Going Global – How Animation Helps You Conquer International Markets More Easily

Updating animations for global markets

Updating animations for different international audiences is often easy enough.  Occasionally you might need to tweak the layout as a few words on screen might need 22 characters in English, but need 42 characters in Russian or only 10 characters in Chinese!

Comparison of number of characters in a sentence written in different languages

Just a few words can have a massive impact on layouts for different languages.

As most of the content we make isn’t too text-heavy, any such spanners thrown our way have never been too large to deal with quickly and effectively.

If ever a bigger issue was to arise, you might not expect it to come up when using English speaking content in another English speaking country.

But, what if you have a film or animation that shows a range of products but some of those products aren’t going to be available in your new, target territory?

Picture the scene….

You’ve invested in marketing content that shows a range of products.  Your current customers have appreciated the clear, well-crafted messages that showcase your products in a beautiful way and sales have grown.  You now have an opportunity to expand your reach and go international.

However, for some reason, one of those products in the range cannot be sold in the new territory!  Maybe there’s a patent issue, poor component availability, a problem with a distribution contract, another department with a conflicting product range, import or export issues, lacklustre supply chains, shipping containers are in really high demand and transport costs have gone through the roof….. the list of potential problems goes on.

You now need to revisit your marketing content and update it so potential buyers don’t ask about a product you can’t sell them, your communication strategy keeps its clarity and customers don’t come out confused.

Recently, one of our clients was in a similar situation: –

18 months ago, acdc Lighting had worked with Distant Future Animation Studio to create an animation that showcased three products in one piece of promotional content.  The animation had been serving them well and had helped improve sales for almost two years.

Early in 2021, this flagship product range was due to launch in the US.  Unfortunately, at the last minute, they were told that one of the three luminaires in the range couldn’t be sold across the pond.

As it happened, the product that wasn’t going to be sold in the US was front and centre for almost half of the 2 minute 40-second animation so leaving it there would have been a problem.

Thankfully animation can be easy to update.  All we needed was about 7 hours over two days and the job was done.  If the promo material had been a live-action film or product photography, replacing the main product could have been more time consuming and expensive with more people to pay, equipment to hire, locations to arrange, travel costs, weather conditions to consider and so on.

There are times when animation shines as a medium to show off a product and this was definitely one of them.

For this particular task, we made a total of 18 amendments.  They included spelling adjustments, changing product dimensions and temperatures to imperial rather than metric units, updating technical information, replacing products in some shots, removing products from others, as well as removing branding graphics that were no longer in use.

2D animation showing the metric product specification for the UK converted into imperial specification for the USA

Spot The Difference Challenge! Can you find all four differences?

Having the power to replace and remove products while replicating environmental conditions and camera movements with 100% accuracy, all at short notice with a tight turnaround is something that animation can do really well.

From getting the go-ahead it was just a couple of days for us to make all the initial changes and send a new version through for review and feedback using Vimeo’s Review Tools.  Our client then shared the link with their States-side colleague and we were automatically notified when they’d added their comments.

Click anywhere on this sentence to read our blog post about the benefits of the Review Tools and how it improves production speed and keeps feedback organised.

Distant Future’s speed and responsive service gave a fast turnaround, and kept our strategy on track and the launch can go ahead as planned with all marketing material in place.

The way they run their projects makes my life easy, with a clear process and simple and effective feedback on Vimeo all which helps projects run smoothly.

Coming back to Distant Future meant we could re-use content making everything cost-effective and will help us to see even more return on investment from the original animation which was done almost two years ago.

Vincent Bernard - Product Marketing Manager, acdc LED Ltd.

There have been many other projects where this malleable production process in updating animations for global markets has come into its own.  I won’t go into depth here but get in touch any time if you’d like to find out more about how we have:

  • Added new fabrics and finishes to bedroom furniture giving a consistent look to marketing shots without the need for a full re-shoot.
  • Added new accessories to product shots, creating more new content to sell more product options.
  • Allowed reuse of footage when logos were replaced in live-action footage when a company was bought out and rebranded.
  • Been able to respond positively when a client decided to change the colour of everything with only 12 hours left of a 3-week production process.