B2C Brands Stand Out Using Animated Commercials. How B2B Can Do It?

Jul 21, 2019 10:05:10 PM

Why is animation good for advertising?

Back in the 50s and 60s, cartoon or animation has always been used in commercials aimed at children. Kellogs led the pack with many of its animated commercials featuring cute characters, jingles, child-friendly voiceovers and more.

 

The broader question remains, can cartoon commercials be used for a wider audience, young and old alike?  Supporters of this medium say animation can build awareness and attention to any audience. Naysayers argue that this medium is limited and is only effective with children.

Animation has rather evolved over time! To track down the entire process of evolution of animation from entertainment to business marketing, read about its journey through time here!

Quick heads up, this is going to take a long while. So, if you’re running low on time, feel free to jump to any of the sections below:

  1. Latest Animation Trends
  2. Animated Commercials Across Various B2C Industries
  3. Is Animation Only For Dry Selling?
  4. Why Cartoon Commercials Are Suited For B2C?
  5. Can Animation Salvage Bad Products?
  6. Glittering Imprints of B2C Marketing on B2B
  7. Cost of Animated Commercials
  8. Best Animated Commercials & Cartoon Commercials
  9. Key Takeaways

In an ever-flooded B2C space, if you are one of the brands trying out every possible marketing tactic then you know this really well: Attention is the most valuable gift that your audience can give to you. But, your worst enemy is the attention span. This silent killer can badly sabotage your brand's business.

With so many distractions surrounding the modern customers, animated commercials come off as an impeccable weapon in your arsenal of video marketing tools. Let us check some contemporary trends in the world of cartoon commercials to check where does animation stand in video marketing in the 21st century.

The Latest Trends In Animated Commercials For B2C Marketing To Look Out For In 2020:

While a lot of the trends from 2019 will flow into 2020, VR/AR would be up there right at the top. Animation and motion graphics in a VR and AR setting open up a host of different possibilities and increase the scope for imaginative ideas that could work wonders on immersive platforms for cartoon marketing videos. Let us look at a marvelous VR animation made by Google Spotlight Stories:

 

 

Animation and motion graphics will also have to adapt to multiple platforms without losing its core message. A video which can do that would be at the forefront of the B2C marketplace.

Seamless transitions in animation is another trend that has been getting better each year and a large part of the reason is huge advancements in cel animation. Cel animation is also popularly known as frame-by-frame animation and it helps animated commercials flow smoothly, without getting disoriented. Let’s watch one such video published by PlusOne on Vimeo for Soa Aids Nederland:

 

B2C Commercial Videos and Animation: Unbreakable Bond & Some Best Animated Commercials for 2020

With so many favourable trends for animated commercials at your disposal, you may now be definitely interested in looking at some awestrucking video examples from a variety of industries. Let's watch now!

Coca Cola (Food and Beverages)

'You are the same as me!', 'Difference is beautiful!', 'Together is beautiful too!'...So many beautiful messages in just one minute. This is Coca Cola celebrating how a bottle of Coke can bring people together and tie them in an invisible bond of compassion. This advert is a classic example of how the choice of right colors in cartoon commercials can trigger a great brand recall among the viewers. Kudos to Psyop for putting out this artistic marvel:

 

Airbnb (Internet and Hospitality)

With a heartfelt message of 'Belong Anywhere', Airbnb elucidates how hosting guests is like giving them a piece of one's heart. Airbnb is truly symbolic of providing a selfless hosting experience to its guests and giving them the warmth of belongingness. Oddfellows, in this cartoon commercial video, has very intelligently used the analogy of superheroes and justified it to the fullest extent:

 

Match.com (Internet and Dating)

Who wouldn't want to know some tips to up their dating game? In under 3 minutes, this cartoon commercial video made by us for Match binds the attention of the viewers by talking about how to get a perfect match for them. Hey, I'll go and watch the video again to refresh my dating rules:

 

Oscar Health (Insurance)

The thought of dealing with health insurance could actually make you want to stay in bed. But, here's Oscar health insurance breaking the monotonous stereotypes and establishing that health insurances aren't about grim advertising and illnesses anymore. In as little as 30 seconds, this cartoon commercial ad advert by Buck is able to show a remarkable transition from what most health insurances currently look like and how hassle-free the process can get with Oscar.

 

Text lawyer (Legal Services)

Legal matters could be really complicated. In a world where timely justice and relief are so widely sought, legal first aid and qualified lawyers should be just at a hand's reach. That exactly what Text Lawyer does for you! In our 3d animated commercial in collaboration with this legal service, we wanted to showcase how the two parties to a car accident can seek redressal and relief by opting for quick and spontaneous legal help:

 

Home Selling Heroes (Real Estate)

Metaphoric storytelling has always been my favorite. An engaging plot and impactful voice-overs, make this comic strip cartoon commercial video an absolute visual treat. Honestly, before watching this video made by my company, I always thought that real estate advertising is all about flashing fancy houses in salesy commercials.

 

Starbucks (Retail)

I have seen countless animated typography videos, but this one remains my favourite. With very funky and upbeat music in the background, Starbucks successfully managed to turn heads towards its 'Grassroots' movement and instill the feeling of togetherness. Here's an exemplary video from BBDO, if you do not wish to go too extravagant with your animated commercials:

 

Raptor Plumbing (Construction)

You would have seen a lot of plumbing services ads. And, all that you must have seen would have been faucets and fixtures. Here's a fresh and unconventional take on how a plumbing company can market the timeliness and accessibility of its service, without having the need to be salesy. Handcrafted with love, fun, and quirk at our company for Raptor Plumbing, here is one of the most light-hearted cartoon commercials that you will ever come across:

 

So Is Animation Only Limited To Selling Dry Products?

The answer is no. More and more luxury brands are using animation as a mainstay in their communication. In fashion marketing which was traditionally dominated by anorexic models walking ramps and close-ups of the product, animation has evolved as a necessary medium. I explore this in a separate article: Is Animation the New Black in Fashion Brand Marketing? Animated commercials are also garnering mainstream attention with beauty products. Here is a video by L'Occitane.

 

Now, not just a beauty brand, but a sunglasses brand chose to take the route of animated commercials to ditch the status quo and make a mark of its own in animated advertising. Let's look at one of a kind motion graphics commercial from Persol:

 

Summing All Of It Up: Why Cartoon Commercials Are So Suited For B2C Video Marketing

Now, after watching these adverts, if we were to sum up how animation helps B2C brands to hit it out of the park, here are some pointers-

1. Animation Can Make Serious Subjects Become Easily Palatable

Animated commercials have the ability to portray serious or even traumatic subject matters in a way that can instill faith and positive inspiration. Let's look at a man's first-hand account about recovery from cancer.

 

2.Ease of Repurposing

One of the best things about animated commercials is that you can easily have them edited to use in multiple mediums. They can be easily repurposed for selling different products or services. It’s easier and more cost-effective to adapt animated ads to changing seasons giving you additional return on investment and increased reach. Let’s look at a teaser film that we made for a roofing company, from an cartoon commercial which was originally 1 minute and 42  seconds long.  Here's our collaboration with Hippo Roofing, for an animated tv commercial:

 

3. Enduring Brand Mascot

Cartoon commercials help create an enduring brand image. Most companies focus on celebrity power to energize their brands. However, the fact is that their campaigns end as soon as the career of the celebrity ends.

On the other hand, animated characters that take the role of a brand mascot or spokesperson stand the test of time. The animated brand mascots that you create will remain a star for decades without fading into oblivion. One of the most iconic examples that comes to my mind when I think about animated TV commercials is of Vodafone's Zoozoos: Adorable, easily recallable and exquisite:

 

What really happens with a great advert and a bad product? Can animated commercials salvage it?

"Animation or not, bad products always fail"

We have a lot of examples where great advertising couldn’t salvage bad products. A great example of this is "Microsoft Vista".  Microsoft sunk in 500 Million dollars on an brand awareness campaign for Vista at a time when the product wasn't ready to be shipped. The campaign was so effective that the users rushed into download the untested release and faced serious issues with performance and compatibility.  This caused a huge backlash in the Microsoft community.

"Good advertising is the fastest way to kill a bad product".

Apple took this opportunity with both their hands and created a commercial video series of Vista bashing spots called 'Get a Mac'. The series featured actor Justin Long dressed up like a young Steve Jobs (Reminding that a mac is ageless) and John Hodgkin pale, pudgy and with glasses (Like a tiring Bill Gates).

 

At about 4:11, Apple even makes fun of Microsoft’s product strategy, where they show John Hodgkin stacks copious amount of money for advertising and throws in a stack of two to resolve Vista’s problems. They do that again at around 5:45 where they show John Hodgkin trying to raise money for Vista via a Bake sale. The trouble was while Apple was digging at Microsoft’s misfortune, they were absolutely spot on with the ground reality and connected with its audience Instantly. They even created an animated version at around 7:41, adding more brownie points to my central argument across this article.

In one particular spot shown below, Apple touts Vista's new annoying security feature:

 

This commercial video had several layers of messaging to it. On the surface, it managed to showcase how annoying is to constantly press allow for menial tasks performed by the user in a Vista fueled PC.  If you peel the top layer there was a political undertone to it. Apple blatantly suggested that if you use a PC with Vista, it is easier for the government to watch over you.

Across the campaign, Apple managed to neuro linguistic program its viewers via the 'Teaching Tale Approach' (https://www.nlp-techniques.org/nlp-techniques-neuro-linguistic-programming-techniques/key-nlp-techniques/storytelling/).  They overtly suggested that PCs cause trouble and grief. They’re hard to use, they’re unstable, and they’re vulnerable to malware. In comparison, Macs are easy, stable, safe, and competent. In short, they quipped that one's computer problems will go away if one switched to Mac.” (adapted from here).

In summary, a good spot will ensure that you drive awareness and demand for your product. Once your product consumption reaches a critical mass of users who have experienced the product and found it wanting. You will only drive them to the competition.

Red Bull knew this was going to happen to them soon. They were garnering a huge market share with their aggressive marketing. They knew if the product is found wanting, they will fall like a pack of cards. But before they went aggressively with their marketing, they commissioned multiple independent studies. All of them proved that drinking Red Bull provides the desirable effects of increased alertness, improved memory, and enhanced mood. They had their fundamental right.

Now with a great product, a genius set of cartoon commercials advertising campaign and with the tireless promotion, they achieved advertising immortality. Red Bull soon joined superior brands like Coke, Nike, and Apple by forging an emotional bond with its customers. All this started with a humble cartoon of Sisyphus trying to move a boulder atop a hill.

Glittering Imprints of B2C Cartoon Marketing Videos on B2B Video Marketing

It is true that just a few years ago, the B2B industry despaired at never getting to have any fun like B2C marketers.

The B2B companies had to be ‘professional’, which they generally interpreted as ‘safe’ or ‘staid’ or just boring. 

Fortunately, a few brave early adopters have started making visual content that is actually exciting, entertaining, emotionally moving, even—gasp—fun to watch. And it turns out that B2B buyers are people who enjoy being entertained just like their B2C counterparts.

Let’s see how some gamechanger B2B companies decided to break the status quo by venturing into cartoon marketing videos:

1. Did You Mean MailChimp?:

Humor is an essential element to breaking down barriers. MailChimp practiced some self-deprecating humor by giving business email users permission to mess up the company name. It can be a bit daunting to set up a new account with an ESP, but this fun campaign helped establish MailChimp as the approachable, not stuffy, option. Here's Did You Mean MailChimp from Caramel on Vimeo.

 

2. Animated Commercials for Different CTAs:

Cartoon marketing videos do not imply that your business needs to go overboard with the usage of flashy characters to lure them into buying a product or a service. Your animated commercial can very well be aimed at spreading more awareness by persuading the viewers to download an e-book or a whitepaper. In our collaboration with Kerry Group’s Ganeden Nutrition, the messaging of our commercial was aimed at educating food manufacturers about personalizing food products to support consumers’ digestive health:

 

3. Contractors v/s Procrastinators:

If yours is a company of industrial and residential supplies, you might be thinking that probably cartoon commercials are not meant for you. But, here’s our collaboration with Winsupply, which will reiterate the fact that cartoon marketing videos are as much for marketing faucets and fixtures as much as they are for selling cereals!

 

I believe we’re in a golden age of B2B video marketing. B2B businesses should feel free to take their plunge and explore creative ideas and create incredible experiences. At the end of the day, even their customers are ultimately human beings, not corporations. 

How much does Animated Commercials or Cartoon Commercials cost?

The cost for good quality 2D animated commercials varies from $3000 to $10,000 and $8000 to $25,000 3D animated commercials. There are different factors which affect the cost of animated commercials, here are five of them:

  • Animation Technique: The most important factor is your combination of animation style and technique, any style can be done using 2D, 2.5D and 3D animation technique. The cost of a commercial video production is directly proportional to the man hours which is dependent on the animation technique and style you choose for your video.
  • Video Duration: The duration has a direct impact on the cost of cartoon commercials. It is not directly proportional though, as the duration of the video increases there is high probability of asset reutilisation and better efficiency. That is the reason when customers come to us for video series we give them discounts from our savings.
  • Feedback Time:  Your response time can also have an impact on the cost by almost 30%. We have seen clients from big companies take more time to respond to our updates because of their decision making hierarchy, which makes our process inefficient and cost goes up by almost 30%.
  • Delivery Time: On an average it takes around 4-6 weeks to complete a 60 sec animated commercial. For expedite delivery extra resources have to be pulled in which makes the process inefficient and also there is a loss of opportunity to earn more. It can impact the cost by 50-100% sometimes.
  • Video Topic: Complex topics require more research and ground work increasing the time in pre-production where the resources are more expensive and thus the cost of such cartoon commercials goes up.

Our Best Animated Commercials & Cartoon Commercials for 2019

Text A Lawyer Commercial Video: When it comes to providing cutting edge legal services – Text A Lawyer is a leader in the New Jersey market. This movie for Text A Lawyer, explores how animation for commercials can be used to change the way your brand is perceived in the market. This is a great example of how 3d animation style with animated overlays can be used for your animated commercials.

 

Avecina Medical Commercial Video: They focus on providing urgent care and disease prevention to people of all ages. They strive to make quality, individualized healthcare accessible and affordable to all. This movie for Avecina Medical, explores how animation for commercials can be used to target certain section of your target market and build trust. This is a great example of how flat 2d character animation style can be used for your cartoon commercials.

 

Hippo Roofing Commercial Video: They’re First And Second Generation Roofers…And Proud Of It. This movie for Hippo Roofing, explores how animation for commercials with brand mascot can be used to highlight USP's of your product. This is a great example of how 2d classical animation style can be used for your cartoon commercials.

 

Tiberius Coin Commercial Video: Tiberius Coin allows you to participate in that growth story by directly investing in an asset-backed token that includes the physical metals that are making it all possible. This movie for Tiberius Coin, explores how animation for commercials can be used to inspire your target audience with futuristic message. This is a great example of how infographic video style can be used for your animated commercials.

 

Hickey Freeman Commercial Video: Hickey Freeman is a manufacturer of suits for men and boys, based in Rochester, New York, US, founded in 1899. The Hickey-Freeman Co. is the most distinguished of the once booming men’s clothing industry based in Rochester at the start of the 20th century. This movie for Hickey Freeman, explores how animation for commercials can be used to spread your tag line as message to your target audience. This is a great example of how classical black & white animation style can be used for your animated commercials.

 

WinSupply Commercial Video: It is a leading supplier of residential and commercial construction and industrial supplies and equipment headquartered in Dayton, Ohio. This movie for WinSupply, explores how animation for b2b commercials can be used to rebrand and change the way you are perceived in the market. This is a great example of how classical character animation style can be used for your cartoon commercials.

 

FactSpread Commercial Video: A Non-profit organisation to educate the citizens of the US about issues pertaining to the world and their country in specific which are causing a hindrance to their growth and well being. Directed at B2W, this movie for FactSpread, explores how animation for commercials can be used with ease to create awareness about important controversial topics critical for economic welfare of the society. This is a great example of how to use mixed media animation style for your animated commercials.

 

Raptor Plumbing Commercial Video: Raptor Plumbing is your full service plumbing company serving the Las Vegas Valley since 2012. Most reliable Plumbers Las Vegas has experienced. This movie for Raptor Plumbing, explores how animation for commercials with brand mascot can be used to market your services differently. This is a great example of how 2d classical animation style can be used for your cartoon commercials.

 

McAfee Commercial Video: McAfee, LLC is an American global computer security software company headquartered in Santa Clara, California and claims to be the world's largest dedicated security technology company. This movie for McAfee, explores how animation for b2b commercials can be used to rebrand and change the way you are perceived in the market. This is a great example of how to use mixed media animation style and animated overlays for your animated commercials.

 

Jordan Commercial Video: They are a team of honest, hard working Realtors providing full service at an affordable price. Their friendly Realtors and innovative technology will get your home sold faster and for more money. This movie for Home Selling Heroes, explores how animation for commercials with hero's journey as a theme can be used to market your services differently. This is a great example of how comic book animation style can be used for your cartoon commercials.

 

HeatSpan Commercial Video: Heatspan offers fast response parts protection plan for your home heating equipment. This movie for HeatSpan, explores how animation for commercials with musical voiceover can be used to market your professional services on local tv commercials. This is a great example of how classical character animation style can be used for your cartoon commercials.

 

Qdog Commercial Video: Reliable, super heating fuel delivery PLUS Maryland oil, kerosene and propane to: Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's, Anne Arundel, and Prince George's counties. This movie for Qdog, explores how animation for commercials with brand mascot can be used to market your professional services with best prices on local tv commercials. This is a great example of how classical character animation style can be used for your cartoon commercials.

 

What’s the Takeaway?

In conclusion, even though animation is still cheaper than live‐action techniques, it is no longer the “retarded brother of advertising” as it was previously considered.  What used to be primarily useful for animating anthropomorphic cereal mascots has become an extremely broad and versatile medium. Today barely a single commercial is without any form of animation whatsoever.  It is generously used to place new logos over old ones, slide shampoo bottles gracefully into view, animated logos and slogans, and show off every angle of a smoothly cruising car. Although those are probably the most common use for animation in commercials, it is not only employed for the purpose of creating the illusion of live‐action and tweaking images to perfection. But, Animation is exclusively used as a medium by brands to create a platform-agnostic campaign. In short, animation can be used to create anything. As a medium, it can co-exist with live-action and on its own.

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