by Heather Baker, an EO UK-London member and CEO of TopLine Comms. Heather gives readers the inside track on how to make a fantastic animation that works for their brand.
Animation can be one of the most powerful ways of explaining complex or abstract concepts to an audience, but I can tell you from experience that commissioning one for the first time is a daunting experience. First-timers often fall into the trap of cutting corners or trying to control the wrong elements of the process while letting other crucial areas slide. No-one wants to leave the success of their corporate animation down to trial and error, so I thought I’d share the top tips I’ve gathered over the years.
1. Abandon your prejudices
Animation isn’t just for consumer brands and it doesn’t have to be twee. In fact, if your brand sells to a B2B audience, animation can be a particularly effective means of illustrating the more abstract side of your product or service offering.
2. Invest in the best skills you can
For smaller businesses in particular, it can be tempting to cut the cost of producing a company animation by getting a design agency to whip something up. Having seen the fruits of such labours, I can state with confidence that it rarely works. The best way to save yourself money is to skip the false economy stage and head straight for a sound investment. For a truly effective corporate animation, work with a skilled animator who can deliver something that really works.
3. Make sure your message is as strong as your visual
This may seem obvious, but there’s no point in having something that looks beautiful if it doesn’t say what you need it to in the most persuasive way possible. A common error is leaving the animator to their own devices and expecting them to infuse a strong business message into their work. It isn’t going to happen. You need to define the message and take it to your animator and let the message inform their work.
4. Don’t write your own script
The mistake many companies make is thinking that the best way to ensure their animation reflects their business messages is to put together the animation storyboard and script themselves. Don’t follow their example. Using a trained scriptwriter can easily double the impact of your animation by increasing the power and accuracy of your message.
5. Keep it short
One of the most important things to learn when thinking about animations is that you need to think in terms of seconds rather than minutes. When it comes to the length of animated content, you’ll find you’re operating according to a law of diminishing returns: shorter pieces often have the highest impact.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, one thing that strikes me most about a lot of business animations I come across is the lack of call to action. Don’t let your corporate animation just be a pretty feature on your website, make sure it prompts a response.
With these tips under your belt, you can be confident that your business animation will resonate with your audience and last for years as an investment you won’t regret.