Why animation could be the answer to advertisers' covid-19 content production problem

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Animation has always been a powerful visual storytelling medium, but since covid-19 hit, animations have become one of the hottest trends in content marketing. In response, TVC’s head of creative content solutions, Alex Black talks about the potential for animation as a solution to some of the production problems faced at the moment.

Why are more brands turning to animations at this time?

Animation is usually a vastly underestimated and underemployed tool in both B2C and B2B marketing. Because many of the familiar options such as live-action interviews or films are now much more restricted due to covid-19, we're seeing more brands are open to giving animation a try. However, what they don’t realise yet, is that animation is often the best solution for their brief. It's a wonderful format that allows us to tell complex stories, which might not be very visually interesting, in a simple and engaging way.

What makes a great animation?

The variety of possible animation styles is absolutely staggering. You can choose between 2D, 3D, mixed-media, stop motion; the style widely depends on the artist and the specific project at hand. You can create a 90-second animation for £10k or spend up to £200k. That said, a great animation tells a story in a way that is engaging for its audience, whether that's in a corporate style, or much more playful.

Before commissioning an animation what should brands think about?

It's always good to understand what the message is and who exactly we need to reach. Ideally, the brand also has an idea of the animation style they want to employ and how much budget they want to spend on it.

Any pitfalls to look out for?

Animations can be complex and take a lot more time to complete than many live-action projects. There are a lot of steps involved. Also, most decisions and changes have to be made during the storyboarding and design phases so a lot more planning and forethought is needed. Any changes at the end of the project are very cumbersome and expensive.

What brands are most suited to using animations?

Any and all brands, I would say. Brands that don’t usually use animations will be surprised by how well this format can work for their business.

And finally, what are some of your favourite animations?

Lost & Found is an adorable short love story between a stuffed dinosaur and a fox. It also won a BAFTA.

I’m also a big fan of the work Greenpeace do.

Alex Black​, head of creative content solutions, ​TVC

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