“Since it’s a social media app we need a live action video.”
“We need real people in our video because it’s a very human product.”
“We want to make an emotional video, so let’s avoid any animation.”
The above quotes are examples of what we’ve heard from clients who are looking to avoid animation for their pending business video. Not that these thoughts can’t be true, but we feel there are a lot of misconceptions on what animation can actually achieve, when used properly, for corporate videos.
At Demo Duck, we produce all different styles of video (2D animation, live action, stop motion, 3D, etc.) and we don’t have one go-to style recommendation because there are so many factors in determining the right one (audience, goals, branding, use, etc.). However, with a rising number of clients dismissing animation because of preconceived, and often misguided, feelings, we wanted to take the chance to point out how animated videos can work for more projects than some expect.
The proof is in the illustrated pudding. So let’s take a look at six common misconceptions about animation, why they’re inaccurate, and a corporate video (some by Demo Duck some by people were fans of) that bucks the notion.
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MISCONCEPTION 1: Animation can’t appeal to our mature audience
Just because your target audience may be more experienced or older than what the idea of ‘cartoons’ invokes in most people’s mind, that doesn’t mean animation won’t do the trick. If the sound design is a bit more matter-of-fact (i.e. sans ukuleles and whistles) and the design has a seasoned, mature look, you can keep serious people engaged on serious topics.
MISCONCEPTION 2: Animation can’t create an emotional connection
Really strong emotional connections in videos are often the product of subtle facial expressions and body language that viewers connect with because it feels real. But illustrated characters can express the same subtle level of disdain, sadness, joy, etc. with the slight manipulation of a few key frames. Just because it’s made on a machine (computer) doesn’t mean it can’t be heartfelt (tear). Besides, anyone whose seen Inside Out knows that animation can create A LOT of emotions…
MISCONCEPTION 3: A video can’t be really funny if it’s animated
Clients often concede that animation can be ‘cute’ or even ‘fun’, but they have a hard time believing it can actually be funny. But humor comes from the script, concept and storyboard more than anything else – the style of the video isn’t as important in generating laughs. Not to mention, an animated video that attempts to be humorous and fails, is a lot less disastrous than a live action video that fails at being funny.
MISCONCEPTION 4: We need to show our gorgeous product, so animation won’t work
Whether you’re a meal delivery service or tech gadget creator, the idea of not including images of the beautiful items you create can sound very unappealing. You worked meticulously to construct that dish, design the user interface, or make the product eye-popping, so it has to be shown as it is in real life! If that’s true, then it’s all the more exciting for visitors who stop by your site after watching an engaging animated video. Focus on moving customer’s down the funnel and then ‘wow’ them with the aesthetics of your creation.
MISCONCEPTION 5: Our audience is a very specific demographic so we want to show them
When companies have a specific audience they’re targeting and know exactly who that is, it’s easy to fall into a one track, live action mindset. But who people are professionally isn’t always their true self. That ‘true self’ is who’s watching the video. For example, teachers love kids and showing real teachers interact with students could work fine. But when teachers get home in the evening, they want some beer/wine and adult interaction. So maybe the video could appeal more to who they are after the bell rings through animation.
MISCONCEPTION 6: I can’t stand out with animation
There is no denying that animated business videos are commonplace, but there are so many designers to choose from and new illustration styles being developed all the time. Whether it’s the character design, the color palette, slick transitions, or creative use of “light”, investing in a one-of-a-kind animation creates a memorable video.
This post is not intended to convince people they need an animated video. We love working on live action projects, stop motion is fantastic, and we’re happy to do any style that’s best for our clients after a discovery conversation. This post is intended to get people to stay open minded when figuring out the style framework of their project, to make sure the video is as effective as possible.
If you remove these myths from your line of thinking, you’re more likely to select a style that’s the best fit for the goal you’re trying to achieve.
Are there other common animation misconceptions we missed or corporate video examples that nullify some of the myths above, please share them in the comments below!