There’s a perception that animation is for kids. And certainly, it started out that way-- commercials aimed at children used animation to get their attention. But things have changed. Animation aimed at teens and adults is a norm today. This fascinating medium has evolved over time, and we wrote at length about it here.
Quick heads up, this is a pretty in-depth article. So if you’re running low on time, feel free to jump to any of the sections below:
The B2C space is a crowded, busy one. We don’t need to tell you that attention is the ultimate goal. And conversely, the low attention span of today’s consumer is your enemy.
With so many distractions and competition vying for your audience, you might be surprised to find out how effective animation is when it comes to grabbing and holding on to viewers’ attention.
But don’t just take our word for it. Here are some brilliant examples of animated commercials.
Going into 2021 and beyond, VR and AR (virtual reality and augmented reality) would be high on the list, having transcended from experimental formats to mainstream options. Take this marvelous example of VR animation featured by Google Spotlight Stories:
Another trend is seamless transitions in animation. This has been growing in popularity, largely thanks to huge advancements in cel animation. Cel animation, also popularly known as frame-by-frame animation, helps animated commercials flow smoothly and naturally. Check out this example by PlusOne on Vimeo for Soa Aids Nederland:
There are so many trends for animated commercials to check out. Here are some amazing video examples across a myriad of industries!
This beautifully animated cartoon ad by Psyop was aired during the Super Bowl. Celebrating beauty in diversity in a heartwarming package that reinforces brand recall, this cartoon animation video is an excellent example of what animation can do for a brand.
Here at Broadcast2World, we’re pretty religious about the idea that storytelling is the secret ingredient that really makes an animated video come to life and really touch hearts and minds like nothing else can. And this lovely cartoon commercial video for Airbnb by Oddfellows is a great example, showcasing heartwarming stories of real people going the extra mile to help others like superheroes. This works not only to stay memorable in the viewers’ minds, but also humanizes the brand, building a sense of trust and integrity with the viewer.
Here’s a cartoon advertisement video we made for Match.com. Rather than convince viewers to sign up or anything that direct and blunt, we tried a different approach. Because who would say no to free dating advice, right? And who better to offer this advice, than Match.com, the cupids of the internet? Sometimes, the simplest and most obvious ideas work best.
The amazing thing about video-- and especially animated video-- is that it can communicate more than ideas, it can transmit emotions and moods. For example, this video by Oscar Health by Buck. Health insurance isn’t exactly the most exciting topic to talk about. But thanks to the power of animation, combined with a sharp and clever script, Oscar Health can inject life and humor into their cartoon ad, and even raise the viewers’ spirits in as little as 30 seconds.
They say time is money, and this is especially true in the legal world. And the thought of dealing with lawyers can be intimidating for most people. To turn the tables and paint a picture of what it can be like when a team of dedicated, qualified lawyers-- like Text Lawyer-- have your back, and are within reach at a moment’s notice, we crafted this 3D commercial video. Note that a key advantage of 3D Animation is a realistic, lifelike look and feel.
We’ve seen a lot of animated typography videos, but this one remains a favourite. With funky, upbeat music in the background, BBDO’s video for Starbucks turns heads with its 'Grassroots' movement to instil a feeling of togetherness.
We decided to bring a fresh and unconventional take for this animated cartoon commercial video we made for Raptor Plumbing. By making it fun and quirky, with a catchy tune, this ad gets your attention and stays fresh in your memory for a long time after you watch it.
More and more luxury brands are using animated ads as a mainstay in their communication, including fashion marketing, where commercial animation has become a necessary medium. I explore this in a separate article: Is Animation the New Black in Fashion Brand Marketing?
This stunningly pretty video for L'Occitane by Eddy is an example of how animated commercials are garnering mainstream attention with beauty products.
The sunglasses brand Persol chose animated commercials, ditching the status quo to make a mark of its own in animated advertising.
Here’s how animation helps B2C brands knock it out of the park:
One of the best things about animated commercials is that you can easily edit them for use in multiple mediums, or repurposed for different products or services. It’s easier and more cost-effective to adapt animated ads to changing seasons, giving you an additional return on investment and increased reach.
For example, this was a teaser that we made for a roofing company, from a cartoon commercial which was originally 1 minute and 42 seconds long for Hippo Roofing, originally for an animated tv commercial.
Cartoon commercials help create an enduring brand image. Most companies focus on celebrity power to energize their brands. However, 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 will stand the test of time. An iconic example that comes to mind is of Vodafone's Zoozoos: Adorable, easily recallable and exquisite.
Just a few years ago, it seemed as though the B2C marketers got to have all the fun, while the B2B industry had to be all buttoned-up and serious and “professional.”
Fortunately, things have changed since then. Brave early adopters started making visual content that was exciting, entertaining, even emotional. And it turned out that B2B professionals are, after all, just people-- who enjoy being entertained just like their B2C colleagues. Or anyone else.
Here’s how some game-changing B2B companies broke the status quo by venturing into cartoon marketing videos:
Humor is essential in breaking down barriers. MailChimp used self-deprecating humor by giving business email users permission to mess up the company name. This fun campaign helped establish MailChimp as approachable and fun, not stuffy and boring.
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:
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.
Using a cartoon marketing video doesn’t mean that you have to go overboard with flashy characters. Your animated commercial can be aimed at spreading awareness by persuading viewers to download an e-book or whitepaper. For example, when we collaborated with Kerry Group’s Ganeden Nutrition, our animated commercial was aimed at informing food manufacturers about personalizing food products to support consumers’ digestive health.
If your company is an industrial/residential supplier, you may think cartoon commercials are not for you. But here’s our collaboration with Winsupply, which underscores the fact that cartoon marketing videos are as much for marketing faucets and fixtures as they are for selling cereal to children!
We believe we’re in a golden age of B2B video marketing. It’s time for B2B businesses to take the plunge and explore creative ideas and create incredible experiences. Because whatever your industry, your customers are ultimately human beings, not corporations.
The cost for good quality 2D animated commercials varies from $3000 to $10,000 and $8000 to $25,000 3D animated commercials. Many factors affect the cost of animated commercials, here are five big ones:
Animation Technique: The most important factor is the combination of animation style and technique. Any style can be done using 2D, 2.5D and 3D animation. The cost of a commercial video production is directly proportional to the man hours needed, which is dependent on the animation technique and style you pick for your video.
Video Duration: This has a direct impact on the cost of cartoon commercials. Note that it is not directly proportional, however. As the duration increases, efficiency goes up a little. This is why we offer our customers discounts for a series of videos.
Feedback Time: Your response time can impact the cost by nearly 30%. It’s been our experience that clients from big companies take more time to respond to our updates because of their decision-making hierarchy; and this makes the process inefficient, and can push the costs up by as much as 30%.
Delivery Time: On average, it takes 4-6 weeks to complete a 60-second animated commercial. For expedited delivery, extra resources have to be pulled in, which makes the process inefficient. It can impact the cost by as much as 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; thus, driving costs higher.
When it comes to cutting-edge legal services, Text A Lawyer is a leader in the New Jersey market. This movie explores how animation for commercials can be used to change the way your brand is perceived. This is also a great example of how a 3D animation style with overlays can be used for your animated commercials.
Avencina Medical focuses 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 demonstrates how animation for commercials can be used to target certain markets and build trust. This is a good example of how a flat 2D character animation style can be used in your cartoon commercials.
They’re first and second generation roofers… and proud of it. This movie for Hippo Roofing shows how animation for commercials with brand mascots can be used to highlight your product. This is a great example of how a classic 2D animation style can be used for your cartoon commercials.
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 demonstrates how animation for commercials can be used to connect with and inspire your target audience with a highly technical message. This is an example of how the infographic video style can be used for your animated commercials.
Hickey Freeman is a manufacturer of suits for men and boys based in Rochester, New York, founded in 1899. This movie for Hickey Freeman shows us how animation for commercials can be used to spread your tagline as a message to your target audience; and is a great example of how a classical black-and-white animation style can be used for your animated commercials.
WinSupply is a leading supplier of residential and commercial construction and industrial supplies and equipment headquartered in Dayton, Ohio. This movie for WinSupply shows us how animation for B2B commercials can be used to rebrand and change the way you are perceived in the market, and is a great example of how classical character animation style can be used for your cartoon commercials.
FactSpread is a non-profit organisation aimed at educating citizens about national and international issues that affect them directly. Created by B2W, this movie for FactSpread gives us a good idea of how animation for commercials can be used to create awareness about important and controversial topics that are critical to the socioeconomic welfare of our society. This is a great example of how to use mixed media animation style for your animated commercials.
Raptor Plumbing is your full service plumbing company serving the Las Vegas Valley area since 2012. This movie for Raptor Plumbing demonstrates how animation for commercials with brand mascots can be used to market your services differently. This is a great example of how a 2D classical animation style can be used for your cartoon commercials.
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.
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 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.
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.
The answer is a resounding yes. Just about every world-leading B2B brand relies on animation videos to connect with their audience and make conversions. So if you’re in B2B, the right kind of animated videos can unlock exponential growth.
As we’ve covered, there are a wide range of types and styles of animation, from stick to 3D. Which one is better for your B2B brand depends on many different factors, like your target audience, your goal or objective, brand positioning, and more. So this is something you will have to figure out based on your business type, industry, and other factors. Consult an experienced animation video company. A good one will help you decide with recommendations and expert advice on what will work best for your B2B brand.
Animation videos are dynamic. You can plug them at any stage of the marketing funnel and they can deliver you great results. So, whether you’re looking to improve SEO (through low bounce rate and high session duration) or boost social media engagement or drive higher conversion, animated videos can be your hero at every stage. They can help you with a wide range of digital marketing goals. Of course, these videos must be great and contextualized to your goals to deliver the desired returns.
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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