From the moment man began to form social organizations, he needed to transmit knowledge, experiences and ideas to his fellow human beings (and perhaps even future generations). Before writing, the prehistoric man did so through imagery. The murals in the caves functioned as the “newspapers” or “encyclopedias” of the time, transmitting information about hunting as well as other aspects of life.
Even later in historical times and despite the existence of writing, man still communicated his messages through -mainly visual- art. Ancient pottery recite myths, news, historical events and everyday life moments. In medieval times, as illiteracy was still high, in order to convey its message to the flock, the church used the hagiographies, the “images” that functioned as visual sacred texts.
Even today we try to communicate our message through the images we create by hand: comics, animation, painting, FX, etc. This proves the power of the created image over time in the history of the human species.
The advantages of animated advertising.
Advertising is a message that the advertiser wants to pass on to the prospective customer, in order to convince him of the usefulness of his product or service, so that the latter can proceed with the purchase. If we limit ourselves to visual media advertising, the advertiser has three options for producing an advertising message:
1) live action
2) animated and
3) combination of the first two options.
Of course, the basic condition for the message to be successful is that it is true and not misleading, as in such a case the advertisement will probably fail or having the opposite than the desired results!
But why would one choose to go for an animated commercial?
A world of your own, with its own inhabitants!
In animation there is no limit to what an ad will include. Imagination is the only limit! Thus, each brand can create its own, unique world, “real” or fantastic. It can be something that the viewer has never see before! It can be science fiction, something from prehistory, from the animal kingdom, from a fairy tale or from anything else we can imagine… as long as it matches the brand!
But the characters in an animated commercial will be unique, with their own personality, with humor and generally able to stimulate the viewer’s emotion. This is very important aspect of dynamic storytelling and a determining factor in encouraging the viewer/prospective customer to take action (eg buying the product). These characters act as a frontman for the product and when they are well designed they are “nailed” to the consumer’s memory. Just think about the ads you watched in your childhood and recall how many of them were animated. It is possible that those animated characters still promote the product to this day!
In addition, the animated character, just because he is fictitious, allows the audience to identify more easily with him. In live action advertising there is always a risk of only a small group of people will, eventually, identify with the protagonist (due to body type, appearance, etc.). And even and if we want to appeal to a specific group, still an animated character is more modifiable and can become exactly what we want!
Moreover, animation is a vast medium in aesthetics and techniques, and we can choose the ones (or combinations) that fit the brand best.
Anything more for the target groups?
Animation has the power to be more interactive in every field, both human and emotional, and that of any – electronic or “classic” – platform. You will find animation in the classic and smart TV, in the smartphones, tablets, desktop and laptop computers, in the various gaming platforms etc. Animation may have a “favorite” platform, but if necessary it will “play” with all of them!
Thus, animation apeals to a wide audience – age, culture, geography, etc.- and with the right storytelling it focuses on target. Through animation, the advertiser communicates his message mostely through the imagery, which is more effectively “imprinted” on the brain. Therefore, it is ideal for small businesses or newly established businesses, who looking for an initial audience).
In addition, animation, as a medium works, much better than live action on all social media, while a mobile app with animation (and we’re not even talking about a game) has an advantage in competition, especially at younger ages and families.
Explainers: That… mystery!
Explanatory videos can act as both advertising and explanatory (it is their main role, after all) for internal, corporate reasons. But they are usually very formal, bordering on boring. This is, usually, a script problem: When someone, who knows little about animation as a medium, writes the script, he/she will probably write an unfortunate script. But if you know the medium, explainer videos will be fun and very informative (remember what we wrote earlier about how emotion and storytelling work for the viewer). With the contribution of music, you will help your prospective client to see how your product or service will help him improve and/or beautify his life!
Of course, a product or service may need a more “serious” explainer. (e.g. What is the procedure for claiming compensation from your company?). The issue is indeed serious, but the explanation of the process does not have to be “heavy”! An animated explainer can explain the process by creating a “safe”, stress-free and friendly atmosphere. In other words, it can help him “digest” the process better.
Also, an animated explainer video is the best medium to explain how a device works.
In front of a camera, it is very difficult to dismantle a machine and show its parts and function, without losing important details. There are technical limitations there. But with an animated explainer video you are in absolute control of you show and how much you explain each detail.
So if we pay a little attention, explainers can be both fun and educational and therefore more effective!
A few more tips…
If your budget is “tight” or you don’t think a full ad is needed, you can consider an animated banner for your web exposure needs. You can always use a static image, of course, but, it is proven, that animated banners “attract” the attention of the browser more.
Now, say you want to make a “barrage” of ads in a short time… Again, animation is the most convenient solution.
Live-action comes with risks when dealing with “serial” filming. You might have to deal with re-schedules and delays due to bad weather, cast and crew’s other engagements or health issues, script re-writes (due to reactions on the initial ad) a.o. All these will waste time and increase the overall cost. With an animated ad you can easily make the changes you want in a shorter period of time and a much lower price that the live-action version.
An animated ad resonates easier with the viewer’s temper and thus increases the chances of positive interactions (given that the message we try to communicate is sincere). This increases the chances of successful advertising.
Although animation is an expensive art, it is a cheaper solution than live action (unless you take a camera to shoot the ad yourself).
No matter how much the animation production costs, it will not cost as much as a live action advertisement. Just think of all the crew that you would have to pay… actors, technicians (camera, sound, lighting, etc.), assistants, make up artists, etc.
Of course, depending on your goal, there is always the solution of mixed live action and animated advertising. Our partners at vidneo can guide you!
In addition, we have all entered a health concern period and -based on scientific data – we will experience such situations quite often from now on. The covid-19 period had showed that, while all live action productions -even those in Hollywood- were suspended, animated productions continued normally, due to the nature of the work. This is something that is worth considering.
At vktoons we are waiting for you to discuss how to make your own animated commercial stand out!