Little birds from the enchanted forest won’t help rescue that princess, you know. So how can you generate a buzz and engage viewers without sticking to the Disney techniques of the 1990s? Well, it may surprise you, but the golden rules of a great animation remain mostly the same. Here are 10 key points you need to consider before starting the creation of your new mind-blowing and attention-grabbing animated video!
The aim of your brand animation is to make a powerful impact on the target audience, engage them and convert from viewers to customers, right? But who are those people you want to reach out? What do they do? What inspires them? What kind of difficulties do they have in their personal or professional life? What makes their hearts pound? You need to ask yourself all these questions before creating any type of brand content. Because in the end of the day it all comes to a simple, but oh-so important fact: if you want to influence your audience, you have to know it.
There’s no point in creating an animation based on facts you want your audience to know. Rough data doesn’t touch hearts or generate leads. For that you need a story. Something people would easily connect with. As you might know, great storytelling makes it easier for the viewers to understand and remember the information you share with them, increasing your brand awareness. So pay attention to the choice of characters, the plot of your story and the message you want to get across. All these elements should live harmoniously in your animation and be a perfect reflection of your brand image and its values.
Not exactly the same hero Bonnie Tyler sang about in 1984. Our hero, alias the main character of your story, should actually reflect your target audience. You want to establish an emotional connection with the viewers via your animation, right? Then help them identify themselves with the main character! Create his complete profile – his traits, habits, normal behavior, positive and negative reactions, positioning in life. A profound understanding of your audience’s needs and expectations would let you develop your animated character in a way to make him your best tool in achieving brand goals.
When we talk about theater or cinema, there’s a certain attraction we can feel towards the actors; the way they play their roles is crucial for us to believe the whole story. But what about animations? Here instead of actors we have animated characters, who play their parts as well. So is there something else than our self-identification that makes us feel connected to them? Well, of course. It’s their charisma. Have you noticed that when it comes to the actors, on some unconscious level we can say if their character is good or bad? And most of the time, it turns to be true. Animations are less complex in this matter; they give the audience all needed clues straight away. Positive characters are round-shaped, prioritize light and vivid colors, are all curls and smiles. They reflect the light of the day, sunny side of the street, rainbows and butterflies. The negative ones, on the contrary are square, always frowning and painted in some stormy colors that make us feel the danger coming. This simplifying of character’s inner life reflects perfectly the magical power of animation, which consists in making complex things easy to understand. To be used without moderation.
It may surprise you, but one of the most attracting and remarkable features of animation is the exaggeration. Take « Tom & Jerry »’s example: if that poor cat had to stand all the tricks Jerry played on him in the real-life conditions, he would have been dead at the end of the first episode. Still, Tom survived years of the mouse’s clever attacks and their friends-enemies relationship became legendary in the history of animation, as well as gained its place in the hearts of the audience. So what do you need to remember of this obvious success? Well, that would be the rule that the exaggeration in animation improves the quality of your content and doesn’t let your characters look static, helping them open up and develop their own way of living. Which grants you the love of the audience.
In cinema one single scene can be shot in different ways to provoke different emotions. That’s a question of perspective. Changing the camera angle and position changes the view and the audience’s understanding. And you know what? It works for animation as well! When you have to treat an ordinary subject and you want to make a difference, consider changing the perspective, the point of view from which you want to show the events. Uncommon staging will make you stand out and grab your audience’s attention.
We all have more or less formatted vision of life and of all it may bring. And it’s rather hard to catch and retain people’s attention with common things, even if they are wrapped up differently. So what can you do to break through this « in-the-box » type of living? The answer is simple: give your audience the unexpected. Surprise them. Make a twisted turn in your animated story they didn’t see coming. The less would it fit their ordinary way of thinking, the stronger impact you’re going to get. Don’t miss this unique opportunity. Show these folks your brand has its own vision that’s worth their time!
There are times and subjects that don’t leave you enough space to create emotional connections with your audience. But hey, no panic at the disco! There’s always a way to connect. And the one that works each and every time is humor. They say that to get a place in the woman’s heart one needs to make her laugh. The same thing here. Even if the viewers won’t remember a thing about the brand message of your animation, they will remember how you made them feel. And such kind of positive impression is a strength you can’t underestimate.
Another great thing that would allow you reach out to your audience’s hearts, that’s sound effects. Do you remember that remarkable scene in « Titanic » when the ship started to sink? What did make your emotions outburst in tears – the caption itself or the music, created to sharpen the tragedy of the moment? Can you imagine pushing the « pause » button and grabbing a beer during that scene? We hope not. That’s a perfect example of using sound effects to strengthen the emotional connection with the audience and capturing their whole attention. Just make sure to make this tool work in harmony with the visuals you provide.
And of course, you can’t forget that you have certain time limits. Remember the span of your audience’s attention (which is about 8 seconds today) and make your animated punch from the very beginning. Don’t be boring. Prove the viewers that your animated content is worth their time. Show them your brand vision. Surprise them. Connect with them in all possible ways. Give away positive emotions. Simply be the best. That’s how the stars are born.