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5 min read

When To Use Animated Videos For Your Video Marketing

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Since the dawn of humanity, people have used images to communicate complex ideas in visually intriguing, stimulating ways to others. Today, companies and organizations use animated videos for the same purpose as we did hundreds of thousands of years ago -- to entertain, to educate, and to transfer - visually - ideas and concepts we can’t easily articulate. 

We’ve written a mountain of articles about how videos engage customers across the buyer’s journey, explain a company’s value proposition, and are essential to your overall marketing strategy. An animated video can be strategically used in the same ways as any other video, but as a medium, animated videos offer unique advantages worth celebrating. 

Showing Abstract Ideas and Concepts

In live-action video shoots, you can only shoot video that adheres to the laws of physics within the natural order of the world. (Okay, we know, we know, there are definitely special effects and ways to alter reality in post-production and green-screening, but these will cost you!) Animation, by its nature, lifts the established realism of the world and frees you up to explain non-tangible concepts or processes. 

For example, we recently put together a video outlining the benefits of content marketing for a Dental Service Organization (DSO). We animated the process of how patients today find their next dental office. This explainer video broke down a potentially unknown concept -- content marketing -- to dental practices and how the service can benefit them. Notice how the animation lends itself well to telling the story of what content marketing does and who it affects.

STMC_DSO Explainer

Big Ideas On A Limited Budget

Many client’s ears perk up when they realize that animated video can bring any concept, idea, or process to life, often at a fraction of the price of a live-action video. Say, for example, that you would like to demonstrate how your business or organization works with thousands of small businesses across the African continent. In a live-action video, a video of an airplane landing in Africa and capturing local footage is likely to rack up an expensive price tag very quickly, especially if you’d like to highlight the hundreds or thousands of people your business supports through its day-to-day operations.

By comparison, consider how an animator can draw an airplane landing in Africa, including a map, a label, and stylistic renderings of the place, people, etc., in less time and within a much lower budget. You don’t need to hire extras, plan for video shoots in a foreign environment, or factor in travel costs. With an animated video, the farthest corners of the globe are within your reach!

In short, when you’re planning an animated video, the sky’s the limit.

Pro Tip: As you may imagine, animated videos require careful planning and strategic decision-making upfront, far before an animator starts rendering, as revisions to an animated work can be expensive. Our Video Shoot Blueprint is designed to help you plan your next video before you start shooting (or drawing).

Thinking Small and Giving an Inside-Look

The inverse is also true. Animation can help you focus an audience’s attention on very small details that would otherwise be extremely difficult, if not impossible, during a live-action shoot. For example, let’s say you want to highlight the many parts and mechanisms that work together within a gearbox. You’d have a difficult time shooting videos of the many parts. Not to mention if you started yanking parts out to film them, your gearbox wouldn’t be functioning properly.

However, if you have CAD files of the inner workings of your gearbox, you can zoom into all the nooks and crannies and show how the different parts work together. 

Think about the classic, animated children’s show, The Magic Schoolbus, where a school bus of children traveled everywhere from inside the human body to the center of the Earth’s core!

Visually Create Your Mood and Tone

In all videos, the right music, videography, and storytelling will help you ensure your video will resonate with your target audience. The capabilities are even larger with animated films. Because animation is artistically rendered, illustration, line, color, and countless other factors will help shape how your audience will react to the final video. 

Every aspect of your animation can fit within your organization’s brand guidelines, or help articulate the target for your product or service. Take this animated video about using the messaging platform, Slack, which using the company’s brand colors and playful spirit to communicate who

they are and what they do.

Personification and A Sense of Play

If you grew up loving Saturday morning cartoons as much as we did, you already know how an animated film can automatically infuse a video project with a sense of humor and play. In an animated video, you can of course animate people and let them tell your story, or you can make inanimate objects do the talking for you -- your own products might sing, dance, and be characters in their own right. 

One company that has been doing this for many years is M&Ms, which lets their candies do the talking for many of their advertisements. 

In addition to adding a sense of humor and play to these subjects, giving human characteristics to non-human objects will immediately lend a personal connection to the product. 

Whether you’ve got mega ambitions on a shoestring budget or you’re looking for ways to communicate complex ideas in a playful, imaginative way, animated videos are a crucial part of a video marketing strategy, and based on how humanity has been demonstrating ideas since the beginning of time, that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

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