Sometimes companies get ideas; good ideas. They discover ideas about who they are, what they want to accomplish in the world, and how they can solve some problem that no one has found the answer to just yet. The issue is, they aren’t the only ones. That’s where advertising comes in.
Advertising takes on many forms and uses many media. But, it always has the simple objective to communicate, capture, compel, and move audiences to action. In the past, this translated to the purchase of a product/service. Today, marketing specialists extend that definition to an ongoing engagement with their brand through social media, subscriptions, or online sharing.
Each of us knows the plethora of advertisements that plague our home pages, browsers and selected blogs, and how agencies spend insurmountable funds to market to users everywhere. With this onslaught of advertisements, companies must carefully decide how they are going to meet audiences in memorable and lasting ways that make them stand apart from their competitors. Retention and engagement have always been the major goals of advertising; but with the persistence of ads into every level of the lives of consumers via television, social media, and innumerable web pages, companies now find themselves in a world in which they must consistently re-evaluate how to accomplish those objectives. One way that organizations solve this problem is through the incorporation of creative and non-traditional mediums into their marketing, like animation.
Jon Collins of the VFX studio Framestore recently said in an interview: “If you can keep a viewer in a world and stimulate those senses, they will not only engage more deeply with your brand, but their recollection of that positive experience will sustain for far longer.”
However, there is a danger in creating a world that is overly stimulating to the viewer, because they end up rejecting that vibrancy in an effort to maintain a kind of visual homeostasis. Advertisements must also be tempered with a strong and carefully crafted design that appeals to people’s sense of balance, color schemes, character associations, etc, without turning them off to your brand.
While there is no scientific formula for accomplishing this task, creative specialists use techniques like focusing on one subject while blurring out the background, using particular color patterns, or utilizing symmetry to balance out an environment. The reason for this meticulous approach to curating content for viewers is the same reason that athletes train for months on end for a brief moment in the spotlight. Sometimes a brand has only one opportunity to interact with an audience member and communicate what it is and why it is worthy of their attention. And audiences are a fickle sort. With the accessibility to perhaps hundreds of alternative products or services, brands must make that one interaction a meaningful one that the viewer will remember long after the video has ended.
Part of why we gravitate towards animation as a medium is because you have the ability to communicate something as complex as sustainable business practices or a commitment to ethical animal treatment (as FedEx and Chipotle both did this past year) through imagined worlds and characters that take the viewer into a beautifully crafted narrative. While you can control things like lighting, environment, and subjects while shooting in video to a certain degree, animation can create worlds and characters beyond what is only in front of us. This allows us to control things like lighting, texture, movement, and time that we would not have as much control over if we filmed subjects through a camera. All in all, video and animation are not in competition with one another, for both are tools to be utilized for the creative dissemination of messages.
At the core of who we are as human beings is the desire for meaning and significance. Advertisers try to cultivate that kind of experience in a brief interaction that connects audiences with a brand that will last long after the meeting has ended. While the time and effort that companies spend towards this endeavor is great, the hard sought after relationship with the customer is truly the golden egg.
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