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The Art of Animated Marketing

The art of animation has long been used as a clever and innovative marketing tool for various businesses, advertising companies and marketing agencies around the world.

It’s come a long way since Arthur Melbourne Cooper’s Matches Appeal, which was commissioned as the first ever animation to be used for advertising purposes here in Great Britain. The video uses the painstaking stop-motion technique, whereby every slight movement is individually photographed and when the frames are played as a sequence, voila, it creates the illusion of continuous movement.

Nowadays, animation has become impressively advanced, with entire films being made on a computer alone. Cinematic giant, Pixar, is responsible for some of the most revolutionary animation work in recent years, with films such as Toy Story 3 and Finding Nemo amongst the highest-grossing films of all time.

And it doesn’t end there. An invaluable tool used extensively in marketing campaigns, animation features in some of the most high-profile advertisements ever made. Most notably Kelloggs use animated characters in their commercials and have done for decades; from the Rice Krispies band to Tony the Tiger.

One of the most successful animations used as a marketing technique in recent years has been the Dumb Ways to Die video. Developed for Metro trains in Melbourne, Australia to promote rail safety, the 3-minute-long video is a genius piece of animation which features some morbidly cute characters and an increasingly catchy tune, all of which contributed to the ad becoming an overnight viral sensation. With over 60 million hits on YouTube and development of the mobile app, Dumb Ways to Die’s skilful animation and satirical message has propelled it to the forefront of digital marketing.

So why does it work?! We hear you cry. Well, animation is a practical alternative to shooting scenes with a camera, allowing physically unfeasible ideas to come to life. Often the limitless imagination of animation means that it is significantly more memorable than recorded video footage and is frequently used as a tool to attract a wider audience who engage more closely with digital marketing.

Not to mention animation is MUCH more cost-effective. The money saved using animation, rather than spending on camera crews, recording equipment, actors and various other resources can instead be ploughed into heavily promoting the material across a wide range of media.

And finally, living in a world dominated by social media as we do, animation is easily shared via all the major platforms; simply upload to YouTube, link to Facebook, tweet on Twitter and pin on Pinterest to reach millions of users in one fell swoop. Let word of mouth (or maybe word of mouse) do the hard work, while you sit back and watch the hits tot up – job done.

Here at Bluestorm, we’ve been hitting the animation hard lately, namely in our campaigns for Newcastle-under-Lyme College and Jackson’s Bakery. For NULC we created a series of promotional videos to encourage placement uptake at the college and which consequently inspired the academic prospectus we designed for them (oh and we should probably mentioned it won a Heist award earlier this year!)

Using distinctive black, white and orange graphics, along with kinetic text and a contemporary soundtrack which aims to engage parents and potential students alike. Viewed from the prospectus via an augmented reality trigger, the campaign fused both print and interactive media to create a stimulating and successful campaign.

The Jackson’s Draw My Loaf video combines hand drawn sketches which have been accelerated to coincide with the voiceover and aims to highlight the quality of its products, both visually and aurally. With local provenance the quintessential theme of Jackson’s Yorkshire’s Champion range, the video focuses heavily on the company’s heritage and product USP (Champion bread is made from entirely Yorkshire-sourced ingredients).

And there you have it, the Bluestorm 411 on animated marketing! So why not give it a go? You never know, your video could be the next YouTube smash!

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