More brands are turning to animation to deliver their messaging. It’s no secret that 87% of online marketers use video content – we don’t need to tell you that you need to get onboard! But why are businesses choosing animation over video more frequently?
Internally, animation can be much less of a headache. Featuring real people relies on either stock video or photography – or your team volunteering to get comfortable in front of a camera, and we know how difficult that can be! Animation is much easier to manage, and amend at a later date too; this can save expenses and time for reshooting if changes need to be made.
Best of all, animation allows you to be more creative – developing ideas as graphics which wouldn’t be possible in the real world using video and actors. Complex ideas and concepts can be broken down into simple storyboards, and clear visuals which can better illustrate a message. And it allows for fun and entertainment, making it more memorable and even humorous, which can be more fitting with your brand personality and tone of voice.
Animation – What’s the process?
Our team at Narrative have plenty of experience with animation. We recently created an animation for Shared Interest starring their female superhero Captain Cocoa.
Chris, who is our Creative Lead at Narrative, explains how the process works to create a strong animation that reflects the brand and resonates with audiences:
“Working closely with the Shared Interest team was brilliant as they give so much creative freedom and put so much trust in the design. This animation was an output to promote this year’s Annual Review booklet which focuses on Fair Trade and how to get that important message across to children. Over the last couple of years the design focused on a character called ‘Super Avo’ but this year the focus of the brochure was on cocoa and so a new character was developed.”
“The character design was inspired by a competition run by Shared Interest staff whose children designed their own new cocoa character. We selected a winner and then designed a new character named ‘Captain Cocoa’ based on their initial concept.”
Research on Animation – what you need to know
If you’re considering using animation as part of your video marketing, or social campaigns, there are some great stats and figures that support the demand for this type of content.
As part of our own research into animation, we asked 50 people about animated content…
Our respondents said they liked animation because:
What makes a great animation?
A good brief (surprise, surprise!)
The initial brief is everything. Your animator needs to understand exactly what is in your head – what are your expectations? What will this be used for? Who will watch it? They will add their own layer of creativity and can input in to the content, the storyboard and where it’s used once completed. If it is to be a successful project you need to give as much detail as early as possible. If you’re not good at writing things down – find some examples that you like which are close to how you’d like your animation to look, or record yourself describing it. Another suggestion is to have a meeting or call so that the animator can write down your thoughts and send them back to you for sign-off so you can be sure you’re both on the same page.
Be realistic with what you can achieve with the animation. If you are looking for a 10-second animation for Facebook and have 20 pages of content, this probably isn’t going to work.
Animation is a long process, so planning is very important. There will be an initial storyboard (the blueprint of your animation – showing you the look and feel), amends, a final storyboard, a voiceover to record, subtitles to add and the animation of course. Your deadlines need to reflect this.
Keep it on brand
Make sure your team have your brand guidelines and any previous animations or marketing materials so that they can keep everything consistent with your brand.
Tell a story
It’s good to think of animations as your own mini movies. Try to make it structured with a beginning, middle and end.
Keep it simple
Chris continues: “Something I always like to say on design as a whole is, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should“. What I mean by this is, you can have a variety of movements, effects, sounds and all sorts of things on an animation – but you don’t want to make it too confusing or complex. Keep it simple for the viewer to understand or you will undermine the whole point of doing the animation in the first place.”
Challenges of animation
Animation does have its challenges – for example illustrations and animated characters can detract from a serious message. You need to balance the weightiness of the content with the engaging approach – your creative team can help with this.
Additionally, video can get across that all-important body language and expressions from actors which can’t be replicated in illustrations as convincingly.
Some of our respondents also commented that animation is great…but not all the time. It’s better to use animation sparingly and powerfully than pushing everything down this route because it’s trendy to do so.
Take inspiration with our animated content for clients
Explaining a complex process to new customers.
Bringing a launch to life.
Grab the attention of Generation X
If you’re interested in learning about what animation can do for you, why not get in touch with our team? We’d love to hear your thoughts, challenges and success stories with using animation!This post was created on 10th May 2021