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How To Best Use Animation In Advertising

ben marvazi 2020

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Unlocking the Untapped Potential of Animation in Advertising

In today's fast-paced, digitally driven world, the advertising landscape is more competitive than ever. 

Brands are constantly vying for consumer attention, employing a myriad of strategies and channels to get their message across. In such a cluttered environment, standing out isn't just an advantage—it's a necessity. 

This is where animation in advertising comes into play, offering a fresh, versatile, and highly engaging way to capture audience interest. For freelance animators and animation studio owners, this demand for animated content in advertising represents a golden opportunity to showcase their creative skills and carve out a lucrative niche in a high-demand sector.

However, the question is this: How can animators harness the power of animation in advertising

It's one thing to recognize the opportunity, but another to seize it in a way that maximizes both creative expression and commercial impact. 

a colorful animated collage about advertising products

Cover GIF by Sculpture via GIPHY

That's precisely what we aim to explore in this blog. We'll delve deep into the inherent strengths of animation in advertising. Furthermore, we’ll discuss why it's becoming an increasingly popular choice for advertisers, and offer actionable tips to make your animated advertisements not just captivating, but also highly effective.

Whether you're a seasoned animator looking to diversify your portfolio or a studio owner seeking new revenue streams, this blog will equip you with the insights you need to make the most of the promising opportunities that animation in advertising has to offer.

Why Animation is Effective in Advertising

1. Flexibility and Creativity

When it comes to animation in advertising, the ability to adapt and innovate is crucial. 

a head with moving gears inside with the label "adapt"

GIF by Mentoring Minds via GIPHY

Animation offers an unparalleled level of flexibility that allows for boundless creativity. Unlike live-action, where you're often limited by logistical constraints such as locations, props, and the laws of physics, animation has no such limitations

You can create worlds that defy gravity, characters that break all biological rules, and scenarios that are only limited by your imagination. This freedom allows you to craft messages and stories that are not just unique but also deeply engaging. 

In a world where consumers are bombarded with advertisements every day, the unique and creative edge that animation in advertising provides can be your ticket to standing out in the crowd.

2. Emotional Resonance

The power of animation to evoke emotions is something that's been proven time and again, from tear-jerking animated films to heartwarming commercials.

a line-drawn eye blinking and shedding a teat

GIF by Günseli Sepici via GIPHY

Animation has the unique ability to tap into a wide range of emotions—be it nostalgia, happiness, excitement, or even sorrow. This emotional resonance is a potent tool in advertising, where creating an emotional connection can significantly impact consumer behavior. 

For instance, an animated character that evokes nostalgia can create a sense of trust and affinity towards a brand, while an exciting, action-packed animated sequence can generate buzz and anticipation. 

By leveraging the emotional capabilities of animation in advertising, you can create campaigns that not only capture attention but also remain etched in the viewers' memories.

3. Cost-Effectiveness

While the initial investment in high-quality animation might seem steep, it's essential to consider the long-term benefits.

coins falling around a stack of money

GIF by 522 Productions via GIPHY

Unlike live-action, which often involves a myriad of costs including location fees, actor salaries, and extensive post-production work, animation can be a more cost-effective solution. Once the initial designs and animations are created, they can be reused and repurposed for various campaigns, providing excellent value for your investment. 

Additionally, animation allows for easier scalability; you can start small and gradually add more elements without the need for a complete overhaul. 

This cost-effectiveness makes animation in advertising a viable option for both large corporations and freelance animators or small studios looking to provide value-packed solutions to their clients.

4. High Engagement Rates

Capturing and retaining consumer attention is half the battle won.

a growing bar chart with an animated arrow

GIF by Peaky Digital via GIPHY

Animated advertisements have been shown to outperform live-action in terms of engagement rates consistently. The vibrant colors, dynamic movements, and often whimsical themes of animated ads are naturally more captivating, drawing the viewer's eye and making them more likely to engage with the content. 

This high level of engagement is not just beneficial for brand recall but also increases the likelihood of the message being retained and acted upon. 

Whether it's clicking through to a website, making a purchase, or even sharing the ad with others, the heightened engagement that animation in advertising offers can translate into tangible results for your advertising goals.

Tips for Using Animation in Advertising

1. Play to the Medium's Strengths

Animation offers a plethora of unique capabilities that other mediums simply can't match.

a person in a spaceship navigating amongst lasers flying by

GIF by LooseKeys via GIPHY

When crafting your animated advertisement, it's crucial to focus on these strengths to maximize impact. For instance, animation allows for exaggerated expressions and movements that can emphasize the message you're trying to convey. 

If you're advertising a product that's revolutionary, why not showcase it in a setting that defies the laws of physics? Or if your service promises to simplify life, use animation to depict a world where everything operates like clockwork at the touch of a button. 

By leveraging the unique capabilities of animation, you can create ads that not only capture attention but also drive home your message in a way that's both entertaining and memorable.

2. Don't Limit Your Ideas

In the realm of animation, the only limit is your imagination.

Spongebob Squarepants drawing a rainbow and saying "imagination"


Traditional advertising methods often come with a host of constraints—be it budget, location, or even the availability of actors. 

With animation, you're free to explore any concept, no matter how outlandish or ambitious it may be. Want to depict a world where cars fly and buildings float? Go ahead. Thinking of creating a mascot that's a talking, dancing piece of fruit? Why not? 

The more unique and captivating your ideas, the more likely your ad is to stand out in an increasingly crowded and competitive marketplace. So don't hold back—let your creativity run wild and push the boundaries of what's possible with animation in advertising.

3. Utilize Storytelling Techniques

One of the most effective ways to engage an audience is through storytelling, and animation provides a perfect platform for this

Create a narrative around your product or service that solves a problem or fulfills a need. This not only makes the advertisement more engaging but also helps to explain the value proposition in a way that's easy to understand. 

Whether it's a short story that encapsulates the brand's mission or a series of animated ads that follow a recurring character, storytelling can add depth and context to your advertising efforts.

4. Pay Attention to Audio
colorful audio waveform

GIF by hoppip via GIPHY

While visuals are a significant part of animation in advertising, audio shouldn't be overlooked

The right soundtrack or voiceover can elevate your animated ad, adding another layer of emotional resonance or excitement. Consider employing professional voice actors or investing in high-quality background music that complements the animation. 

The synergy between audio and visual elements can make your ad more polished and impactful.

5. Test and Iterate

Animation in advertising allows for a level of flexibility that makes it easier to tweak and adjust your ads based on performance metrics. 

Use analytics to understand how your audience is engaging with your animated ad. Are they clicking through? Are they watching the ad until the end? 

Use this data to refine your approach, whether it's by tweaking the call-to-action, adjusting the animation speed, or even changing the storyline to better resonate with your target audience.

The Future of Animation in Advertising

a looping black and white animation of a vintage advertisement

GIF by Feliks Tomasz Konczakowski via GIPHY

As we've navigated through the multifaceted landscape of animation in advertising, it's become abundantly clear that this medium offers an array of unparalleled benefits. 

For freelance animators and animation studio owners, the implications are amazing. The demand for animated content in advertising isn't just a trend, it’s a paradigm shift that opens up a world of opportunities. 

Whether you're looking to diversify your service offerings or seeking a lucrative niche to specialize in, advertising presents a fertile ground for growth and innovation. 

And it's not just about adding another revenue stream; it's about leveraging your unique skills and creative vision to make a meaningful impact in an industry that's ripe for disruption.

By embracing the medium's unique capabilities and being open to endless creative possibilities, you're not just participating in this exciting evolution—you're helping to shape it. And in doing so, you're setting the stage for a rewarding and impactful career in the ever-expanding world of animation in advertising.

Not sure where to start? Our Animation Business Accelerator Program provides insights, resources, and a supportive community to help professionals navigate the evolving landscape of animation in advertising. 

If you’re an animator who’s looking to start your own studio or grow your career, check out our blog on How to Start an Animation Studio to kickstart your animation career today or give our free Masterclass a try first if you’re curious.

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