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Part 3: For Every ‘Live Action’ There Is An Equal and Opposite ‘Animation’

Jan 18, 2018 6:20:23 AM

Welcome to Part 3 of the 5-part series 'For every Live Action there is an Equal and Opposite Animation'.

If you missed earlier 2 parts, you can access them here: Part-1, Part-2

Part - III Airbnb: Animation across the Buyer’s Journey

Another case is a traditionally a very touch and feel sort of industry, Hospitality. Airbnb, one of the most successful companies in the industry were extremely animation averse to animation, they relied initially on actual people, actual properties to showcase, while it did work for them, much like in the video shown below.

Airbnb-San Francisco


But as their business evolved, they found a lot of use cases that they couldn’t conceive using live action and they were missing out on messaging across the buyer’s lifecycle. Then over the last two years, you could actually see them really churning out content across the buyer’s lifecycle. They took solace in animation, structured a great style, very pop art, appealing to their major demographics.

This started off their animation experiment taking advantage of specific events, a few years ago, they got a great placement during the Oscars with a #liveinthemovies. If you look at it carefully, you can see the subtle change in strategic direction, by incorporating live imagery and morphing it into animated content is evident.

Event Epiphany - Oscars: Airbnb


The total transition to animation seems to have been completed, when Cuba opens up to the USA, after 55 years of embargo, this was supported by a man on the moon type of a campaign, with these ad shorts appearing all over social media. The overall theme struck a chord with sentiments of people and yet conveyed the value proposition.

Historical Product Launch - Airbnb Cuba



Airbnb, soon after also started moving on to the middle of the funnel explainer videos, with this clever advert again to lure in people in China to open their houses to Airbnb. While all these adverts we done by different animation houses, the adherence to certain design principles is clearly evident in the video below.

Explainers - Airbnb - China



In closing, while we have already delved on the topic of customer stories, Airbnb goes on to pay a tribute some amazing stories of its hosts under the theme ‘Love’, where they have gone beyond the call of duty. to fortify their retention strategy.

Customer Stories - Airbnb


You can still notice the same design elements and character approaches, but each of the videos has such a different narrative, different purpose, invokes different emotion and appeals to the different part of the brain.

As this series comes to a close, I hope you can agree that Animation is a versatile tool that works across different pain points in the buyer’s journey, transcends geography and provides the simplicity and elegance and conveys the message without distracting the video.

Starting from the days of Walt Disney in 1928, when he broke barriers in a world that was shaping itself to the brunt of a major war, to the days of Dropbox video that reaped benefits to the company, opening this medium as a viable marketing tool. I firmly believe that in a world of noise and communication, great content and well-conceived animation is a tool that every organization must consider in its marketing arsenal.

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