How to bring your marketing message to life with an animated character

Why it’s always good to have the continuous presence of an animated character in your explainer video.

As part of our animation work for IDP UK which features their globe-bodied mascot ‘Oscar’, we’ve put together a short compilation of the videos produced so far (take a look at the link in the header to view it), so it’s a good moment to discuss the obvious benefits of having the continuous presence of an animated character to promote a product or concept.

Think about the amount of products and services that sell themselves via 2D or CG animated characters. Where would Tetley Tea be without the tea-folk, Rice Crispies without Snap, Crackle and Pop or Compare the Market without their meercats?

These characters have been developed with a specific aim in mind – to turn a potentially ‘vanilla’ product or service into something that has personality and warmth; to add a branding element that can be related to, talked about and that will entertain and hold the interest of an audience whilst presenting important information. An animated character can also be a serious marketing asset not only within the confines of the product itself but also beyond as a potential brand entity in its own right – again, look no further that those meercats for a good example of this.

A great animated character can add empathy and humour, and can be part of a story that stirs the imagination. More importantly, they become short-hand for that product and its related brand values. Whether it’s on TV or online, the introduction and continuous use of an animated character can help the viewer to understand and remember key elements of your brand message, which will eventually lead to a buying choice.

Also – animation itself is a great medium for gaining attention fast. Unlike real-life film making, in animation the canvas is unlimited. Locations can be anywhere, characters can do anything. And when these kind of situations are used they become extremely memorable to the viewer. In our IDP videos Oscar is at Anfield scoring a goal for Liverpool, he’s leaping the Atlantic in a single bound to land in Philadelphia and he’s battling Ben Franklin for supremacy on a $100 bank note.

‘Hiring’ an animated character to head your campaign is also much more cost-effective than arranging actors, sets, lighting, etc. and that saving can be put back into either promoting your current campaign or developing further marketing strands.

If you want any further advice on developing and using animated characters as part of your marketing mix then get in touch with me at – I’d love to hear from you.

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