Thanks to its ability to deeply engage audiences and clearly convey messaging, video can be an immensely powerful tool for brands. In fact, some 89% of marketers who utilize video say the approach produces a good return on investment and 80% say it directly increases sales.
Animated videos can be especially effective, since they generally deliver the same benefits as live-action videos but at a much lower cost.
However, while the tactic has great potential, achieving results requires skillful execution. That’s because without the right strategies and creative approaches, animated videos can come across as generic or even amateurish.
So, what does success look like? What are the keys to creating original, compelling, and sophisticated pieces? To help, here are seven great examples of animated videos from brands, along with lessons marketers can learn from each.
1. Crazy Egg: Explainer Video
The video: In many ways this piece from testing platform Crazy Egg looks like a standard animated product explainer video. However, the brand savvily differentiates it by including a host of quirky original elements, such as an oddly shaped main character with a major moustache.
What marketers can learn: When creating animated marketing videos it can be tempting to save time and money by utilizing templated characters and backgrounds. However, investing in developing original elements is often key to making pieces feel fresh.
2. AARP: How to Make Passwords Secure
The video: This whiteboard animation video from AARP’s TEK Academy provides a clear and compelling explanation of how to create a secure password. To date, it has garnered nearly half a million views on YouTube.
What marketers can learn: Why is this little piece so popular? Largely because the advice it provides is useful. That highlights something important to keep in mind during development. The more value an animated video provides to the audience, the more likely it is to succeed.
3. Orvis: 5% for Nature
The video: This video from sporting goods retailer Orvis mixes animation with real images to create a fun and lush dog-centric narrative showcasing the brand’s commitment to giving 5% of its pre-tax profits to protecting nature and advancing canine health.
What marketers can learn: Marketers often believe they must decide between developing an animated video or a live-action video. In truth, the two approaches can be combined in creative ways to deliver the best of both worlds.
4. Slack: Work, Simplified
The video: This minute-long animated video from productivity platform Slack uses varying sounds and types of music to showcase the difference between a hectic, overwhelming work experience and one that is organized and manageable.
What marketers can learn: An interesting thing to note about the video is that it is driven by sound and yet not a single word is spoken in it. That highlights two important points: 1) well-executed audio is often essential to success; and 2) good audio is about much more than simply a good script.
5. Wine Country Gift Baskets
The video: This piece from Wine Country Gift Baskets skillfully combines animation with audio from customers to tell the brand’s story. Through a series of testimonials, the firm educates the audience about its products and sparks ideas for who might appreciate these types of gifts.
What marketers can learn: This video showcases that brands of all sizes can successfully develop original animated marketing videos. The key is to make the most of a limited budget, as Wine Country Gift Baskets did in this case by telling a larger story through quick vignettes.
6. Spotify: Launch Promo
The video: This video from streaming platform Spotify uses bold music and hip animation to showcase its capabilities. The piece is effective in not only explaining the product, but also in creating a joyful mood.
What marketers can learn: The secret to this video’s success is simple: emotion. The piece works hard via its visuals and soundtrack to spark an energetic reaction from the audience, and in doing so builds a strong emotional connection to the brand.
7. Microsoft: The Future of Technology
The video: This video from Microsoft is unusual in that it combines animation with a series of recent speeches and interviews featuring the company’s Chief Technical Officer, Kevin Scott. This savvy combination makes the exploration of the topic—the future of technology—feel fresh.
What marketers can learn: Often brands turn to animated videos because they are less expensive and faster to produce than live-action videos. However, Microsoft’s piece highlights that animation also has creative advantages, and can be used to liven up traditional messaging.
In other words, in many cases animation is better not only for marketers’ budgets but also for their storytelling.