Coca-Cola’s animated polar bears, which debuted in a 1993 commercial during the Academy Awards, have become some of the most beloved animated characters in marketing history. In the ad, the polar bears share a taste of ice-cold Coke. It’s a simple but stunning piece of visual storytelling.
Since 1899, animated commercials have been delighting the viewing audience. In the world’s first animated promotion, dancing matchsticks encouraged the public to support American soldiers stationed abroad.
The “golden age” of advertising animation was in the 1950s and 60s, when we met The Trix Rabbit, Cap’n Crunch, The Jolly Green Giant, Mr. Clean, and the Keebler Elves. The Flintstones traveled beyond kids’ cartoons and sold everything from vitamins to cigarettes.
Today, animated commercials are almost everywhere - TV, social media, apps, YouTube, and built-in screens at the grocery store and gas station. So you might be wondering:
Do they really work?
The short answer is: Yes. They’re very effective.
Here are some reasons why.
Animated commercials are excellent at introducing a new brand and spreading recognition for the name. People are naturally drawn to bright colors and moving objects - and at their most basic level, animations are simply eye-catching.
Animations can also be branded more easily than other forms of advertising. A human being looks like a person, but an animation can look like a logo, product, mascot, or anything else that advances your brand. Even 2D animated characters have brought about millions of views as part of successful video marketing campaigns. Cartoon advertisements can help increase brand awareness.
Memory and Retention
Animations give peoples’ memories a boost. Moving pictures help people retain information longer and recall details about products that they wouldn’t remember otherwise.
One study by the National Institutes of Health found that people remembered animations 21 days longer than static images and text. A related study found that people could retain very complex ideas much longer after learning them through animations - one of the reasons for the popularity of animated explainer videos.
The same concepts that make educational videos so effective can also apply to animated ads. People are drawn to motion graphics. Animated advertising draws a viewer’s attention and keeps it there.
Building Reputation and Trust
For any company that’s looking to build a good reputation, animations can be a huge help. People tend to give animated characters, or spokes-characters, the benefit of the doubt in a way they don’t for human beings.
Animated spokes-characters offer benefits like:
Greater likelihood for people to trust them
Favorable brand image, even for an unknown brand
Perception of good financial status for the company
The impression that the company is creative
Openness to additional messages
Feelings of nostalgia
Greater influence to try out a new product or service
Does your marketing plan need a dose of good humor? Animated commercials can provide a bit of comic relief that allows people to enjoy laughing along with your brand. Think about how many views on YouTube animated commercial videos get!
Humor makes people feel connected and relaxed. It’s good for building social bonds, which is why humorous videos are so much more likely to be shared on social media than any other type of content.
Long-term loyalty is the holy grail of branding. Animated commercials inspire this kind of buyer loyalty because people enjoy the messages you share. They begin to look forward to seeing the next animation.
This means new customers stick around, and existing customers become even more willing to listen to what you have to say. People may not even realize the impact your animated commercials have had on them. They just think, “I like that company” — and that’s good for business.
How to Use Animations in Your Commercial Ads and Marketing
There are so many ways that you can integrate animations into your tv commercials and marketing strategy. Some ways to make your animated commercial video a success include:
Keep It Short and Simple
Today’s consumers have a depressingly short attention span. You only have a limited amount of time to get people to pay attention to your ad and not change the channel or close the window. Try to keep your video under one minute, if possible.
Explain Your Message
Animation for advertising can be extremely valuable in explainer videos. A talking head can be boring, but change that head into a rabbit and suddenly, it’s advertising gold.
Animation helps to simplify complicated subjects, making it the perfect vehicle to use in explainer videos.
Make a Script
Don’t try to wing your animated video. Instead, make a script. Think about how much dialogue you need to convey your message. If you don’t feel equipped to write your own script, you can hire a professional copywriter to do it for you.
Audio is an important element of an animated video, so don’t neglect it! Are you planning on paying for a professional voiceover? Do you want to add extra sounds to correspond with the activity in your animation? Think about these things early in the pre-production phase.
Add Videos to Your Social Media Accounts
Once you have your completed animated video, be sure that you post it to your social media accounts. Google’s algorithm recognizes that people love videos, so it will present sites with videos higher in search results than sites without them.
Expand Your Reach
As you develop your animated video library, try out new ways to incorporate animation in your video marketing strategy. Use animation in presentations, product pitches, email marketing messages, social media ads, and other places where you have not explored before.
Take Your Ads to the Next Level
Ready to create an animated TV commercial that delights your audience? NextThought Studios is an expert in animations, motion graphics, sound design, and all phases of the production process. We work with a variety of animation styles and can make your video sing to your target audience. We have created thousands of videos and look forward to working on yours.
Connect with NextThought Studios for a custom quote, and let’s start brainstorming.
Ready to create an animated TV commercial that delights your audience?
Janelle has produced and project-managed a wide array of videos ranging from corporate commercials to long-form documentaries. While completing her Master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma, she served as the graduate assistant to the department chair for Creative Media. Janelle has worked with many nationally recognized organizations, creating documentaries for the National Association of Broadcasters, designing and editing instructional videos for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and producing the 2015 Broadcast Education Association awards show in Las Vegas. Janelle is a six-time Telly Award winner and won a 2016 Emmy for her documentary featuring a collaboration from three executive producers of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Janelle served as NextThought’s Director of Post-Production and Media Management and helped facilitate over 1,000 videos during her time at NextThought.