What makes animation stand out from other forms of communication is its ability to make the impossible possible and the complex, simple.
Where is animation best used in marketing?
Let’s say you want to do a fly through of a city to demonstrate how energy inefficient specific buildings are. In this fly through you may want to get right down to street level to tell your story. You can’t do this with a helicopter but you can do it with animation (see example here).
Another example is if you want to use a natural scene as a metaphor, to tell a story of your business innovations. Your story involves following a bee from flower to flower and ends with an expanded shot showing a garden in the shape of your brand. You couldn’t train a bee to behave like this but you could if it was animated (see example here). Both of these examples demonstrate how animation can create a solution that would be impossible in the physical world.
Let’s say you’re in the early stages of the production of a product and you need to start building demand. If you have CAD files, you can render most products photo realistically and then bring them to life with animation. You can zoom in on features, spin a product around and view it from another perspective. You can fly inside the product or create an exploded view, to see its individual components. You can even change colours, morph into different sizes and demonstrate other product variations. These are things that are impossible to do in the real world but animation makes them possible. Animation can help you build demand before your first product rolls off the factory floor.
Put simply, Infographics is the visual representation of information, data or knowledge in a manner that helps simplify complex information. Infographics is not a new phenomenon; Australian animator Bruce Petty’s 1975 Oscar winning short film ‘Leisure’ could be considered one of the early examples of the power of infographics. Today, there is a new generation of infographics being used to explain information such as ‘big data’ or other intangible information.
Let’s say that you want to demonstrate how much more efficient your solution is than a competitors. You could create an infographics animation where you compare your competitors product, then overlay stats or animated charts and graphs. The difference between your product and competitors’ product becomes obvious (with showing their product or infringing on copyright).
You could even use infographics to demonstrate the size of a market or the geographical coverage of a service. With infographics it becomes much easier to convey important information faster and in a manner that is more engaging and memorable.
Why has animation in marketing become so popular?
Animation has been used in marketing since the invention of the movie camera; the difference is it is now within reach of most organisations. This is all to do with the power of the computer.
Traditionally, animation was created one frame at a time, usually by a large team. Each frame was drawn by one person, painted by another and photographed. Today a single person can do all this process on a relatively inexpensive computer, in a fraction of the time. Whereas a simple animation may previously have taken the best part of a year, a similar animation today may take only weeks. This has reduced the cost of the production and put animation in reach of most organisations, even SME’s.
Is animation right for my product or service?
To determine if animation is right for you, you need to determine if it is the best way to tell your story. Animation for the sake of animation is pointless and, if used incorrectly, may even damage your brand or product profile. The best way to determine if animation is the right choice for you is to talk to an organisation that understands animation but is ‘agnostic’ about its use in marketing. Digital Storytelling Collective is such an organisation.