Cast your mind back to the turn of the 19th Century. OK, Maybe not. But try to imagine being around when cinema and more specifically, the intricate art of ‘Animation’, first began. In 1899 A British film-maker / Animator named Arthur Melbourne Cooper was commissioned to create the first animation to be used for advertising purposes in Britain.1 This consisted of a figure made from matchsticks writing an appeal for donations on a wall. Back then, the only technology around was stop-motion. This involves the painstaking process of adjusting a character’s position by a short amount, and taking a snapshot of the frame each time.
Since then, animation has drastically moved forward. Windsor McCay, Warner Bro’s, MGM, Walt Disney and Pixar, among others, have made a massive impact in revolutionising the way animation works. From animating paper cut-outs to using celluloid transparent film, even making an entire film on a computer, each significant contribution has earned these creative pioneers recognition, and has ultimately stamped their mark on animation history for years to come.
There is no question that the benefits of animation have not only been reaped for entertainment purposes, but also by advertisers and marketing companies. 1955 saw the introduction of commercial television broadcasting, and during these early years, up to a third of TV adverts were animated. Brands such as “Murray Mints” and “Kelloggs” were quick to realise the potential of animation – Kellogg’s saw a great opportunity to bring life to the hand-drawn character’s already used on their cereal boxes.
In 2007, Bupa produced a series of animated TV adverts creating typical scenarios that people may face regarding their health and wellbeing. The overall style of the animation was not too dissimilar to the “Mr Men” cartoons. This approach created a warm and gentle tone, ultimately leading to an over 25% increase in enquiries year on year.2
Reasons why animation is a powerful marketing tool
Here at diva, we constantly look for the best way to tell your story. Video is a great way to create a more engaging and thought-provoking campaign, though sometimes it may not always be the most ideal or affordable option. For example, demonstrating a complex process such as recycling steel into zinc, or referencing video games in order to get the message of “Safe Sex” across to a difficult target audience of young males.
There’s no doubt that animation is a great way to spice up, or indeed lead any campaign. If well- produced and distributed on the right channels, the return on investment could be invaluable for many years to come.
That’s why we’ll keep on using animations as the option that gives entertainment, shareability, and best of all, as Alfred Hitchcock noted, flexibility:
Disney has the best casting.
If he doesn’t like the actor, he just tears him up.