Even going back as far as early 17th Century Christmases, the season was about childhood, mischief and wonder. St Nicholas is the patron saint of children, among other things (including merchants, interestingly!) Similarly, the English ‘Father Christmas’ was developed as a character based on Mediaeval lords of misrule in a Ben Jonson play in 1616. He was a rounded and burlesque figure who entered the festivities with his ten children. So even in the days long before animation, the spirit of animation was ever present in the extreme, cartoon-like characters of the season.
Hands up who only accepts that Christmas is coming when a certain brand releases their highly anticipated Christmas ad? A large percent of the Christmas adverts created by the big supermarkets and department stores every year use animation to bring a bit of magic to your festive season. It’s not a coincidence; there’s clearly a financial benefit to taking this approach. Why do so many consumers respond so strongly to animation, then?
The dominance of very specific, personalised advertising creates a version of the social media echo chamber. The danger here is that brand stories lose their impact. It’s important to understand your target audience without becoming so overfamiliar that you become part of the wallpaper. Try, therefore, to create a message that is tailored and personalised, but with strong visual impact.
With animated characters from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s repeatedly re-emerging, nostalgia as a selling tool is pretty well embedded in our psyche. Why do we love it so much? Maybe it’s the fond memories of youth, energy, and simpler times that does it. Or maybe it’s just that TV was actually better back then… (ho ho, don’t write in!)
This doesn’t mean to tell the same story again and again! It’s in no one’s interests to get repetitive. Instead, maintain a consistent thread within your narratives. This might be a certain style of CGI, for example. Or an animated character in various story scenarios.
Your story should create pathways to emotional connection. It can’t be too abstract in terms of message. Delivery, of course, can be as abstract as you like. As long as the feelings that the story inspires are relatable and reflective of your audience’s experience.
Think about that most iconic brand storyteller: the John Lewis Christmas ad. These flights of fancy that capture the hearts of the nation would not be possible without animated elements. CGI animals, cute characters and whimsical backgrounds are all made possible using cutting edge animation technology. Similarly, more nostalgic styles of 2D animation have the ability to engage with whole generations in a single second. Animated stories are also:
Animated elements to brand storytelling are the perfect tool to create consistency in your branding. Use them not just for ads and explainer videos, but embedded into your website, too. Stylistically, animation can either be contained in or support your brand colours, fonts, and logos
Since your stories never end, using animation offers more flexibility as your brand journey progresses. Your business may experience a change of focus or pivot in product. It’s both cost effective and more straightforward to reflect these changes within your animated campaign. So there’s no need to go back to the drawing board or start again with your existing customer community.
We’ve helped to tell the stories of businesses and organisations large and small. We understand about engagement and visual appeal. We a have outstanding team of 2D animators in London as well as other animators Contact us to explore how we can help to tell your story!