How to use animation films in your video marketing campaign

11th March 2015

Animation is up first in our new series about film-making techniques. We’re looking at how animation films can help your business get your marketing messages across.

Animated videos come in all shapes and sizes, from quick hand drawn stop motion to full blown 3D motion graphics. The most important part of any film is the story. But how do you know if it can be best told with animated video?

Animation films for complex messages and products

The time when animation really comes into its own is when it’s used to deliver complex or difficult to visualise ideas. We are often tasked with marketing a service or product that would be very difficult to explain using traditional live action video techniques, such as an innovative type of software or a brand new technology. For instance, animation is perfect for medical marketing.  In this context animation can illustrate procedures or treatments for diseases which are difficult to imagine, showcase medical devices in action and works well to create anatomically accurate 3D models.

If you have a complex product or service, then it might be time to pull a pencil out and start thinking about producing an animation. There are tons of ways that animated frames can visualise a message or set a scene, the real trick is to use the correct amount of pace, visual interest and possibly a touch of humour to deliver your message in an engaging way.

Technology video marketing

It’s not just medical marketing where animation is useful. Let’s look at an example from technology behemoth Google, which utilises animation in a fluid and visually stunning way in this film for their service ‘Google drive’

The video is a really good example of using a visual style to create a brand message. They maintain the minimal colour palette (now synonymous with Google) and a simple white background. These two elements combine to create a feeling of simplicity that we associate with the service. But they also inject a futuristic vibe with glowing transparent elements, implying that the product is forward thinking and cutting-edge.

They use the visual trick of 3D glass rooms at the start of the film to establish the different places you might need to use your files. Then, rather than showing screen grabs of software or real life representations of the service, they create glowing glass blocks to show the different types of files you might use or share. It’s a clever way of getting the proposition across in a quick, clean and easy to understand way.

Technology marketing for a B2B audience does not need to be boring and dry – and animation can help with that. Take this animated explainer film we created for Zynstra, a cloud computing client.

Through animation, the complex service is made accessible and easy to understand – and there is a fun element with the company’s ‘secret sauce’ being visualised. Explainer animations can demonstrate how the product works in a much more engaging way than a talking head.

Taking the viewer to another world

Animation can also be used to create a completely alien world, driving interest in a brand or product by making it feel futuristic, advanced and almost other worldly. That’s what automotive brand, Volkswagen and creative agency DMG decided to attempt in this short viral video for the new VW Golf GTI.

Launching the product in China, the agency decided they wanted to “create an aggressive, new school video”, which showcased the car in an “out of this world” environment and to go beyond the limitations of live action shooting. It’s a great example of a visual look and feel that would be virtually impossible to re-produce with traditional filming techniques.

Animate sensitive stories

When it comes to animation in marketing, it’s not just about new technology or imaginative worlds, it can also be really useful when dealing with sensitive issues.

You can see a great example of using a simple story, some lovely animation and a touch of humour in this example from London studio Animade.tv for UK charity, Bliss.

They capture the feeling of not being able to hug your premature baby so effectively in this short piece. The video meets the difficult task of being simultaneously heart-warming and heart wrenching all at the same time. Most importantly it highlights the top line message of the charity in a sensitive way, and leaves the viewer wanting to find out more about they can help.

We used animation to tell another difficult story for charity, Together for Short Lives, which helps children with life-limiting illnesses and their families. How do you capture that moment every parent dreads when they hear the news that they child will die? We interviewed a number of families about their experiences and working with illustrator Katy Davis, the team distilled the story into a short hand-drawn video. By using animation we were able to tell this most difficult story in a beautiful and meaningful way.

Is animation right for your brand?

The possibilities of animation are endless. It’s important to talk to video marketing experts about whether it is the most effective format for your brand and the particular messages you are trying to convey. Ask yourself if the story you’re trying to tell would be as effective with live action film. Ultimately it’s all about getting the message to your audience in the most engaging way – and as we’ve seen when it’s done well, animation can certainly achieve this.

No matter what story your business wants to tell, we have the experience and expertise in using animation for video marketing, so contact us to discuss what we can do for you:

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