significantly in recent years. The app has recently been developed, with animated TV advertisements released in 2020. The distinctive style and bright colours make the advertisements stand out amongst the crowd. Duolingo is a prime example of a brand that is making the best of animation as a video platform.

One of the reasons brands like Duolingo use animation as their core media format is due to the lasting impression that it makes. This also makes it easier to create a connection between this particular style and your brand. This eventually leads to the ultimate goal – a strong connection between your product or service and your brand. This notion is bolstered by the fact that research has suggested a 64% increase in the likelihood of a conversion when a brand uses animation.

Which type of animation would work best for your brand?

If you are wondering whether animation could be a format that your company could use, it is important to remember the wide array of options out there. Some associate animation with cartoons or consider it to be a simple, almost childish, form of media. However, animation goes far beyond the realms of such simplicity.

When considering the option of branching out into the world of animation, companies have to consider both the animation style and the manner in which it will be used. The selection of different options is almost endless. However, here are some of the most popular styles of animation:

2D Vector Animation

A style of animation consisting of computer-rendered vectors. The 2D shapes and style of movement give 2D vector animation a smooth and dynamic look that brings even the simplest ideas to life. A versatile format, it can be used for all manner of animation concepts. An additional benefit is the fact that 2D vector animation is less time consuming and more affordable than most other animation formats.

Click here to see an example of a 2D vector video that we made in conjunction with St George’s University of London.

3D Animation

Commonly referred to as CGI (Computer-Generated Injury), 3D animation gives creators more to work with. With extra detail comes a wider range of opportunities. CGI is capable of adding great levels of detail to animated videos (which is why it is used so much in the movie industry). It is also a useful tool in sectors like the health industry, where information videos can be made more technical without overcomplicating things.

Hand Drawn Animation

Think old-school Disney films. This style differs from the first two in the way that it is drawn by the animator rather than being rendered on a computer. With this comes a more personal touch, which helps the audience connect with the footage on a deeper level. The hand-drawn element means that this style can initially be created on paper or using more high-tech digital equipment. Hand drawn animation adds a relatability and warmth to your work, which can help solidify customer relationships with your brand. Although, with the extra effort that goes into this style comes a longer turnaround time and a higher price tag.

Hand drawn animation
Hand drawn animation

Stop Motion Animation

Made famous by certain Claymation studios like Aardman Animations (creators of British favourite Wallace and Gromit), stop motion is a format that uses a series of photos seamed together to create the illusion of movement. Similar to hand drawn animation, this process takes time. But instead of drawings, real life items are used. We tend to use up to 20 images per second at Kartoffel Films, again making the process time-consuming.

Here are some of the greatest examples of stop motion use in film.

 

Stop Motion Animation
Stop Motion Animation

Motion Graphics

Motion graphics is a means of creatively shifting shapes and text, typically used to display information. This style of animation does not tell the story of a character but instead depict information and help with branding. These are typically used for relaying important statistics or values to the audience. It is a brilliant means of presenting your company’s values and what you offer the audience in a visual manner.

The examples above are just a small selection of the styles available to use when taking your first steps into the world of animation. But whatever style you choose, animation can vary from simple displays of information to full on video series. With a variety of styles comes a variety of means in which to use animation.

Video Motion graphics
Video Motion graphics

Here are some of the most common ways in which companies use animation as a form of video marketing:

Animated Explainer

What is an animated explainer? The answer is in the title, really. Animated explainers are a short, simple animation that outline the importance of your product or service to prospective customers. It can be a summary of your product, or work as an alternative means of answering common questions regarding your company.

Typically, animated explainer videos consist of 4 key parts:

  1. The problem
  2. The solution (your company’s product or service)
  3. An explanation of the solution’s mechanics.
  4. A call-to-action

Animated explainers can be executed in a number of styles, so It is important that you find the correct match for your brand.

Brand Animation

A brand animation is a short clip that outlines who your company is and what it can do. Visual aids help outline the role of your company in a way that is simpler and more memorable than just using plain text. The use of brand animation, along with accompanying music, can be an effective way of creating an emotional connection with your target audience. Your brand is more likely to spring to mind when they are pondering over which company they should trust.

Typography Animation

A means of getting information across in a manner that is both convenient and quirky, typography animation mixes motion and text when presenting your content. Whether it is summarising your company or introducing a new product, it is an excellent way to use animation as a vessel for information. It is also just as useful without sound, making it good for attracting the attention of those using mobile devices.

 

Where can animation be used?

Animation is an incredibly versatile platform. And with versatility comes the opportunity to utilise animated video in a wide range of contexts. It isn’t something that should just be used on your website. It can be implemented across a number of branding platforms. From an element on a webpage to the entirety of a social media post, animation is sure to grab attention in all the right ways.

Here are some examples of where best to implement your animated videos strategically:

Websites

Let’s start with the obvious. Animation is a magnificent tool to use on your company site. It can be used as a guide to your brand, a map of the website or an eye-catching introduction. Whatever context you choose to use it in, animated video can get your website’s message across in a swift, bitesize manner. This makes it both attention-grabbing and a vessel for making otherwise inconceivable content understandable.

Social Media

This has become a popular trend as of late. Plenty of brands are taking advantage of the benefits of animation in an attempt to stop people from mindlessly scrolling past their posts. It is also a popular format for social media advertisements. The colourful display and unique styles make them truly stand out amongst the crowd, drawing attention to your company in all the right ways.

Mobile Apps

Apps aren’t a tool used by every company, but those that do tend to use some element of animation in the functioning of their apps. Animation is key to an app’s functionality. Whether it’s how it shifts from one page to another, how it responds to particular actions or something as simple as a loading page, animation is typically inherent to the nature of apps in general.

Smiley face animation on mobile

Television

Those with a high enough budget may opt to create a TV advertisement using animation. As previously mentioned, if you create a unique animation style to match your brand then your audience will immediately associate your brand with that imagery. Through this you can create subconscious connections between the product or service that you provide and your brand. This can be a very useful tool in the marketing world.

Conclusion

Far from something that should be associated with children’s TV programmes, animation is a video marketing tool capable of unmatched versatility and diversity. Not only this, but it can also be extremely cost-effective. It allows your brand to toy with the boundaries of what is possible in the marketing world.

We are also seeing a rapid increase in the number of animated advertisements in video media. In a world becoming dominated by video, there has been an increase in the use of animation across the board. YouTube viewers alone watch 1 billion hours of video footage on the platform every day. Many of the accompanying advertisements at the start of each video have some form of animation included in it. This is a signifier of the importance of animation in the world of video marketing.

Whilst there is a limit to the way that live action video can typically be tweaked, animation can be personalised in a manner inapplicable to other forms of visual media. The range of styles and subject matter available is truly mind-blowing. Even the most fantastical video ideas can become a reality with a good animation team behind the campaign. And almost most valuably, whilst most video forms tend not to keep up with the times, animation has a longevity and timelessness to it. No matter what happens down the line, your videos will stay relevant and can even be tweaked as and when your brand veers down a new path. It is this ability to ebb and flow that makes animation an invaluable tool.

For more information on using animation as a platform for your brand drop us a line.