Mention animation and the first thing that pops up in anyone’s mind is their favourite childhood series, Pixar, Walt Disney or DreamWorks films, and probably heaps of TV ads or Youtube videos.
Not many would immediately associate it with marketing – let alone a business.
But animation is a versatile medium that can do quite a lot for your campaigns and your brand presence.
As you dive deeper into the wondrous world of animation – you will realise that it is incredibly broad. We’re talking 3D animation videos, animated logos, whiteboard animation and stop motion videos, among others.
Here’s a quick summary of the various types of animation videos and the uses you can put them to.
Let’s start this with the classic explainer video. You’ve probably seen it around at least once in your life – unless you spend most of your life in a sensory deprivation tank. After all, if we consider the humble animated PowerPoint presentation as a venerable forerunner to the modern animated explainer – the odds are pretty good that an animated explainer isn’t new to you.
Animated explainers caught on fairly quickly as a holy grail for marketers to send sales flying by conveying the purpose, intention, or benefit of a product or service. If you take a look at the first-ever explainer video made by Dropbox (in collaboration with Common Craft); you’ll see that its no-nonsense execution didn’t detract from the clarity of its messaging.
In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if they specifically chose a visual style devoid of bell and whistles to reflect the simplicity and intuitiveness of the service that they were offering.
Simple isn’t always less and if you need more convincing, surely the 10 million spike in Dropbox’s userbase and 50 million dollars in profit following the video will prove our point.
Let’s look at something a little more complex next.
It’s a game…it’s an explainer video…it’s Superm- nah, it’s actually just an explainer video.
Kitschy and amusing it may be, but complex it most definitely is not. This explainer video is a fairly refreshing take on software-as-service – unlike the usual litany of USPs that such companies resort to. While it is a little longer than the usual, its charming pixel art more than made up for its unusual duration.
Case in point?
Think out of the box – you might turn up a gem or two when you stop treading down the same old tired paths.
Animated marketing ads
No camera, no lighting, no cast – just 100% control over the contents.
Just grab a video animation company, sit down for a quick chat, and boom – an animated marketing video is on its way to impress.
While it may sometimes be hard to produce a video that has perfected both content and form, pleasant surprises do appear occasionally.
This advertisement from McVitie’s is one such example.
Relatable ads that get you right in the emotions will always leave an impression on the audience.
Disclaimer: We’re not getting paid to promote digestives
Motion Graphics on Live Footage
What if you absolutely needed to include some actual humans in your video but wanted to throw on some animation on top of that? Again, less can be more and you don’t always need to flood a video with animation to achieve your desired effect. I’m talking about motion graphics overlays. Tasty, by Buzzfeed, is a classic example.
As you can see, the motion graphics in the video are largely restricted to text – here’s a reference with more colours and shapes!
Now, that’s a masterpiece.
Audible is in the business of selling audiobooks – these products don’t exist physically. So, how in the world were they supposed to help people visualise their products?
Through the use of 3D animation, they gave their audiobooks presence in the real world – thereby turning the abstract into the tangible.
Combined with their tagline, “I am what I read”, they showed that audiobooks could fit into anyone’s lifestyle – no matter their interests, personality, or age!
And it’s not just humans that we can overlay motion graphics on – go ahead and use projection mapping to place swirls of colour and beautiful graphics all over different surfaces.
Let’s go all the way back to good-old school times – remember when your teacher would explain every single theory and question on a whiteboard – or if you’re from way before – blackboards?
That exact concept has now been applied to many marketing tactics and campaigns.
Whiteboard animation can be a little dated but it’s a cost-effective and quick way to explain a service, showcase statistics, or tell a story. Here’s an example.
Everyone loves listening to stories but 7 minutes of it might be a bit much.
Some prefer their videos brief.
Consider what Beyond did. It’s not quite your traditional whiteboard video – in fact, I’d consider it a definite improvement over the usual fare.
“Lots of effort, for a look that can’t easily be replicated by CG.”Stop motion, defined in a single sentence. The keyword here, is easily. However, advances in 3D animation mean that certain scenes can be done using a computer – but it’s still pretty laborious.
Considered a fairly traditional form of animation with lots of history, stop motion is a time-consuming medium that hasn’t changed all that much, production-wise from its original form.
There’s a very good reason for its longevity – there’s an incredibly rustic charm about stop motion.
Behold – Microsoft’s Xbox 360 – the first few inventions that made a name in video game technology.
Seems too real for it to be plasticine, huh?
Not all videos will need a voice-over or narrator to walk you through the content or visuals – a superb piece such as this has no need for it!
In just 30 seconds, three movie-related characters are moulded with plasticine – Spiderman, Pirates of the Carribean, and Shrek. The Xbox only makes its appearance towards the end.
Are you seeing what we’re seeing? Kind of resembles a rangoli, right? (Here’s a little shoutout for those celebrating the upcoming Diwali, we hope you like this little eye-catching piece!)
We’re sure you would have noticed the mastermind behind this stop motion video by now – it’s none other than Starbucks, of course!
Their tasty beverages aren’t the only great thing about them – they sure know how to market their products to get those customers coming in.
So, as we’ve demonstrated quite amply by now, there are lots of great ways to spice up your marketing strategy – and one way you can do it is to make heavy use of animation. Even if our words may not carry tons of weight – surely, these examples speak for themselves.
So, what are you waiting for? Get the ball rolling and start making art!