As the founder of an explainer video production house - the question I get asked most is this:
“What style suits B2B or Corporate Video best - Live Action or Animation?” and more variations of the same pertinent question:
“Live Action vs. Animation for B2B?”
In my nine years of experience - The answer is rather simple. Ceteris paribus - How do you differentiate your business from the competition? Do what they aren’t doing and do it better. So say your competition is doing live action, then your first choice should be to do animation and vice versa. And if they are doing both - then choose to go for animation.
The reasons are even simpler for this: Not only does animation costs a fraction of how much you’d spend on a similar concept in Live Action, but it also enables you to curate possibly anything within your imagination from the comfort of your seat.
More times than not - quite literally breaking the norms of reality to tie in an effective and memorable message. This is extremely important in today’s digital clutter - to break free and give your brand the recall it deserves while also making sure your viewers get on board with your value proposition, and you get the best return on your video investment.
Which ties in well with the second most common question I’ve been asked over the years:
“What is the best content strategy for corporate videos?”
I live by the idea ‘People remember stories,’ and I apply the same belief to my business. ‘If your video takes your recipient on a journey with invested time, explorative emotions and memorable anecdotes then people will remember your ‘story’ - in turn engaging with your message and remembering your ‘BIG IDEA.’
So whether you want to educate your customer, promote your product or simply make a business announcement - if you want it done effectively and leave an impact - then your message should be crisp, clear and definitely story driven.
The one example I usually recall when answering this question is Foxit Reader, a multilingual freemium PDF tool that allows you to create, view, edit, digitally sign, and print PDF files. And although we did this project way back in 2015 - it’s always reminiscent of how animation can work great for B2B organizations.
This brings me to the final point in this discussion about concerns I have heard from B2B companies regarding animation - “Animated Cartoons aren’t very professional.” And it’s both remarkable and surprising to me by how often this perspective comes up.
At the outset - the variety of styles you can adapt to animation is almost limitless. You may as well choose to use a style and treatment style that breaks away from the visual sensibilities of ‘cartoon’ animations. But more importantly, I think we tend to forget that whether a business is B2B or B2C - ultimately, your message is curated to be received by a human. A business conversation, in its entirety, ultimately is always Human to Human or as I like to call it - H2H.
And don’t get me wrong I am not talking about the visual style here, it can be animated infographic, it can be mixed media or cartoon animation but either your audio or visual should tell a story.
So here is my question in return for you - Between Live Action and Animation - what do you think works best?