Anvil Insight

5 reasons your next video should be animated (and one big reason it shouldn't)

29/10/2019 12:15:27 PM / by Darryl Anderson

Around half of the businesses who consult Anvil Media about creating strategic video content are already considering animation. It’s either their preferred mode, or it’s on their minds.  

That probably shouldn’t be a surprise. Animation has become central to B2B video content strategies for all sorts of organisations. Just check your Linkedin and other social feeds, YouTube, and in business emails and websites you encounter:

"Animation is everywhere."

But is it the right approach for your project?

Here are five of the best reasons to animate, and one reason not to:

1. Simplify the complex

Animation makes difficult concepts intelligible and complicated processes clear. Reality comes with a whole lot of detail that gets in the way. With animation, what appears and how it’s arranged is entirely driven by the aim - will this help the audience understand? 

2. Reveal the hidden

Go where no camera can. See inside machines, human organs, or planets. Visualise microscopic objects, or an entire continent. Display things that no longer exist, or no longer do. Animation allows you to give your audience a view that is almost or actually impossible any other way. 

3. Visualise the abstract

Some of the most powerful or important ideas are not physical things. Relationships and social structures. Business processes or principals. Emotions, logic, causes, effects. Animation is a powerful tool to make real the theoretical and visualise the intangible.

4. Engage and retain

Reality can be dull. Important, but dull. You might need a video about an important subject that’s not the most visually engaging thing in the world. It’s critical that your audience understands and responds, because their safety or well being depends on it. A strategically creative animated treatment brings the subject to life in a way that retains your audience allowing you to connect with their motivations and understanding.

5. Endless possibilities

Whatever it takes to communicate your message visually, animation can make it happen. Animation breaks the constraints of the filmed environment, opening the possibility of bringing together objects and ideas that would never be together in the real world, or never exist at all.

(Article continues after this video...)

How many of these reasons to use animation in this article apply to this video we created for Australian Eggs Limited?

If animation is so great, why wouldn’t you use it?

Let me tell you about parkrun.

I’ve never been a runner. Well, not more than 200 metres. There are runners in my family, but me? Nah.

Earlier this year, I was in a conversation with a bloke I’d never met, and have never spoken to since. He spoke about how he’d never been a runner, but started doing 5km each Saturday with 200 others at parkrun near where he lived. He surprised himself by finishing without stopping for a rest, and since then has trained up to half-marathons.

I was inspired!

I thought “This guy is not unlike me. Maybe I can have the same experience as him (without the half marathons!).”

The next Saturday, I ran (and walked!) my first parkrun with my dad in Dubbo. Since then I’ve run almost every Saturday morning at 8 o’clock at the parkrun closest to my home! 

It’s fair to say I’m no Rob de Castella, but I’m there each week, regularly pushing down my PB. 

But what does parkrun have to do with animation?

What made me take up parkrun, was a person’s story. 

People respond to people. The experiences of people like us are powerful motivators to changing our behaviour. I’d gone years hearing from family about parkrun, and knowing that it would be beneficial. All it took to get me in was some random guy relating his experience. Why? Because I could see myself in his shoes (not literally - that would be very unhygienic). His experience addressed my reservations and connected with my motivations.

If you’re to use the power of people’s stories in video, you need to see them, hear them, meet them. But animation takes the viewer away from reality.

Animation or filmed video? ¿porque no los dos.

A great video content strategy will include content to connect with the audience as they move closer to adopting the behaviour you need from them. 

Animation can do part of that job powerfully. In combination with filmed video, including testimonials and personal stories, your video strategy can be greater than the sum of its parts.

If you think animation has a place in your video strategy, why not let us help?


Topics: Video best practices

Darryl Anderson

Written by Darryl Anderson

One of Australia's most experienced business video professionals. Expert in 1970s Rock & Roll, lover of coffee and test cricket.