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Animation videos - are they effective?

Animation is just another way of telling a story

Christopher Miller – The Lego Movie


As a visual content agency, APV works with brands, companies, agencies and organisations of all shapes and sizes who are all in their own way looking for fresh, unique and engaging ways to tell their individual stories.

A question that inevitably comes up during our initial discussions for any new project is: what about animation?

This question naturally leads to a series of further questions: Do you think it’s a viable option for me (does it suit my brand or organisation)? How long does it take?


The answer to the bulk of these questions is simple:

Animation is perfect for communicating simple messages, explaining a product or service and demonstrating complex processes that are hard to visualise or impossible to capture in a live action environment.

If an animation is well distributed on the right channels and targeted to the right audience, the return on investment could be invaluable long term and a typical explainer video can be turned around from concept to completion in around four to six weeks (depending on duration and complexity of the animation).

But the benefits of animation often go far beyond this initial response…

Here are five more you should think about when trying to decide if animation is right for your story:


1. You are not limited to the resources of the everyday world…

When you are filming live action video content you are often restricted by the limitations of what can and can’t be filmed (I say often because there are obviously cases where budget and visual fx come into play and the impossible becomes much more possible and plausible).

With animated videos, you’re free to do and show whatever you want.

You can by the very nature of the medium allow your imagination to run wild!

Animation readily and accessibly gives you the ability to bring any concept, no matter how complex or out of this world, to life with ease.


Animation is about creating the illusion of life. And you can’t create it if you don’t have one.

– Brad Bird – The Incredibles


  1. You can visually represent even the most abstract of ideas…

A super big benefit of animation is the ease in which it can be utilised to visually capture abstract ideas.

It doesn’t matter what that idea is… From showing something relatively simple like global logistics to the inner workings of a microprocessor, right down to things like how does the internet work or what a character is thinking?

You can capture so many ideas in so many different ways with no major constraints on the idea.


The nice thing about animation is that you can realise your inventions without understanding all the hard theory.”

– Nick Park – Wallace & Gromit


3. Animated videos are easy to update…

Every marketer knows that their market can change fast and that can make updating your content a real headache!

Live action video footage is often dated by the time it was shot (staff leave, all your branding changes, you’ve moved location etc).

Animation allows for much more flexibility – because they are easier to update. You can go back and change the script, the colour scheme, the branding or even do a complete rework and rescripting of the entire video using the same assets.


Animation is a technique, not a genre

– Gore Verbinski – Rango


4. Animated videos can scale with your business

A recent report by Cisco stated that 82 percent of all consumer traffic online by 2021 will be video… As this market matures to grow your brand or business and stand out from the herd you will need to generate more and more engaging video content…

Creating video content at scale can be an issue for those who’ve never had the experience of doing so (if you’ve made just a handful of videos as a client you can appreciate how much time you’ve put into each individual video).

Live action video at scale is always challenging because of the amount of moving parts involved in getting the work produced.

Animation at scale is however much easier as you can reuse assets, backgrounds, characters and more and from a client perspective you need only think in visuals, develop the script and storyboard and you’re on your way to producing another video!


5. Animation videos are very cost-effective

While many brands and organisations want to make video – there is a common misconception that video is by its very nature expensive compared to other mediums and that they don’t or won't have the budget to execute their vision.

If this sounds like you… Don’t worry, you are not alone… In a recent survey by Source they found that 41% of marketers surveyed cited a lack of budget as one of three main reasons for why they hesitated to use video.

Live action video can be expensive – particularly if your idea involves a lot of actors, locations, sets and props (not to mention equipment and production talent) … Sure you could go to a low-end video production company or a sole operator with a DSLR and a laptop working out of their mum and dad’s bedroom to try and cut costs – but chances are if you’ve tried that option once… You won’t try it again…

Animation on the other hand all takes place in an office environment – where creating a new set or a new character is as simple as thinking of what that set or character looks like and spending the time to draw and animate them.

The cost of animation should also be indexed against its longevity (less wear) and the fact that you can and will in many occasions repurpose assets and designs from one animation to create more (see point 4. Scalability above).


In Summary:

If done right animation is far more cost effective than you probably think and will over the lifetime of the animation provide you with a great return on investment.

Also keep in mind while an animation can be achieved in four to six weeks the longer the schedule you have the better your end animation will be.

If you are interested in talking more about animation or motion graphics or starting an animation or motion graphics project please make contact with the team from APV today!

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