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Gigs, concerts, films, and even music video releases have been indefinitely postponed or cancelled. This means it’s time to adapt, or risk fading into obscurity.

To minimize the spread of the Coronavirus, many have had to forgo live actions shoots in all forms. This has given rise to numerous attempts to make do – we’re talking about things like virtual performances, gigs with social distancing and of course, animated music videos.

Let’s take a look at how these animated pieces rose to prominence in 2020.

Rewinding time: Animated music videos’ first appearance

Long before the COVID-19 outbreak hit, animated music videos were already flourishing; tracing its artistic roots back to Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies (1929 – 1939).

But the one that was truly known as the first fully animated music video had to be Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ Accidents Will Happen in 1978, which emerged in the ‘80s with the appearance of MTV.

We won’t comment on the song, but the video still looks splendid today, even if it was animated manually with ink and paper. But what really caught the eye of many was the short segment towards the end. Both directors Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel took a university computer and used it to produce a green-on-black vector monitor visual of Costello singing, before redrawing and rotating it multiple times. Finally, with a Bolex 16mm camera, the duo successfully filmed the first-ever computer-generated moving visuals within a music video.

Afterwards, came other genre-spanning artists who churned out partially or fully animated videos – from The Rolling Stones (The Harlem Shuffle), a-ha (Take On Me), and Paula Abdul (Opposites Attract). Then, the ‘90s; where quirky, unique animation sprang up – when musicians worked hand in hand with distinguished cartoonists and illustrators. In the 2000s, Daft Punk (One More Time), Kanye West (Good Morning), and Gorillaz (Clint Eastwood) came into the picture.

COVID-19: No stopping animation

The advent of the COVID-19 meant that lots of videos that were supposed to be filmed as live-action pieces were eventually adapted for animation instead. For animators like Jack Brown, it served as an opportunity to reach out and craft videos like Tidal Wave and Nightrider for an artist he had always admired; as well as to tear down animation-related barriers in the music sector.

Meanwhile, L.A. musician Michi Guerrero collaborated with creative director Haley Appell and Spanish animator Maria Medem, releasing her own animated music piece, Escondia; here, she creates world that goes beyond barriers at a time when reality feels full of them.

Burst of creativity: Unleashed

The animated music video presents its own set of challenges – it’s necessary to think out of the box and excite the eye while ensuring that artistes remain central in their videos.

What this means is that a wave of animated doubles quickly entered the scene – we’re talking anime TheWeeknd, Looney Tunes-like Dua Lipa, comic book Katy Perry, bobble-headed BTS, trippy Noah Cyrus and video game J.Balvin. Artists and animators were given the liberty to go out of their comfort zone and take chances with their art.

Animation has allowed for a close-to-boundless palette of creative expression. Especially when it comes to wondrous, fantasy-like visuals – escapist motifs rose in popularity amid economic downturns (like the dystopian and fantasy novel upturn after the 2007-2008 financial crisis) and social or political unrest (like the boom of legendary superhero and fantasy movies post-9/11 recession).

In essence, animation lets your imagination take over; no matter how bizarre and unreal it can be. Mike Anderson, the director of the computer-animated sci-fi clip for Ashnikko’s Cry feat. Grimes saw how they could push the stylistic boundaries a lot further and how animation basically lets you dive into fantasy.

Introducing animation into your branding/marketing strategy

A vast spectrum of endless possibilities awaits when you take the plunge into animation.

Allow your brand to churn out any whimsical, unique and attention-grabbing content as you take the next step and get in touch with an animator that speaks to your brand.

With CraveFX, you don’t ever have to limit your creativity or imagination; whether you’re looking to do 2D or 3D animation, we’re here to walk the talk and meet your expectations.

So, give us a heads up about your ideas, marketing strategies or goals; and we’ll collaborate closely with you to come up with enticing, stupendous work. Feel free to check in with us about the animated video production cost! Our team is all ears and ready to prepare a quote that best suits your budget.