The year was 1917. Released in a South American theatre at an impressive 14 frames per second was notably the first animation feature ever, called as “EI Apostle”. Later, after a number of pioneering animated characters (Gertie the dinosaur and the old Mickey mouse tales to be counted as some), we now have an industry worth of 68.4 billion impressive dollars – the animation world. While most people still associate animation with film, there’s a major part of it played as an important communication tool, and that is advertising.
Advertisements using animated characters are not new, just not explored enough. Searching a little bit down the memory lane, we might remember the monkey jumping out of Kelloggs chocos or the Sunfeast Biscuits animated sun rising for us every morning in its TV segment, including Cheetos Cheetah or the Pillsbury Doughman. These are eventually the ones we remarkably remember are the few who welcomed and surfaced the huge environment to be explored in the coming future of animation in advertising.
With Motion play being the father figure of Animation, it is said to be originated millennia ago. Coming off a long, long way through lantern playing and hand motions we witnessed computer animation entering the game in the 20th century. From 1 dimensioned, to two and now to a wholesome three dimensioned adjacents, these are all well formulated and well-rendered figures or events made to come to life. It is interesting to know how advertising merged its path and whether it can uphold various new examples.
The answer is actually hidden in what both the A’s have done by now. If we notice the way advertising has formulated its way onto utilising Animation, we can see how the genre is almost not being explored to its highest potential. With the power to capture human interest, Storytelling and forming characterization, experimentation in animation through advertisement can and should be provided credit to. Humans would like to see anything extraordinary from their daily, mundane life even if it comes with a stark tinge of relativity.
Some OG references that should be taken into consideration are the ICICI Bank’s character, “Chitnamani”. A middle-aged man worried about bank interests and policies almost sounds too relatable to the Indian audience. Thus, the popularity it rendered. Another concept which almost became the talk of the hour was the KitKat Dancing babies advertisement. Toddlers animated in a way where they are dancing on the sight of a KitKat, was taken to be a fresh and new way of showing what the brand actually wishes to portray. Babies dancing to chocolates, to quote the excitement KitKat wanted to garner onto people. And they successfully did.
Seeing the mentioned examples, it is safe to say that the parabola of this genre is still waiting for a higher rise. While advertising gives us the market for pleasing the audience and having a conversation of bringing the unknown among the known, animation can further generate a wider interest in this particular genre. Even, subjectively, this will be a valued variable to invest and experiment on.
Apart from that, the cost generation aspect when worked on Animation is almost half of what the whole production costs generally requires. According to UK’s Three Motion Media, this industry saw a 40% increase in its business. With its ability to generate high-quality content and to communicate something equally important surpassing reality is what is making it the smarter move. Additionally, being the most relevant part of the Digital Marketing Campaigns, (studies showing animated content to be shared relatably more than shot content), animation in advertisements is slowly becoming one of the most, if not the most aspect when it comes to digital media.
As a budding informant and makers of advertisements, specializing in Animation driven stories, GraphixStory Pvt Ltd also wishes to pursue the same path. With the high favouring knowledge and leverage it takes by individuals to work on animated driven ad segments. It looks into the genre as a promising future and it being the sole reason for the organisation to embark upon.
Later, the year 2020 happened and us as makers might have got a chance to make this viable. With the consequences lockdown brought us with, the physical aspect of production was completely negligible. With that providing us the grass-root magnification for trying on animation, some brand did took onboard. The advertisement by AARDMAN CREATIONS and Born free Foundation called “Life in Lockdown” uses animated animals showing their struggles in and out of lockdown, promoting how animals are living currently. Using animals as real-life characters to interview about their struggles makes the ad a stark catch about the current environment animals are living in. We also saw an animated Dhoni promoting the #NewWayForard by Gulf Oil Lubricants through his famous Whistle Podu. We saw Castrol India saluting the relentless soul of our Indian truck drivers and we saw it all through animation. This further proves it’s not too shabby after all to use the stigma of animation for advertisement.
Lockdown or not, this particular genre is a perfect blend of art and storytelling directed towards generating advertisements. We may have seen some great results but onboarding it onto the future might show even greater results. Forcing people to think out of the box comes with a variety of other benefits and animation in advertisement might be the dream come true segment for this.
Authored by Surajit Majhi, Founder & CEO at Graphixstory.