3 Businesses That Changed Dramatically from Animated Video

Dropbox

We all know what cloud-based storage is nowadays don’t we? Well just 8 short years ago, it seemed like pure wizardry and its prevalence today is largely due to one small startup with a great idea… that nobody really understood the need for or how it even worked for that matter. That’s where the mighty animated explainer video comes in.

Dropbox was just a fledgling company who chose to invest $50,000 in a 2 minute and 16-second long explainer video which was placed on their homepage. According to them, their video then soaked up 30,000 views a day at its peak and over 25 million in total. This video obviously resonated with both customers and investors because it led to a massive jump in registrations and revenue, helping them to achieve 100 million users in just 5 short years.

I know that a large part of this success was down to founders Houston and Ferdowsi’s clever concept, implementation and entrepreneurial talent but just take a look at their website from late 2009 using archive.org’s Way Back Machine to view archived websites:

dropbox payback machine screenshot

Look at this thing! It’s just a video and a button! This shows the sheer power of animated explainer videos when it comes to taking a concept that someone may be unfamiliar with and illuminating the features and benefits for a potential user. Check out the video in question:

Looks pretty basic right? You were probably expecting something big and flashy with loads of effects and maybe celebrity vocal talent weren’t you? Well this introductory explainer is exactly what you want from an animated video for your business:

  • Simple, clutter free style eases comprehension of the features and benefits
  • Unique cut-out animation style is different, memorable and worthy of notice
  • Characters are unfeatured so any viewer can associate with them and relate
  • Clear examples of recognisable situations that will be relatable to viewers

A $50,000 investment reportedly led to 5 million new customers, a 10% increase in conversions and $24 million in revenue. All of this in just one year! The effectiveness of this video has since made Dropbox synonymous with explainer video success amongst animation studios and marketers alike.

Kellogg’s

Kellogg’s cereal boxes are very deeply ingrained in our cultural consciousness because of the bright and distinctive characters they use to adorn their boxes. These cereal boxes weren’t always so bright and evocative though, here’s some before and after pictures:

kelloggs cornflakes cereal box

Yawn…

kelloggs cornflakes cereal box

Yay!

kelloggs rice krispies cereal box

Rice who?

kelloggs rice krispies cereal box

Snap, Crackle and Pop you say?!

You can see how what started as a blander alternative to a breakfast of bacon and eggs became much more distinct and recognisable. With a visually attention grabbing box, Kellogg’s cereals grew and grew, their boxes changing over the years but always favouring character-based marketing methods, especially for their products aimed at younger breakfasters.

You all know Tony the Tiger and Coco Monkey and could easily tell me which cereal boxes I can find them on, but perhaps you’d struggle slightly with Cornelius – the rooster character for Corn Flakes – Kellogg’s original character and the first that they animated all the way back in 1991:

There’s a lot going on in this short video:

  • Cornelius is an existing character for Corn Flakes so he instantly forces an association for the product and this animation with his appearance alone
  • There is further association with the theme of a rooster and breakfast preparing you for the day
  • The colour theme matches the box, again encouraging recognition

Tony the Tiger gets his own animation treatment in this Canadian advert for Frosted Flakes too. Just watch this absolute baller in action:

Here, the character is animated in 2D and inserted into live action footage, a style favoured by Kellogg’s even today. It is colourful, dynamic and imaginative, exactly the style which appeals to children! Now that these characters are so well-used, they can be utilised in crossover marketing campaigns like this popular summer promotion with Cartoon Network and Kellogg’s.

With character creation and animation like Kellogg’s, companies can retain and enhance their brand/product identity even allowing them to tie-in with other companies which do not compete, but still share a huge portion of your demographic. This is some pretty advanced marketing strategy here but it goes to show that a simple 2D character can go a long way with a little animation!

Yoplait

So we’ve seen how animated explainer videos and animated characters can be a fantastic way to increase impressions, bring in revenue and become a robust marketing tool – let’s look at a dramatic change in another way, not primarily financial but for company image.

The ubiquity of the internet has allowed for unprecedented proximity and immediacy between customers and companies. For better or for worse, everyone can just jump on Twitter or Facebook and talk at a huge number of businesses which hold social media accounts for their products and brands.

What started off as a throwaway Tweet made by a Yoplait fan about the inclusion of high fructose corn syrup in their yoghurts, grew and grew in popularity, capturing the imagination of other customers where it eventually made its way to Yoplait’s management and development teams. As a result of this Tweet and customer mobilisation, Yoplait actually changed the way they produce their yoghurts, making them healthier. Enough of me – here’s the animation:

  • Lighthearted response to the social media pressure of its customers – a rarely-seen attempt at transparency
  • Encourages greater interaction through social media and shows that they are listening and willing to respond even to criticism
  • Scrolling animation throughout makes Yoplait appear current and dynamic
  • Relatable animated characters which aim to bring the human element of the company into focus and out from behind the default, faceless appearance most businesses have

We think that this is really cool! Animation is the perfect way to respond to an issue and to thank your loyal customers. It shows that you listen and care, something that is increasingly expected of modern and social-savvy companies nowadays. Play your cards right with a video as tasteful and stylish as Yoplait’s and you will be more likely to endear customers to you. Your brand values and personality will shine through, ensuring that you differentiate yourself from your less approachable competitors.

Animation makes big things happen for businesses every day. You don’t have to be a giant like Kellogg’s either, you can be a couple of people at a startup with a good idea that you want to explain to the world. At Fudge Animation, we love to hear about your potential projects, no matter the scale. Just hit us up on hello@fudgeanimation.com and we’ll get back to you!