What do you think is a more persuasive marketing tactic today?

(a) Reading a brochure or sell sheet about a new product or service
(b) Watching a short 90-second animated video

Brochures are effective within the right situation but if you chose (b), you probably already know that animated videos are a predominant marketing strategy at conferences, for meetings, as part of presentations, on websites, and in social feeds to boost engagement and interest. Animated videos have the power to boil down the most complex content into a storyline that takes written content and brings it to life.

You can use animation to tell a compelling story, break down and simplify a complex topic or process, blow people’s minds, and even take them into a whole new world with 360° virtual reality animation.

If you are considering digital animation for your next event, here’s some tips for effective animation development from the experts at Adventure House:

  1. As one of the first steps is messaging, we always ask our clients to provide us with a list of the benefits that the product or service provides in priority order. Priority order is key as it helps us understand how to position its strategic value and determine what to highlight primarily and what messaging supports it.
  2. The creative strategy can be taken a number of directions, it’s critical to gather information up-front. Starting with understanding if brand guidelines exist, how far we can push them, as well as if photography or video assets in the animation have specific licensing needs so there’s no surprises later on. We always ask our clients to provide this information as well as some aspirational examples to understand the general creative need up-front. This is essential to aligning with baseline expectations and not flailing in the design concepts phase.
  3. In creating the animated video, there are a number of strategies that can be employed but considering telling a story. Stories make it real for the viewer and puts it into a context that is understandable and relatable. To create an effective story, you need to fully understand the profile of the target audience and how the product or service addresses their needs, solves a problem, or makes life better. With this information, the scriptwriter can create a compelling story based on needs of the customer profile.
  4. Keep it short and sweet. Five years ago, 5 minutes was a standard timeframe for animated videos but as our culture gets more and more inundated with information and noise, attention spans reduce as well. If you want to get your message across effectively, look more in the timeframe of 60-90 seconds. That means the script needs to be more like 45-75 seconds max to allow for pauses and creative transitions during the storyboard phase. Boiling down the key messages (step 1) into impactful visuals (step 2) is the key to achieving this goal.
  5. Consider the venue and the shelf life. Is the animated video going to be displayed on a large screen, small screen, widescreen, multiple screens? Will it have audio or subtitles? Will it be a beautiful backdrop for the presenter? Communicating this information up-front will ensure the animation has the most impact. In addition, it’s critical to understand the shelf life needed for the video as well. It may be needed for a special event immediately but will it also be used to support ongoing marketing efforts for 6 or 12 months after the event and in what channels? If this is the case, determining the formats and resolutions needed up-front will help provide an effective, seamless workflow later on.

Taking the time to go through a structured process up-front will only yield the most successful result at the next big event later.


Alexander Acker is president of Adventure House, located in Chelsea, NY. Their focus is digital animation, web development, email marketing, and virtual reality.