Not Your Grandma’s Animation

n 1899, a British filmmaker named Arthur Cooper animated matchsticks in a campaign for donations so that matches could be sent to British soldiers overseas.

As boring as that is in the age of animated blockbusters produced by large animation studios such as Disney/Pixar, it was one of the first times animation was used for advertising. At that time, the only way to animate something was by using a technique called stop-motion. This tedious process involved an animator to make tiny adjustments to a character and take still photos between the adjustments. When these photographs were projected between 12 and 24 pictures (or frames) per second, the magic of character animation is born. If you’re still having trouble imagining how this is done, think back to when you used to make flipbooks in grade school. It’s the same concept.

As time rolled on, animation techniques improved drastically. 3D computer animation created a paradigm shift in the entertainment and marketing industries. Animated characters became part of the public’s consciousness. If I were to say “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance,” I’m sure the first thing you would think of would be a small, green, animated lizard.

Here are three reasons why video and animation are good marketing tools:

1. Engagement: Customers are 64%-85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a video (Internet Retailer 4/2010 | Comscore 8/2010). When engaged with a video, customers stay on a website 2 minutes longer than a website without one (Comscore 8/2010).

2. Cost Effective: Animation is not restricted by props, weather, or even the laws of physics! Anything you can imagine can be created. For example, animating a car crash would be much cheaper than crashing real cars!

3. Virality and Sharing: Viral video campaigns increase click through rates by 750% and 68% of people who watch online video will share them with their friends (Source). A catchy, animated character for your business could be the next viral sensation!

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