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Here, there and everywhere we see visual marketing at its finest. According to recent studies conducted by Wyzowl, 87% of businesses are now using videos as part of their marketing strategy. Video content used well clearly works, however, not everybody is on board yet. Similar to other area’s of marketing, video production as a whole is clouded by confusion, over promising with smoke and mirrors style marketing language.

Our hope is that reading this article and those to come, may be a good start to diffuse the clouds and help others develop a clearer understanding on two of the most vital marketing styles used today, live action video and animation. 

“How is animation different to live action videos?”

Please note, for the purpose of this article we are only discussing CG animation (Animation created on a computer).

Animations are often described as “using a sequence of still images to create the illusion of movement” but we simplify this by saying animation is computer graphics/illustrations that move. On the other hand, live action videos are physical recordings of objects or living thing. When you press record on a digital camera or even your mobile phone, that is live action video. You’re capturing “live action” into a video. Make sense?

Today, animation is incorporated in our everyday lives as a method of entertaining, educating or even inspiring. In business, it can be a combination of all three, but really it’s a tool to convey a message. Both big and small companies utilise animation to explain complex products, services, or processes in a simple, short and engaging manner to reach their audience. It also allows them to tell their story in a creative and personable way. The significant increase in the use of animated videos for marketing over the past decade comes from the fact that many companies now understand the difficulties and challenges of explaining the technologies they are trying to promote. Animation has provided a solution for that, allowing them to impart their message very clearly. 

Live action videos are also undoubtedly impactful in conveying their ideas, often in ways that often cannot be replicated by animation. By capturing reality directly, it can be easier to create large amounts of improvised or fast form content, such as Facebook or Youtube live. This works for some brands, in particular those whose business has a face as its chief mascot. If you are your brand, not only is it important that you show your face often to build familiarity, it’s a heck of alot easier than it used to be thanks to the camera development in the phones we carry every single day.

While live action videos capture and portray reality, animations key strength is its ability to create something more than what is possible in real life, making the impossible, possible. This is more ideal for Brands where the individual isn’t the focus, hence its appeal to Technology and Software Companies.

Although animation and live action videos have individual roles to play, it does not mean that they can’t work together either. Alternating from live action to animation is a great way to naturally engage and sustain the attention of the audience, as humans we are perceptive to changes of visual composition and styles. The 100 Resilient Cities Challenge showcased by The Rockefeller Foundation (Check it out here!) is a good example. They combine the two styles together to give that real world narrative while clearly voicing their message through their animated graphs and statistics. 

At MIC Animation, we have also done some work integrating the live action videos with animation. One example is the Maritime Transport – ‘Heaps of Work’ Advertisement. It highlights how animation and live action video can work well together, making something that otherwise may be plain, into something fun and eye catching. 

Costs and Accessibility: 

When it comes to costs and accessibility, there are some big differences between the two mediums. Animation does not require actors, filming permits, expensive locations or studio lighting, this can save you time, money and energy. Although live action videos provide human authenticity, at a professional scale a large drawback can be the costs. 

It is also important now for a business to look to the future and play the long game. When it is time for you to amend, update or revise your live action videos in comparison to animation, it could get difficult and thus, costly. Footage amendments post recording can be difficult and assembling the crew, location and setting the stage back to the way it was may be next to impossible. In comparison, amending and changing animated videos can be more straightforward, potentially taking a handful of hours as opposed to days of logistics and scheduling.  

Conclusion:

Both styles of content have pro’s and con’s, neither of which is a silver bullet for your marketing campaign. What’s most important is your audience and your intent, that will make the decision for which is best for your business.

It is clear that animation is being utilised more than ever before in areas such as research, study, marketing, advertising, education, and more… because it works! When used correctly, Animation has the capacity to bring something that is abstract or imaginary to life, allowing you to convey your message uniquely, clearly and effectively. If you’re interested in discussing what would work best for you, get in touch.

Don’t worry, if animation isn’t the best fit, at the very least we can point you in the direction of some outstanding Video Production Companies that can certainly help bring your story to life.