Using Animation for Advertising

Using animation for advertising header image.
Animation is a cheap and effective way to create engaging ads. (Image Credit: animationcareerreview.com)

Animation for advertising has become the norm. How? Technology has embedded itself into every aspect of our daily lives. The average shopper is constantly exposed to ads from every direction. In a world of branded messages – how do we choose which ones to engage with?

From a marketer’s perspective, making your message stand out is a great challenge in a saturated industry. There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question. However, some basic research into market trends can shed some light on what really engages web users.

The days of static advertising are dwindling, and consumers now prefer to engage with video. For many business owners and marketers – this fact may seem a little obvious. After all, who doesn’t love sitting down to a good video to simply unwind or just kill a couple minutes?

Not only that, marketers love video as it is a great way to present complex information in a digestable way. Check out the below example of how we at ProfileTree have used animation before to illustrate social media statistics.

The Golden Age of Video

As humans, we’ve always loved video – something marketers have noticed and capitalised on.

This year, 87% of businesses said they use video – a huge increase from just a few years ago, where 61% said they used video as a marketing tool in 2016. To add, 92% of marketing professionals insist that video is a core part of their overall strategy – a big increase from only 78% in 2015. 

All of these statistics point towards one emerging fact: we now live in the golden age of video. As such, marketers must give consumers what they want.

The facts are therefore clear: web users love interactivity, moving images and sleek, flowing video footage. Across each and every industry, animation has proven to cater best to internet users, holding their attention for longer. For online businesses, that means more engagement, more interaction and therefore more profits.

Animation is one of the most engaging and visually appealing ways of getting your message across. Plus, it makes your site’s visitors 100% more likely to spend more time there. But what do we mean by animation, and how can this art be used to bring your brand to life?

The Rise of Animation for Advertising 

Animation is a method in which figures are manipulated to appear as moving images. You will most likely recognise animation from Disney and Pixar films. Most animations are made with computer-generated imagery, but often these characters are conceptualised as drawings.

The success and appeal of animated video production opened up opportunities in the world of advertising. Celebrated for its graphic appeal and injection of humour, animation was first applied to advertising with Kellogg’s Snap, Crackle and Pop characters for its Rice Krispies cereal campaign.

The culture of using animated characters in advertising efforts has persisted. You will remember branded animated characters across several of the world’s leading brands, from Mr. Muscle to McDonald’s and Red Bull. 

Yes – animation has been championed by the more prominent and wealthy brands known today. However, continued advancements in technology and software have transformed the industry. 

This means that animation no longer belongs to super-rich and well-resourced companies. But also brands who are startups with limited budgets and outreach. Animation is now used as a valuable marketing tool across each and every industry imaginable.

Despite the level of skill and artistry involved, animation has proved to be more cost-effective than traditional advertising methods. It is also more likely to engage and hold the attention of your target audience – no matter who they are. 

The strongest benefit of animated advertising is its compact and creative format. In a very short time, brands can summarise their entire campaign through a brief visual including sound. Empowering them to articulate their message clearly and concisely. 

The Benefits of Animation for Advertising

The benefits of animation for advertising are vast. We’ve pulled out some of the winning points:

Create a Lasting Impression

Nothing creates a memorable impression like a beautifully crafted, brightly coloured animation. Consider some of the most memorable advertising campaigns you have seen and ask yourself – did this brand use animation, real-life footage or even a combination of both?

Simplify Complex Topics

One of the greatest advantages of animation is how it can simplify and articulate concepts that may be highly complex to the average consumer. 

At ProfileTree, we’ve had numerous examples of clients offering a niche product or service. In many of these cases, we’ve found that animation can succinctly illustrate the goals of a business in a way which is visually appealing and enjoyable to watch. 

Harness the Power of Nostalgia

This is one of the more understated benefits of animation for advertising. Many consumers associate animated films and brightly coloured cartoons with happy childhood memories. 

This type of nostalgia has proved to be a coping mechanism during times of stress, loneliness and hardship. Inject some positivity into your marketing strategy with high-quality animation that evokes all the right emotions.

Improve Your User Experience

For any business, their website should place user experience (UX) at the core of its offering. Nowadays, consumers want online experiences to be simple, accessible and quick. 

By using a brief animation, you can provide your target audience with the information they need, guiding them straight to the point of purchase. In a nutshell, marketing animations typically lead to higher engagement, as well as better delivery and receipt of information. 

For anyone with doubts, consider this statistic from Forbes: using a video, including animations, can increase conversions by 80% or more.  

Boost Your Social 

The digital nature of animation makes it a perfect fit for your site – regardless of the industry your business is involved in. However, animation really is ideal for social media marketing, as the content must be short and sweet. It must visually engage the user and persuade them to click through to your site in an instant. 

Animation offers a great opportunity to achieve just that. An interesting fact is that over 85% of videos watched on Facebook are on mute. This proves that visual explanations are all important.

Personalise Your Message 

Advertising and marketing campaigns are becoming increasingly personalised. Email marketing is targeting more people on a personal level, whilst social media ads harness data to target us with advertisements that mean something to us. 

That same approach is being applied to animation, with companies creating several versions of one core animation, tailored to individual personas. Personalised animation allows you to create content by syncing data (like names, for example), from a spreadsheet. Not only is this effective – it’s awesome.

Animation is Cheaper 

Noone is saying animation is cheap. However, it’s certainly cheaper than a professional video advertisement, where you may have to recruit writers, actors, camera operators and editors. Meanwhile, a brief piece of animated video content can deliver the same message at a fraction of the effort, often with better results too. 

Video marketing certainly has its place, and sometimes it’s absolutely essential. However, before you fork out company funds, ask yourself if an explainer video would actually be more effective.

The benefits of animation are plentiful, and we love seeing how these benefits translate to real results for our clients here at ProfileTree. But what kinds of animations are out there, and what style is best suited to your advertising campaign?

What Kind of Animation to Use for Your Advertising Campaign

To start off, it helps to decide on what type of animation works best for your campaign. Below we have outlined the three most common kinds of animation used in advertising, along with recent examples of how companies are incorporating animation in the marketing world today.

2D Animation

Normally hand-drawn, this type of animation involves creating movement in a two-dimensional space. It may include characters, effects and backgrounds. 

These individual drawings are then sequenced together. Depending on the nature of your animation, one second of animation may contain up to 24 individual drawings (that equates to 24 frames per second). In most cases, animation is driven on a 12fps basis, meaning that there is a unique drawing every two frames. 

Advancements in animation technology such as Adobe After Effects have made it much easier to produce high quality productions in a fraction of the time. You’ll remember our example of Snap, Crackle and Pop – these are well-known 2D animations used for advertising.

Here’s a more relevant example of using 2D animation in advertising from Lyft a couple of years ago.

3D Animation

This animation type involves creating objects that appear in a three-dimensional space. With 3D, drawings can be rotated and moved like real objects. This is an extremely popular, albeit highly expensive way of advertising. However, the results speak for themselves, as they are very engaging and effective.

This is a highly skilled and complex style of animation as the results are so lifelike. You’ll most likely remember this type from Compare the Market’s use of realistic meerkats.

Here’s a recent example of 3D animation in advertising from IKEA from June 2020, where they put their own spin on the tortoise and the hare story:

Stop Motion Animation

Stop motion animation is an animated filmmaking technique in which objects are physically manipulated in small increments between individually photographed frames. Confused? Think of those awesome creations we see in Wallace and Gromit and The Nightmare Before Christmas. 

Remember this ad from Money Supermarket in 2018?

Expedia also cleverly used stop motion for their most recent ad to highlight staying at home but looking forward to holidays in the future.

You may not be decided on which type of animation works best for your advertising campaign. To help guide your decision – think about budgeting. 

Can you afford the higher complexity and cost of 3D animation? Would a simple 2D explainer animation be enough to cover your product or service? Is the cartoon nature of stop-motion animation really suitable for your brand or campaign? It pays to carefully consider these questions before making any spending decisions.

Now we understand the three main styles of animation. But how can you ensure that your animation for advertising is done properly? Keep reading to learn more.

Animation for Advertising: How to Do It Right 

Depending on the style of animation that you decide to go for, this could work out to be an expensive, yet valuable investment. With that in mind, you’ll want to ensure that you are doing animation right. Keep reading to learn ProfileTree’s top tips on how to do animation for advertising.

Keep It Short and Sweet

What are today’s consumers notorious for? Their small attention span. Readers and viewers are easily intimidated and put off by continuous scrolling, bland colours and heavy word counts. The same, however, applies to video.

If your video is simply too long, your site’s visitors will get bored and leave. Getting your point across in a brief way is particularly important in the realm of social media, where the average duration of a video is 10 times shorter than on YouTube. As a rule of thumb, try to aim for an animation or video that is roughly one minute long.

Explain Yourself

When it comes to animation for advertising purposes, brief explainer videos are extremely valuable. A short, colourful animation with a professional voiceover speaks volumes, and will be more effective than a bland, lengthy video. 

As previously mentioned, animation does a great job of simplifying complicated subjects – which perfectly suits the point of an explainer video.

Wondering where to start with your animation for advertising? Get started by explaining your own business in simple and colourful terms.

It Pays to Be Social

When maximising the impact of your animations, it pays to be social. Humans are visual beings, and marketers should be well aware of this fact. The superiority of images compared to text has been well established – and social media giants have incorporated this awareness into their algorithms.

For example, Facebook’s algorithm places a preference of video content, meaning that in addition to being more effective, videos will also offer a higher level of outreach and sales conversions.

Bring Your Landing Page to Life

Animations look very different to the world around us. As a result, our vision will naturally go straight to it.

Landing pages can be a bland, keyword-loaded affair. Bring your landing page to life by including brief animation pages, and inject some colour into your user experience. Don’t just listen to us: research suggests that landing pages with videos typically increase their conversion rates by 80 percent.

Remember Your User Experience 

Including animations and other videos on your site will go some way in improving your visitor’s experience. However, it is important to bear in mind that lengthy loading times can do just the opposite.

Consider how much material you may already have on that particular page, and ask yourself if an animation will make your loading time faster or slower. The line between having the right level of content and too much is very thin. Weigh up this balance carefully and you will enjoy increased traffic in the long-run.

Don’t Limit Yourself

Animation videos are extremely versatile. So, don’t limit yourself to using your animations in obvious places like home pages or landing pages.

You can also use your animation productions in presentations and product pitches. You can incorporate animations into your email marketing, making efficient use of space by displaying your product or service instead of describing it with written content.

Make a Plan

Having at least a rough idea about the objective of your animation can make that critical difference between success and failure. Listen to your creative team’s advice – or even be bold and ask your audience. They may be able to inform your decision and save you some money along the way.

Consider Your Audio

So, you’ve found your animator and designed your video. But have you considered the audio that’s going to accompany it? 

When it comes to your animation’s audio, there are a few things to consider. For example, do you have the budget for a professional voice over? Does your animation video actually require a voiceover? Decide on your voice acting plans from the very beginning and include it in your budget. 

Consider Your Script

It’s all well and good having a nice idea about your animation’s appearance. However, without a script to tell the story, you won’t get very far. 

Consider how much dialogue you want or need in your script. Think about your storyline to keep your viewers watching. If you think you are talented enough to write your own script – that’s great. However, you can employ some really talented copywriters and content writers to make life easier for you.

Animation As a Service

These tips should put you on the right path towards making the right decision for your budget and your brand. However, mastering the art of video and animation requires skill, experience and expertise. 

At ProfileTree, our designers, videographers and in-house animation experts are on-hand to deliver content that engages, informs and inspires. We have our fingers firmly on the pulse on the latest trends in marketing, and we recognise the value of high-quality animation. 

We’ve brought animation into several elements of our own strategy. We’ve even made it a core element of some of our successful internal brands, including LearningMole. LearningMole comprises a series of animated educational videos teaching kids life’s important lessons on science, maths, geography and more.

As you can see, LearningMole’s services are emphasised by beautiful animation, digestible information and entertaining voice acting. This is the minimum standard we aim for with each and every one of our animated productions. Now, we wish to deliver similar results for all clients – regardless of your objective or industry. 

To find out how animation for advertising can boost your strategy, get in touch with our expert team today to make an enquiry.

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