Time to get animated with your brand?


Safely cosseted in an ad-free world of boxset streaming, it had been a while since I’d seen a ‘normal’ ad break. But watching a film one night I noticed there was something that felt kind of off. I put it down to the annoyance of having ‘The Martian’ interrupted by people trying to sell me things. But the next day, about to start flicking through the channels in a break, I noticed it again. Only when the announcer read out the caveat that the next programme was filmed ‘pre-social distancing’ did it click.

It was the people. Moreover, how CLOSE TOGETHER the people were. I watched with interest in the next break between pre- and post- lockdown adverts and how familiar scenes with crowds of people suddenly felt strangely uncomfortable and pondered the impact this could have on marketing across the board.

Shoots are back, but...

With the announcement on the 11th May that those ‘who can not work from home’ could go back to work and the Association of Production Agencies offering Shooting Guidelines to do so safely (including some amazing retro safety posters)  it seems unlikely that Covid-19 will be the end of live action videos for campaigns and content. After all, there will always be a rationale for showing people using the thing you want other people to buy. There are ways and means to tweak creative ideas from pre-Covid-19 to make them more empathetic to current events, such as updating voiceovers and editing back footage no longer fit for purpose. But shooting fresh content is likely to be a more challenging prospect for the foreseeable future, doable, but with limitations.

Animation is still going

So with a recession looming, consumers tightening their belts and brands looking for alternatives that cut through the noise, we believe that animation and illustrations could be about to have a resurgence. In fact, it’s one of the few areas of production that has been working at full speed despite lockdown and should continue to do so, thanks to many artists and creatives being able to work remotely with relative ease and safety.

Removing the boundaries

Animation, whether typographic or illustrative, is perfectly placed to bring a creative vision to life, without breaking the bank. Not only that, but having a distinguishable, distinct visual language can boost brand recognition and help to repurpose existing content. Recutting pre-covid footage and adding animated elements can be a flexible, cost-effective way to get more from your own or stock assets whilst staying relevant in tone and messages to current events. 

And, like illustration, there are a wealth of styles, making it easy to create content that feels bang on when it comes to your brand and helping push your business to the fore with something unexpected. It’s incredibly exciting as not only is there something to suit every budget, but the possibilities are nigh on endless. 

Ready to roam

So whilst watching Finding Dory, did I freak out about the close groups of turtles, the travelling into crowded fish tanks or even the lack of face masks on the aquarium workers? Nope. Not at all. Because the animation let the story take centre stage, gave me 2 hours of respite from the real world and engaged me, hook, line and sinker. It’s a neat trick and one that many businesses could employ in their post-lockdown marketing arsenals. As Crush would say, ‘radical dude!’.

So if you’re ready to let your creativity roam free and produce something memorable it’s time to consider the illustrators and animators, they could just be your new best friend when it comes to marketing.

Want to learn how our illustrators and animators could bring your imagination to fruition? Email us hello@ifour.co.uk or fill out our form ifour.co.uk/contact/ for a chat about what we could create together to animate your audience into action.