7 Myths About Animated Video

In comparison to more traditional marketing tools, animation can seem a little scary and mysterious. As a result of this, there are a lot of myths floating around out there which you are bound to have heard at one point or another.

This week we’re going to address these commonly-held misconceptions and try to dispel them. Don’t be afraid to work animation into your marketing strategy! You may be missing out on what is a truly exciting and engaging medium, so let’s get cracking.

It’s childish

The first thing that pops into most people’s heads when you say animation is ‘cartoons’ – animation doesn’t have to be kiddy or cartoony. Just consider the wide variety of motion graphics which are in every single piece of video content you see nowadays whether live action or animation.

Animation can be really stylish! – just think about the new TSB adverts or our Local Care Record informative animated work for the NHS for example. Yes, sometimes your company or particular campaign calls for something a little cartoony in order to convey a more approachable or humorous tone but this is in no way the only option when it comes to animation. It’s the skill of a good studio to produce a style which is fitting of the brand and appropriate for the target audience.

It’s too expensive

Now, the cost thing is a really tough one for a lot of us to get our heads round. If you ask 100 people how much does animation cost, the likely result would be that 50% say it’s really cheap because ‘it’s just drawing’ and the other 50% think it’s extortionate and ‘never affordable in a million years.’

The truth is that as we said before in our Reasons why Creating Animated Video Yourself is a Gamble post, this shouldn’t be looked at as an expense – it’s an investment. If you employ a salesperson for £5,000 a year you shouldn’t bank on many deals. If you hire a £100k a year salesperson they will pay for themselves numerous times over – this is the same investment as with animation. Still, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Cost can be saved by having a go at creating content yourself (not always the wisest investment!) or being able to focus on the core of what is important for your campaign goals and trim the edges where necessary. Again, this is governed by the skill of a good animation company that can find an artistic treatment that works for the clients’ requirement and budget.

It’s cheap

Okay we just touched on this in the previous myth and we don’t want to contradict ourselves but it’s still worth talking about! This is the other side to the cost opinion spectrum and the easiest way to explain it is: you get what you pay for. It takes more effort both on the part of the client and the studio than you might realise to bring your animation together.

Bearing this in mind, when you’re prepared to invest in animation as a marketing path and you find a quality studio that you can trust to deliver the best on-brand message for you, you’ll be amazed at the experience and the results!

It’s cheaper than live action

Again, some people have this impression that animation is somehow the budget alternative to live action. As with most of these myths: it really depends on what you need. If we had a quid for every time we’ve heard “we can’t afford to do it in live action so we’ll do animated instead” we’d be at Disneyland right now. So instead of getting a camera (or a phone) and filming things that already exist, you want us to build everything in that environment (the people, the objects, the entire scene) and you expect that to be quicker and cheaper?! There’s a lot that goes into animation as mentioned before, so it’s a longer process than getting a camera and filming.

The computer does all of the work

As much as we would love this to be true, the hard work is done by the animator themselves; the computer, tablet and software are all just tools. All of the creativity and imagination comes from the brain of the animators, computers are getting pretty clever but they don’t have imagination and creativity down just yet!

Just because you can get your hands on a computer and some animation software doesn’t make you an animator. When you work with a studio like Fudge you’re investing your budget in years and years of production expertise and training in the principles of animation which are nothing to do with computers and software – it’s about mimicking life.

It’s quick

Animation isn’t just drawing a few pictures and lining them up to create the illusion of movement, it’s a long process and for good reason. The studio has to construct a narrative, produce a storyboard, create the animatic, design characters and backgrounds… you get the point. There are a lot of hidden people-hours behind even a short clip.

Don’t let this put you off, any studio worth its salt will produce an animation of high enough quality as to make the time a worthwhile investment.

Duration

Our final myth is one sometimes held by people who have already started working with us – “Another 30 seconds isn’t a big deal, right?” Wrong! We should have hammered the point home now that animation takes a long time – everything is planned not just to the second, but to the frame. Adding extra things in at the end is going to cost you more money, and take more time.

Often people tell us that they want a 30 second advert and then decide they want to cram in more stuff – sometimes they’ll say “it doesn’t matter if it goes to a minute or so”. Well it matters to us! We have to animate every frame and at 24 frames per second, you’re looking at 720 frames per additional 30 seconds. On top of this, we may have to produce additional assets and environments and increase voice-over dialogue etc. People need to stick to the duration and understand that more time will cost more money.

We hope that’s cleared up any lingering doubts for those of you on the fence about taking the first step towards arranging an animation of your own. True, it’s not a process entered into lightly, but it is often the best way to deliver a message, strengthen a brand and leave a positive lasting impression for your company.

If you still have concerns about how well animation could fit into your marketing efforts, drop us a line, we always love to have a chat!