Animation: Creating Bold Content From Safe Distances

by Matt Weber

As we continue to move forward into uncharted territories, one thing is apparent—there is no magic crystal ball that can tell us when things will get back to “normal.” As a society, we hope it will be soon, but as marketers and producers of content, the thought is that there is still a long way to go. So what does that mean for brands that need to continue to push out content and tell their story?  

As I outlined in my previous blog, a shift in production approach amidst the changing circumstances is necessary in order to continue to produce and generate effective content. We know the demand for video has gone up and will continue to go up the longer we are required to self-isolate and be ‘Safer from Home’. As our Media Strategist, Cailtin McCrary, outlined in her blog post on media tactics, “…consumers are craving entertainment and experiences that connect them with others to create a sense of human interaction and community. One way to provide entertainment and consumer engagement is through the use of online video.” 

One way to continue to provide this entertainment and build your brand is with animated video. Here are a few insights in favor of adopting animation into your strategy:

Live-action on the back burner

Let’s face it, it’s extremely hard to create new live-action content in the current landscape. We have seen companies out there that have had some success staging production shoots that adhere to the social-distancing guidelines—but at what risk, and at what cost? Live production shoots will have their time again—but that is likely months away. That doesn’t mean content production has to come to a pause, though. A lot can be done between now and then to keep your projects moving forward. If you can’t afford to wait, or your customers are needing new content to stay connected with your brand, then animation is a great alternative to consider.  

Constraints be gone!

What I personally love about animation is that the possibilities are endless. Go bigger. Be bolder. There is so much more we can do, so much more we can consider when taking the approach of animation. We don’t have to limit ourselves into the mindset of a 12 or 16 frame storyboard, worrying about how many setups or different locations we can realistically incporporate in a one or two day shoot, or how much talent we can cast before session and residual fees take over and potentially blow the budget. Animation forces us to think differently, but in a good way.  Sometimes the best ideas happen when we are compelled to think inside the box.  

Authenticity and affordability

Timelines to create animated content can range anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months and can be modified to fit within almost any budget. That means you can stick to your previously scheduled content calendar with the confidence that your messaging will remain authentic and effective, or even pivot as your story shifts due to the current environment that COVID-19 has given us. In addition to favorable timelines, animation and its remote workflow can also make content production more affordable, allowing you to push out more content while still keeping your message fresh. 

As with any great piece of content, video needs to be grounded in a solid story, animated or not.  If your video doesn’t have a story to tell or a purpose, then it won’t resonate with your audience. Appeal to your audience’s emotions and make them feel something. To achieve this, every little detail from sound, visuals, perspective, tone, and emotion needs to be kept in mind during the production process. Through animation, you can craft all of those things from the ground up, however you want to bring them to life. And the best part? It can all be done remotely.

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