Animated commercials & animated video ads can be a highly effective way to boost your business online and off, while saving big-time money. At Gisteo, we certainly don’t have anything against using humans in live-action advertisements but sometimes humans simply aren’t the best choice for your needs (or budget). Cartoons or animations can capture attention and connect with viewers in friendly, entertaining way. Animated video ads are also great for strumming viewers’ heartstrings or tackling difficult subjects. For example, Melbourne’s “Dumb ways to die” animated safety campaign won countless awards while racking up millions of views. If you haven’t seen it, check it out here:
Have you ever found yourself watching one of those animated video advertisements online or even on TV and thought, “OMG, that’s exactly what I need for my business!? Well, you’re not alone. Videos have been proven to be more engaging than text in countless studies. Here’s just a small sampling:
- Viewers retain 95% of a message in a video vs. just 10% reading it in text– (Source)
- Adobe found that 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. (Source)
- People are 4x more likely to watch a video about a product than read about it– (Source)
- One study showed how simply putting an animated video on a web-page increased engagement by 86%. (Source)
- This study found that a post with a video gets nearly 300% more engagement than a post with text alone. (Source)
- Here’s something even more fascinating I learned from Neil Fleming. (Feel free to use it at your next cocktail party!)
Neil Fleming, a professor from Lincoln University in New Zealand and studied over 9000 classroom lessons to find how people consume information and learn most effectively. Through his research, Fleming discovered that we learn via three different modes: visual, auditory and kinesthetic (dynamic movement).
Viewed through the lens of Fleming’s research, the reason why animated videos are so much more engaging than text is simple: an animated videos engage all 3 learning modes of your brain, simultaneously! Visuals? Check! Soundtrack (voice over, music etc.)? Yep! Dynamic movement? Bingo!
As we mentioned, live-action certainly has plenty of pros when it comes making a video advertisement. Live-action is humanizing and personal. It shows how things look and work, in real-world situations. It’s perfect for highlighting the beauty of a products, physical spaces such as hotel rooms or resorts…and much more.
But there’s a reason why commercial animation has become so popular in recent years. Let take a closer look at just a few strengths of animated videos vs. live-action videos:
- It’s excellent at simplifying things: There’s a reason why explainer animations exist. That’s because one of animation’s strengths lies in its ability to explain complicated ideas quickly and easily. If you want to get educate your audience on a complex subject, animation can be far better than live-action at boiling down your message into the most important and relevant points. That’s why so tech companies these days (often selling complex softwares or cloud-based services) have taken to producing animations to explain their value proposition to customers.
- It’s more flexible & provides great creative freedom: Did you watch the wildly successful “Dumb ways to die” video at the top of this page? Try doing that one live-action! And that’s the point: animation can look and sound any way you want it to. Quite literally, if you can imagine it, you can animate it. While live-action is constrained by what is physically possible and what’s feasible according to budget, there’s no “‘impossible” in animation. Does your corporate video call for dancing unicorns? Animation is the answer. Want to show a scene with a character swimming among sharks? Animation makes that possible (imagine filming such a scene!). No matter whether it’s 2D, 3D, hand-drawn or whatever, animation provides a powerful, infinitely flexible canvas on which a business can express their story.
- It’s better at expressing more abstract information: live action is probably more effective at advertising tangible products as mentioned above but animation is better suited to advertising more intangible products and services. When customers need to know how the process works step-by-step, especially if you’re offering a complicated tech-based product or service, animation can bring this to life in ways that would be much more difficult in live action video.
- It’s easier to update: Need to make changes to your video later on? That can be tricky with with live action (without expending serious time and money. Updating animation is simpler, easy and cheaper…without the headaches and expenses involved with reshooting scenes.
After reviewing the above, it should be no wonder why so many large corporations such as Google, Facebook and Apple (with pockets deep enough to do anything they chose!) are adding animated commercials and animated video ads as a standard part of their marketing mix. Below are animated commercial examples that each of these three companies have done in the past couple of years:
Errr…umm…aaahh…heck, we don’t know 🙂 Jokes aside, both are types of marketing videos and both aim to ultimately persuade people to do something (buy, click, sign up, get more info, call, email…). In general, animated explainer videos are designed to educate your target on the utility/value of a system, service, product, business, process etc. By enlightening people, you are in a better position to get them to take action. Video commercials do pretty much the same thing although the sales pitch is normally stronger and more overt with this type of video than it is in an explainer video. In additional, explainer videos usually go into more depth than a typical commercial or video ad although there are short explainers (30 seconds) and long commercials (informercials for instance) so that’s not a hard and fast rule either. The truth of the matter is that there’s plenty of confusion out there and there’s often a very fine line between what’s an explainer video and what’s a video advertisement.
Below are four examples that of our work at Gisteo that we’re comfortable calling “animated commercials” or “animated video advertisements” because they are exactly 30 seconds in length and they were used on broadcast TV as well as online.