Brand awareness is the popularity of your brand in the target audience. It represents how well they are able to recognize your brand. It is highly valuable for you to establish brand awareness, especially when your business is in the early stages. Your marketing and promotion efforts are incomplete without brand awareness.
If you’re confused as to what brand awareness is, here’s a brand awareness video:
You can increase brand awareness in multiple ways, both online and offline. Offline, you can invest in events, commercials, and other direct marketing tactics. Online, on the other hand, you can go increase brand awareness by pushing out interesting content on social media and various other platforms. Since people have a short attention span, you might want to keep the content short. And when it comes to short, entertaining content, nothing beats animated commercials.
Animated commercials are short teasers used in online marketing. These videos are typically 5-60 seconds long and are usually developed to motivate the viewers to head over to some landing page.
These videos normally follow a story structure. They start by talking about the problem briefly and then quickly move on to the solution before ending with a strong call to action. While you need to talk about the problem briefly, it should be clear enough to not leave the audience wondering what the problem was. It should be followed by your solution which must make up most of your video and should get the audience interested enough to respond to your call to action at the end of the video. This call to action should be well thought of. Regardless of where it leads the audience, its aim should be to take the audience to the next stage of the buyer’s journey.
Look at this animated commercial we crafted for Raptor Plumbing:
It follows the structure well and is quite entertaining to watch—even if you don’t need help with plumbing!
To make an animated commercial video which really shoots your brand awareness up, you need to keep a few things in mind:
Regardless of the art style and use-case of videos you intend to make, ensure that your videos remain original. Authentic and original animated commercials perform much better than stock ones do. Original content grabs eyeballs because of its authenticity and is hence more shareable. Staying original becomes very relevant when it comes to brand awareness because you need to stand out as a brand. And that is difficult when many other brands are using the same videos.
Look at the way Symantec stays original in its brand awareness animated commercial:
You might already have this sorted out as the first step in your journey. However, if you haven’t, now would be a good time to. Since you have to put your entire message in under 60 seconds, you need to know exactly what your audience would like to see. You need to know the kind of language they would use, the kind of imagery they would resonate with, and even the kind of music they would be attracted to. You could create buyer personas with back-stories to understand them better.
Take this video by IBM for example. IBM knows what their audience is interested in, and that is reaffirmed by the video.
If your audience has to think to understand what you’re saying, you’re probably not doing it right. This is explained clearly by Donald Miller in his book, Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen. In the book, Miller says that your message should be clear enough to make a primitive caveman grunt your offering by taking a quick look at your site. This grunt test holds up equally well for all marketing communications. If you’re able to clear the grunt test, you’re good with clarity.
Look at how clearly IBM has put forth its message about the US Open held in New York:
Every platform has a different kind of audience. Animated commercials working on social media platforms might not work on landing pages. And those working on landing pages, might not work on social media. So make sure that your animated commercials fit in well on the platform you wish to put it up on.
It is best, however, to develop different versions of the commercial for all of those platforms.
Ever seen an ad run perfectly on a desktop but poorly on a mobile phone due to the difference in screen sizes? Awesome job, if you haven’t. But if you have seen it happen, you might want to optimize it for different devices. A lot of social media platforms where you can run ads have in-built features to help you out with it, but it is always better to customize your animated commercials to perfection.
Now that we know what animated commercials are and how they should be, let’s talk about how it can help increase brand awareness.
Animated commercials aren’t long which makes a lot of people watch them. Because let’s face it, no one has the time to watch long videos on social (that’s what landing pages are for!) The more people watch it, the more it helps increase brand awareness.
Look at how short this video by Wellmark about de-stressing is:
If you have less than 60 seconds (typically under 30 seconds) to put your message across, it needs to be carefully crafted. This is one of the primary reasons why animated commercials are so engaging. And it is because of how engaging they are that they manage to get more people to them and eventually increase brand awareness.
This video by HSBC is a little over a minute and a half long but is a great example of how engaging animated commercials should be:
Animated commercials never reveal the whole picture. There’s always a “story gap” that is later completed on the landing page it leads to through the CTA. It compels users to follow the CTA so that this “story gap” is filled.
Look at this video from Wellmark for example. It’s intriguing since it doesn’t say everything, and makes you want to go their website to know more about the health benefits of wine.
Let us now look at some of the best animated commercials of all time!
In no particular order, here are the top 20 animated commercials of all time:
“More Than The Score” by IBM is one of the best animated commercials I’ve ever seen. It is engaging, simple to follow, and has good music. It totally gives the Open US vibe with its vibrant colors and relevant objects.
Raising awareness about STDs has never been an easy task. You’d think making an animated commercial about a program around it which is entertaining yet informative would be impossible. But look at this video by Soa Aids Nederland. It is so engaging that you wouldn’t want to blink!
This video by Intel talking about its partnership with Mobileye to work on AI-driven autonomous cars is perhaps the best thing you’ll see on the internet today! One of the most crucial aspects of animated commercials is its engagement, and this video nails it. Being such an easy watch, one could watch it till the end and still want to watch more—especially with that music!
Animation has the ability to take you back in time, but this retro-style video does more than just taking you back in time. It teaches you how to eat in a healthy manner! Don’t trust me? Give it a watch!
Some of the best animated commercials are educational in nature, talking about their brand almost nowhere in the video. This video by Factspread is one such commercial.
Good storytelling can sell just about anything, and this video by Clover did a great job at it. The visuals too are totally in-sync with the story giving it a magical vibe. It is simply a marvel!
Think animated commercials are just for corporates? Think again. This video by Don’t Fail Idaho works as a great example for the use of commercials by non-profits. The visuals and the hard-hitting statistics used in it make this video a great commercial!
You’re probably thinking that this viral video shouldn’t be on this list. It is one of the most successful animated commercials of all time. Developed by Metro Trains, this video has it all. Compelling visuals, good music, and a message that hits home!
I love Oreo—not just for cookies, but also for this animated commercial. The video really fills you with wonder with its lyrics and vivid imagery. The music too is great—certainly not your run-of-the-mill ad jingle!
Are 30 seconds enough for an animated commercial to put a point across so well that you actually want to know more? For this video by Factspread, it certainly is.
Parenting is hard. But walking away from this video is harder. Regardless of whether you’re a parent or not, this video by Fridababy will compel you to watch it till the end. With great visuals and an equally great voice-over, this video is quite worthy of being on this list.
Peppy visuals work really great for animated commercials that are used on the internet. This video by Headspace is a great example of that. With its peppy visuals and soothing voice-over, this video had to be on this list.
Animated commercials for departmental stores don’t get much better than this video by John Lewis. With the kind of music and the heartwarming story used in the video, it was sure to be on this list.
A lot of people think that every career opportunity at American Express has something to do with financial services. What could be a better way to bust this myth than an animated commercial?
You’ve traveled back in time in a previous video. This video by ESRI will take you forward in time by talking about a technology that is still very relevant. With the help of stunning visuals, soothing voice-over, and apt background music, this video had to be on this list.
Talking about serious topics in a quirky way is one of the things animated commercials are really good at. Look at this video by Time’s Up for example!
This three-part animated commercial series by Smart Fortwo is one of the best automobile commercials you’ll ever see. The videos are quirky and are quite impactful, with each of them having a unique message.
Can a phone commercial be successful without any phones in the video? This animated commercial by Android certainly is! With a strong message and an interesting story, this video had to be on this list.
This is one of the most impactful animated commercials on this list. Harvey Nichols did a great job at marketing from a different perspective. Instead of just talking about the rewards available on the app, it superimposes animated faces with apt expressions on actual CCTV footage of shoplifters. The harmony between the visuals and the music in this video is commendable.
The success of this animated commercial lies in the hard-hitting facts with which Factspread puts its message across. It uses an art style called mix-media, which you might have seen in a couple of previous videos. Much of the effect that the video is able to create is due to this very art style.
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