If you are working on a campaign that includes any kind of video content, ask yourself the following questions before you begin:
If your answer is yes to any of these questions then it might be best to start thinking about utilising animation. In our opinion, there are four reasons why animation is perfect to tackle the tough topics.
Animation removes the human element which in turns removes the potential hilarious, awkward, grotesque or taboo nature of the subject.
Think about how often gory and inappropriate adult animation shows can be. If they made a live-action remake of Family Guy, it would be cancelled faster than you can say “Rated 18”.
The idea of a campaign video is to get the campaign exposure. If your live action STI video is brought up over food, then the film will most likely be changed swiftly. If your live action sex education video is shown to young children, they’ll most likely be distracted by giggling a little too hard.
Animation has the ability to communicate subjects effectively that would otherwise be too tricky to communicate. It also has the ability to represent a huge diversity of job roles, nationalities, genders etc. without the need of going on a mass hiring spree.
For the past two years we’ve worked on the #JustTalk campaign for Hertfordshire County Council. Each year we’ve produced an animation film that had been designed by the winner of a competition open to young people across the county.
The reason why these animations are incredible is because they’re about mental health within young people. Now imagine a young child is browsing social media or if the film came on in the classroom. Are they more likely to stop and watch a live action video or a cartoon-esque animation? The answer is most likely the cartoon because they associate cartoons with enjoyment.
If we look at the ‘tough issues’ from a purely logistical point of view, then if your video is looking to represent a diverse range of people, then good luck trying to track down all the participants for your live film.
Animation on the other hand requires a bit of background knowledge, an artist and an animator to incorporate a new character. I make it sound like a piece of cake, but in comparison to a live film – it really is!
It’s so simple. The only bits of information we need to start the process are your goal, your audience, and your method of delivery.
From there we can start bouncing ideas around and once we've got one nailed down, get right down into pre-production!
It can be very easy to get carried away with the animation ideas. Why? Because you’re not bound down by real life restrictions. If you want aliens dancing on an Egyptian pyramid – sure why not. But you’ll need to make a miracle happen if you want to recreate that in a live film scenario.
It’s in this case that animation can get very expensive. But we’ve been creating films for a while now and here are the 3 golden rules we swear by:
1. Never waste a second of screen time
2. Make sure every scene and line progress towards the animations objectives
3. Prioritise the message over fancy aesthetics
If everyone who is part of the project keeps these rules in mind, then the end product will be focused, concise and within budget.