9 Tips for How to Use Animation

Why your business needs animation

Looking to promote your company in a creative way? Struggling to decide between placing an advert in a local paper, or thinking of adding a shouty pop up on your website? Don’t worry, we are here to help you decide: you should do none of the above. Instead, enter the digital era – your business should use animation.

Animation is a medium that can really help you engage with your audience in a unique way. It can pull the heartstrings and even keep a catchy jingle in the back of your mind. For those who don’t have the budget to hire a film studio and production crew, animated content is an affordable option to add some exciting video content to your strategy. There are many reasons why you should use animation in your content marketing strategy, you can read more about it in our previous blog ‘Content marketing: 5 reasons why businesses should use animation’.

Are you ready to commission animation for your business? To achieve the best results, your video should look good, communicate the right messages and target your ideal customers. In this blog we’ll share nine tips to creating a successful animated video.

Tip 1 – Master the art of storytelling

To connect with your audience, you will need to tell them a truly compelling story. Share your values, tell the story of your brand, and share a positive, heartwarming message. Rather than pushing the product directly, you should try to create an emotional connection with your audience and establish trust. Not only will you set the right tone for your company, you will leave an impression that will not easily be forgotten.

A clear example of the importance of storytelling is the 2016 advertisement for Android: ‘Be Together, Not the Same’.

In this video, the product being sold (Android) is not referenced until the very end. The aim of the animation for this business is not to broadcast the product, but rather establish all it stands for. The message is very clear: Android believes in collaboration. They believe the world will be a better place when people come together. Does this work as a trust signal to their users? Absolutely, it establishes a firm emotional connection with their audience. The underlying tones of positivity and open mindedness will be connected to the brand as a result.

Tip 2 – Know who your target audience is

The animation for your business will not be successful if you do not know which audience you are targeting. Generic advertisements created for too wide an audience are quickly forgotten and will likely fail, so your first step will be to narrow down who you are creating the animation for. How old is your audience? What is likely to engage them? What music will they like? Once you know this, you will be able to tailor the elements in your animation to ensure they appeal to the people you have in mind.

A good way to demonstrate this in animation is by addressing your audience very directly in the video. You could describe the circumstances and mindset of the audience through the use of voiceover, then offer a solution tailored to their needs.

Tip 3 – Show the positive impact you’re making

As mentioned previously in tip one, it’s really important to make an emotional connection with your audience when using animation. Tug on those heartstrings to make yourself memorable. Although telling a story is key, you can make this story even more impactful if your audience can resonate with you. The animation for your business should relate to people’s day to day life as much as possible. Once you’ve established this, show the positive impact you are making. What are you doing to create a better world?

These points are illustrated perfectly by McVitie’s in ‘Sweeter Together’.

The situation of the employee is recognisable for many – loneliness, either in or outside the workplace, is a common issue. It is easy to see yourself up there, feeling left out. Most of the timeframe for this ad is used to expand on this issue and set the scene. This is done through the animation, the choice of angle and the use of music, as details are important when you want to set the right tone. The advertisement ends by showing the positive impact the brand is making on the day to day life of the main character. As you can see, depending on the product or company, the messaging used can be extravagant or subtle. McVitie’s use a toned down but impactful statement.

Tip 4 – Make sure the animation looks great

This may sound obvious but if you are going to use animation for your business, it needs to be high quality content, look great and stand the test of time. Many companies fall into the trap of using a cheap marketing solution in hopes of a quick win. This will not work in the long run and will quickly become dated. It’s important to remember that your customers will associate the quality of your video with the quality of the goods or services you offer.

Tip 5 – Get the timing and rhythm right

The animation for your business will need to have flawless pacing and a rhythm that works for the action and the story you are telling. Make sure the movements follow the soundtrack you use. Move fast enough to keep your audience engaged, but not too fast that it becomes out of time with the animation itself. If you get this balance just right, users will find it impossible to take their eyes off your video.

A brilliant example of fine tuned rhythm is ‘Gold’ from American Express.

The animations are quick and the elements on the screen are moving throughout. Yet pauses are used deliberately and inserted where necessary to make the story easy to follow. The end result is an eye catching animation that truly draws you in.

Tip 6 – Don’t be afraid to show personality and be funny

When done well, humour can be a great tool to make your brand memorable and engage your audience. A clear joke will stay in your customer’s mind while your competitors come up short. Remember, you don’t have to sell a ‘funny’ or clever product to use humour to your benefit. Even more technical and complex services can benefit from this. By putting a light spin on a serious topic, you can make this more accessible for your audience. While humour can be used through messaging, you may be surprised to know that animation itself can also be entertaining.

Tip 7 – Make sure your animation is on brand

When it comes to producing animation for your business, you may have a few different goals in mind such as increasing sales or communicating your values. Most likely, one of these goals will be to increase brand recognition. To promote your company, you will need to use your branding in any marketing collateral you put out. Animation allows you to use your personal branding in every detail of the video. Intelligent branding techniques, such as the use of brand colours, fonts, logos and specific illustrations – can reinforce your message and promote your company’s identity with ease.

A good example of an animation with consistent branding is our our values video:

The animation uses brand colours and fonts, alongside branded illustrations that can be found throughout our website and marketing material. If you visit the office you will even find these custom-designed avatars painted on our walls. This style, combined with pictures and testimonials from individual staff members, makes it transparent that this video represents Digital Glue, with our without the use of the logo throughout.

Tip 8 – Add clever soundbites

The aim of a successful animation is to draw the viewer in and take them away from their day to day life. We aim to capture their attention almost completely. Although animation builds heavily on the visual elements, audio plays an important role. The two senses must be in tune with each other to complete a fulfilling experience. Most animations use a matching soundtrack to set the scene or use a voice over to convey a message. However, in some cases, it can be more effective to use sound effects to strike the right chord.

A brilliant example of this is Nespresso, in their ‘on Ice’ animation:

The animation uses music and sound exclusively, but gets their message across brilliantly still. The sound is used in a way that almost actives other senses too, doesn’t the pouring of the drink make you thirsty? Doesn’t the clinking of the ice cubes make you crave a cold, refreshing drink?

Tip 9 – Keep it simple

We have discussed the need to tell a story, stay in rhythm, get the right look and choose the right soundtrack, yet you may still struggle to engage your audience if you fall into a common trap. Animation for business, as the name suggests, means dealing with products and services that can range from the straightforward to more niche and technical products and services. Those in the latter category will have to add one key focus to the list: keep it simple. Keep your video to 1 – 2 minutes long at most. Do not alienate an audience with complicated details, the simple animations are often the best. You will need to define your product or service into core detail and showcase this in an easy to understand fashion.

Follow all of the above steps, and you will find that your animation will be a rewarding and successful marketing tool for your business.

Would you like to start using animation for your business? Get in team with our design team today on 0121 399 0065, or you can find out more about our animation service here.  

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