Over the past few years, video has taken over the marketing world with many marketers considering it to be the most effective type of content on websites and social media. Studies have found that using video increases engagement, is more likely to be shared and, as Google loves video, it helps increase your search engine ranking. Video also boosts conversion and sales on your website, easily explains your product or service and builds trust with your customers making them more likely to come back to you for repeat orders and recommend you.
Before I came to work at Distant Future Animation Studio as their Marketing Specialist, I worked in a number of marketing departments for large manufacturers and service providers and have first-hand experience of how difficult it can sometimes be to organise “a video”.
It was not as simple as just rocking up with a video camera, getting the footage in one go and then posting it to a website or social media channel, there was so much of my time just spent organising the logistics.
The question I should have asked myself was whether I should have used animation instead. Would animation have hit the goals I was trying to achieve? Would it have been more cost-effective for the company I was working for? Would it have resulted in a better use of my time? Some companies may prefer a live-action video as it adds realism, but now I am working with an animation company I have seen the many additional benefits animation has over live-action video.
Animation Simplifies Complex Actions
A manufacturing process can be made simpler and easier to understand with animation. Rather than long pieces of film of a machine with voiceover trying to explain what is happening, an animator can get closer up, or if need be, right inside the machine, to visually show what is happening. An animated machine can also be easily slowed down so you can visualise what is happening; something not always possible in real-life.
Animation Saves Time and Cost
With animation there is no need for actors or expensive locations. This reduces the time spent on the logistics of finding, reserving and coordinating calendars as well as reducing the need for booking fees, expenses, travel costs etc.
Animation is Not Weather Dependant
It’s January but you want your video to convey a bright warm summer’s day. Using animation, you instantly have bright sun and heat when in reality a force 10 gale is blowing outside and there is four foot of snow on the ground!
Animation is More Flexible
If you want to target different audiences, using live-action film would be time and money spent on shooting variations of the film using different actors and/or sets. With animation a simple graphic or character change is all that would be needed. Being flexible also means that those inevitable last-minute changes can be dealt with quickly, if you are using live action it will mean more time and money to do a re-shoot.
Animation is Future Proof
What happens when the product being featured changes colour or shape? With live action video you would have to film the segment again, with animation you can just swap the product over without affecting anything else.
I worked for a flooring manufacturer in one of my past roles where a film was needed to show the product being manufactured, how it was purchased by the end consumer and then how it was fitted in the consumer’s house. Logistically this involved the following:
- Inviting the film crew in to give them a factory tour so they were aware beforehand what we wanted including in the film
- Finding a suitable day in the factory when all manufacturing processes could be filmed as sometimes certain departments were not always working
- Ensuring the film crew could make it that day
- Making sure the manufacturing plant looked “presentable” for filming i.e. no boxes lying around, the floor was swept
- Ensuring the employees were happy to be filmed
The Customer Experience
- Finding a retailer who would be happy for filming to take place at their premises or get a retail set built at a location to use
- Find and book actors to feature in the film or persuade work colleagues to take part
- Book a suitable compatible date with retailer/built set location, actors and film crew for the filming to take place
The Product Installation
- Find a home location or have another set built to represent a home probably using the services of a stylist to get the right “look”
- Book tradesmen or actors to show the product being installed
- Find suitable compatible date for filming to take place for everyone involved
And when I had got to this point, I still had to wait while the pieces of film were edited together and a voiceover was recorded and edited in. What a headache! If I had gone the animation route it would have been far simpler, cheaper and less time-consuming to do.
One additional benefit for going with animation is that business can continue. Presently, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, we are all at home and many businesses are closed. Any company that was wanting to do a live action video for their business has now had to put that project on hold. If the film was produced as an animation then the project can continue as normal. There will be no need for multiple locations and gathering of film crews, actors and/or workers as all the film is being produced by an animator who is working at home.
The biggest benefit to you would be when the restrictions on travel and social distancing are lifted. Your film will already be in place and being viewed by an at-home captive audience. Your competitors, who stuck to live action film, will be racing round trying to get the filming organised and playing catch up.