Animation In Advertising

Once upon a time, animation was often deemed inaccessible for many advertising projects due to production costs and schedules. However, in this new, multi-faceted landscape of digital marketing and advertising, animation could be the right choice for your campaign. Why? Two reasons:

  • Animation has great mobility across digital advertising platforms
  • Animation allows for more creative freedom–a must if you want to stand out in today’s noisy advertising world

Whether it’s a simple stylistic graphic design, contemporary movie-style visuals, or a fully animated character– when done right–animation can measure up to your imagination and engage the attention of your audience. For example, you don’t need stunt doubles, wire removal, a pyro team, expensive props, and special effects to make your animated character fly through the sky and blast things to bits!   

So, When Is Animation The Right Choice For Your Campaign?

Here are some instances in which animated content could boost your marketing campaign:

  • You need to help your audience visualize a complex concept in a short amount of time
  • You want to create a unique and memorable spokesperson that easily moves across multiple platforms of digital advertising: VR, AR, Social Media, TV, print, online advertising
  • Your audience has a big and creative imagination that you want to tap into
  • You want to leverage your artistic assets across multiple campaigns to save time and money

Multi-Platform Advertising

This is a concept I’m really excited about, and here’s why: In a world where interactive and experiential marketing is driving campaigns and budgets, content creation that can easily be integrated across multiple advertising platforms could save time and money.  

With animation you can leverage your creative assets across all avenues of a brand’s digital ecosystem. Animated digital assets allow much greater control than traditional, live-action photography. And, under the creative guidance of a skilled animation team, those assets can be manipulated to speak to each advertising platform: traditional broadcast, digital advertising, web banner, VR, AR and print.

The beauty of working with an animation team is that once the assets are created, you can plug those assets into all facets of today’s multi-stream media buys. Imagine these scenarios…

  • You have a series of story-driven animations that audiences want to follow
  • Characters Instagram pages that audiences can interact with
  • A VR companion piece that allows audiences to experience your product under the guidance of your animated spokesperson.
  • Taking selfies with one of the animated characters through AR software

With all of these examples, it’s possible to create a set of assets that will work across all of these situations. Using today’s tools, workflows, global workforce, the sky’s the limit when paired with the right animation team. And given a strong vision, you can craft a campaign that leaves a lasting impression on your audience.

Content Creativity

In a highly-saturated visual advertising world, it’s hard to capture and keep the attention of an audience. So it’s important to create content that can defy the visual noise. This is where storytelling and forging an emotional connection with consumers can set brands apart. But, maybe you also need to educate and inform your audience. Either way, you need visuals to help tell that story and make it memorable. With animation and design, your brand story and your brand visuals need not be limited.

Animation has the power to help your audience understand a complex concept, or bring awareness to the complex parts of your brand. For example, in this short film about Progeria, animation took a complex concept and helped audiences imagine it in a way that was understandable and visually interesting.   

Animated characters have the power to connect with your audience, sometimes more effectively than a real-life spokesperson. Look at the Little General, the Honey Nut Cheerios bee, or the characters from the Cricket Wireless campaign. While animated spokespeople don’t work for every ad campaign, they can leave an impression that stands out and lasts decades.  

There is also something that to be said about how the whimsical or the out-of-the-ordinary will be a better “face” for your product–it stands out in a crowd. Animation allows you to design this face and it’s personality. Often times, animated faces and characters are more effective than a real people. I mean, let’s be honest, how many animated movies have made you laugh or cry?

Even a simple animation like this can be an effective way of generating brand awareness:


To The Drawing Board!

Animation allows for creativity in both content and strategy for digital marketing campaigns. The key, of course, is to partner with a seasoned animation team starting in the planning phase. Christopher Clyne, our Chief Technical Officer at StarBeast says, “Digital animation is akin to a printing press, because once you invest in creating the original assets, you can apply them over and over again.” A good animation team will have the foresight to help you create animation that works smoothly across different technologies.  

Animation isn’t the answer to every advertising campaign. However, if you’re looking for unique and memorable content that can easily be integrated across your brand’s digital advertising ecosystem, animation could be a solution that saves time and money.

Article by Nick Losq

As the Founder & Chief Creative Officer at StarBeast, Nick thrives on pushing the boundaries of digital technique to create visual stories that draw audiences in. He’s honored to have worked on campaigns for clients including Disney, ESPN, Vox Media, Blizzard, Overwatch League, Anheuser-Busch, Nike, Porsche, Acura, Honda, Guinness, HP and more.