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Why Animation Works and How We've Used It

Updated: Jun 16, 2022

Animation is the most imaginative means of reaching audiences of all kinds. Unlike live action films, it grips people by presenting them with something unreal in a way that makes whatever it is feel real. It's no wonder, for example, that the highest grossing animated movies ever made have collectively generated close to $13 billion in revenue over the past 30 years. Moviegoers clearly love to be spirited away by the bold colours, creative use of shapes, and intensity that good animation provides; and this hunger for something unreal stays with them well beyond the silver screen and into the rest of their consumption habits. Using animation, then, can be incredible way of breaking through some of the obstacles between your business and all the people who can benefit from your product or service.

Mickey Mouse, famous Disney animated character, presenting himself to all of you reading

The first thing to note about animation is that it works in a far more versatile way than you might first imagine. When we all heard the word, something fixed pops up into our head; but this betrays how animation can be fully-fledged including characters, or the simple movement of motion graphics, or small inflexions of bold colours spliced into an otherwise live action film. There's no one rigid way of using animation in film. The choice really comes down to the message you're itching to get out there and the particular tone you want to wrap that message within. Yes, it's all a bit vague (and always a little daunting) but fear not: below are some examples that should help you figure out the kind of animation that you're looking for and the particular reasons behind its creative power.

Who We Worked With

Our animation for 'When in Rome' is a prime example of the quick, punchy, and bold animation ideal for those who want to take a no-nonsense and colourful approach to the brand or product that they are advertising. Lighthearted adverts like these create good feelings in the audience who, in turn, begin to associate your brand or product with those feelings. The tone you take, then, shapes the audience expectations of how they will feel when they have what you're offering; making these animations perfect for the leisure, travel, sports, food & drink, entertainment, and other down-time focused industries. Businesses who want to advertise a more serious product or service, however, should be cautious when exploring the tone of these videos.

A screenshot of the incredible animations we did for When In Rome
Click this image to watch the When in Rome animations

Another perfect example of fun and engaging animation is the work we did for Muddy Little Boots; a children's book publishing house. This short but powerful animation has everything you need to appeal to younger audiences and their hunger to learn; featuring bold colours, smooth movement with a playful splash, and just enough audio and text to both inform and reel in all those who might be interested. Unlike When in Rome, Muddy Little Boots demonstrates that a fun video can effectively advertise businesses with a serious objective; to help educate young people. Children are far more receptive to lightheartedness, and a serious film would detract from the goal of using a video to get them invested. It also fails to demonstrate to parents and schools that the publisher has the children in mind when it comes to the content they put out. Using animation, then, is a no brainer in this situation -- even when the nature of the industry might make you think otherwise.

An image of the muddy little boots animation we produced
Click the image above to see the animation we produced for Muddy Little Boots

In line with the previous two examples, the Dorset Moon animations, produced to promote Luke Gerram's Museum of the Moon festival as it travelled throughout Dorset, use a unorthodox paper-cut animation that powerfully illustrate the art and creativity at the centre of the exhibitions. Combined with some upbeat classical music, the animations inspire a sense of awe and wonder that pushes the audiences to attend the festival and see it all for themselves. This sense of intrigue and the build up of anticipation is crucial if you are providing an event alone, as success is measured entirely in your ability to get people out of the door and into the exhibition itself. Animation was the best way to do this, as it allowed us to present the feel of the art without spoiling the experience; therefore pulling people in a way that live action never could.

A snapshot of the gorgeous paper cut animations we produced for Dorset Moon
Click on the screenshot above to see the Dorset Moon animations in full

Our work with Insignis, a software company dealing with financial advisors, showcases how animation can be a vital means of clearly explaining otherwise complex and confusing information. We were convinced that a bold use of shapes and colours on a white background would help us create a precise flow of information that clarifies in its presentation; something that would be intensely difficult if we were to, say, film their office space or ask an expert to explain their business themselves. Animation, in short, allows us to break stuff down by appealing to someone's imagination as well as their ability to learn; which makes instilling important but complex information far more enjoyable for the audience who would otherwise lose interest.

A screenshot of the sharp insignis animations we produced
click on this screenshot to watch the Insignis animations

Much like Insignis, our work with the Hollie Gazzard Trust, through an explainer film outlining the Hollie Guard App, showcases how animation can often perfectly clarify the fundamentals of important services in a way that also appreciates the delicacy of serious issues; such as personal safety in light of ever-present threats of violence. The animations were tied to a precise script and served only to enhance them. Having the words shape the images on screen, through bold-branded colours, was crucial to make sure that the specific details of the security app were memorable and engaging to those watching.

a bold snapshot of the Hollie Guard app explainer film
Click on this image to watch the Hollie Guard explainer film

More than just a way of making information fun, the power of animation lies too in its capacity to cut out the irrelevant and totally focus the most important details of whatever is being talked about. In this sense, then, it doesn't just 'work'; animation can turn a overcomplicated mess to a powerful and memorable film. And, as illustrated above, its power can help businesses of all shapes and sizes spread across a vast field of target audiences and advertising needs.

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