In today’s fast-paced, visually driven world, animation has come to light as a powerful tool in the realm of advertising, captivating audiences and delivering impactful messages with an enchanting blend of creativity and storytelling. From eye-catching television commercials to engaging social media ads, animation has revolutionised the way brands connect with consumers, leaving an indelible mark on the advertising landscape.
Animation’s versatility extends beyond its aesthetic appeal, serving as a powerful tool for storytelling and evoking emotions that linger long after the ad has ended. It also enables brands to target specific audiences, tailoring their messaging to resonate with diverse demographics. From child-friendly cartoons to sophisticated explainer videos, animation can seamlessly adapt to different styles and tones, ensuring that brands effectively connect with their intended audience.
In this article, we are going to discuss how animation has proven to be a transformative force and the benefits of using it in the advertising industry. We are also going to demonstrate the different kinds of animations and how to choose the most suitable one for your advertising campaign.
So, let’s hop into it.
The Golden Age of Video
As humans, we have always loved video. That is something marketers have noticed and capitalised on.
This year, 87% of businesses said they use video. If you do not know, this is a huge increase compared to a few years ago, when 61% of them said they used video as a marketing tool in 2016. To add to that, 92% of marketing professionals insist that video is a core part of their overall strategy. Again, this is a big increase from only 78% in 2015.
These statistics do not but confirm an existing fact: customers love interactivity, moving images and sleek, flowing video footage and are increasingly engaging with them. 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.
In other words, we now live in the golden age of video. As such, marketers must give consumers what they want, for this, at the same time, is one of the most effective ways to ensure the success of their marketing campaigns and achieve whatever goals they seek from them.
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
Simply put, animation is basically a method to manipulate figures to appear as if they are moving. 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 easy 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 most 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 to brands that are startups with limited budgets and outreach. Animation is now used as a valuable marketing tool across each and every industry imaginable.
It does not even stop here. 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 revolves around 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 more clearly and concisely.
The Benefits of Animation for Advertising
Through its unique blend of creativity, engagement, and effectiveness that resonates with audiences, animation has become a powerful tool for advertising and using it has proven to drive vast benefits. Here are some of the winning points that we have pulled out:
1. Creating a Lasting Impression
The multiple elements of beautifully crafted and brightly coloured animation all contributed to creating a memorable impression, one that resonates with the audience longer after the ad ends.
Whether it is the ability to simplify complex ideas and use storytelling to present them, fostering a strong connection with the audience by evoking emotions and creating relatable characters or the fact that it transcends language barriers, all of those make the audience remember the campaigns featuring campaigns better than others that do not.
You can even try this out. 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?
2. Simplifying Complex Topics
As we just mentioned, 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 have had numerous examples of clients offering a niche product or service. In many of these cases, we have found that animation can succinctly illustrate the goals of a business in a way which is visually appealing, enjoyable to watch and easy to understand and maybe even relate to.
3. Harnessing the Power of Nostalgia
This is one of the more understood 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. Injecting some positivity into your marketing strategy with high-quality animation can evoke all the right emotions and, therefore, create that emotional connection and increase engagement with your target audience.
3. Improving Your User Experience
By using a brief animation on your website to enhance your user experience, 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.
This has proven to be true. Websites with animated videos witnessed an increase in their conversion rates by 80% or more, as reported by this statistic from Forbes.
4. Boosting 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 is really ideal for social media marketing, as the content must be short and sweet.
Thanks to animation’s versatility to adapt to various advertising formats, it can be used to create visually engaging, short social media clips that captivate users and persuade them to click through to your site in an instant.
Another point that makes animation the best approach for social media advertising is its ability to cross the language barrier. Messages can be simply communicated without sound or text, thanks to storytelling. Given that a factual 85% of videos watched on Facebook are on mute, visual explanations are all important and super effective for advertising on social media.
5. Personalising 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 is awesome.
6. Animation is Cheaper
No one is saying animation is cheap. However, it is 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 is absolutely essential. However, before you fork out company funds, ask yourself if an explainer video would actually be more effective.
Kinds of Animation to Use for Your Advertising Campaign
The benefits of animation are plentiful, and we love seeing how they translate to real results for our clients here at ProfileTree. That being said, animation is a vast realm, and there are multiple kinds out there, each introducing different features and delivering a distinct result.
In this section, we are discussing 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.
1. 2D Animation
Normally hand-drawn, 2D 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, equating to 24 frames per second. However, animation is often driven on a 12-frame-per-second basis in most cases. This means 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 will 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.
2. 3D Animation
This animation type involves creating objects that appear in a three-dimensional space, where 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 will most likely remember this type from Compare the Market’s use of realistic meerkats.
Here is 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.
3. Stop Motion Animation
Then we have stop motion animation. This is an animated filmmaking technique which physically manipulates objects in small increments between individually photographed frames. To get a better idea, think of those awesome creations in Wallace and Gromit and The Nightmare Before Christmas.
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? Or maybe the cartoon nature of stop-motion animation is more 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? Let’s see.
Animation for Advertising: How to Do It Right
Depending on the style of animation that you decide to go for, this could turn out to be an expensive yet surely valuable investment. With that in mind, you will want to ensure that you are doing animation right. So here are a few steps to follow:
1. 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, surprisingly, 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 ten times shorter than on YouTube. As a rule of thumb, aim for an animation or video that is roughly one minute long.
2. Explain Yourself
When it comes to animation for advertising purposes, brief explainer videos are extremely valuable. A short, colourful animation with a professional voice-over 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.
3. Make It 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 on video content, meaning that in addition to being more effective, videos will also offer a higher level of outreach and sales conversions.
4. 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 injecting some colour into your user experience. In fact, research suggests that landing pages with videos typically increase their conversion rates by 80%.
5. 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.
6. Do Not Limit Yourself
Animation videos are extremely versatile. So, do not 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.
7. 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 and recommendations and carefully consider them.
You can even go bold and ask your audience. Since they are who you are primarily targeting to captivate and engage with, they may be able to give you effective working suggestions that inform your decision and save you some money along the way.
8. Consider Your Audio
So, you have found your animator and designed your video. But have you considered the audio that is going to accompany it?
When it comes to your animation’s audio, there are a few things to consider. For example, does your animation video require a voice-over? If it does, do you actually have the budget for a professional voice-over?
It is recommended you decide on your voice acting plans from the very beginning and include them in your budget to avoid any hustle and bustle during the time of production.
9. Consider Your Script
It is all well and good having a nice idea about your animation’s appearance. However, without a script to tell the story, you will not get very far.
Consider how much dialogue you want or need in your script. Think about your storyline to keep your viewers watching and engaged. If you think you are talented enough to write your own script, that is great, and you should go for it, putting in every bit of ability and talent to come up with something unique.
However, if you are not sure, it is highly recommended you hire some really talented and experienced copywriters and content writers to make life easier for you and get this script job done in the best way possible.
Animation As a Service
These tips should put you on the right path towards making the right decision for your budget and your brand when using animation. However, let’s face it. 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 are proud to firmly have our fingers on the pulse of the latest trends in marketing, and we recognise the value of high-quality animation.
We have brought animation into several elements of our own strategy. We have 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 in 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 their objectives or industry.
To find out how animation for advertising can boost your strategy, get in touch with our expert team today to make an inquiry.