Noteworthy Animated TV Adverts in 2013
|November 12, 2013||Posted by Manroop under Animation Talk, Case Studies|
In the last quarter of this year, there have been quite a few television adverts that have cropped up using various styles of animation.
Whether it is to sell goods from a catalogue, or in a highbrow departmental store; whether it is to sell you insurance or offer payday loans, the marketers behind these campaigns have all chosen to use animation this season.
If you are wondering why this is, you are not the only one, because the British media have been wondering too and even featured this in their news coverage.
Let us take a look at these adverts and see what they are about, what the media have said, how have the public reacted to the adverts and what we think about them.
The John Lewis Christmas Advert
As recent as 9th November 2013, national departmental store, John Lewis, have created a multimedia advertising campaign that is estimated to have cost £7 million in total
In a bid to attract Christmas shoppers in droves – as well as competing with the swanky advertising campaigns with rivals Marks and Spencer and Debenhams – John Lewis chose to use hand-drawn, traditional 2D animation to stand out from the rest.
According to news reports, the animation alone is expected to have cost £1 million – an investment that helps this retail biggie in “trying to do things differently and always trying to raise the bar”- says Craig Inglis, its marketing director.
While the approach has definitely been different, have any bars actually been raised?
There have been mixed reactions from the viewing public. Comments by readers of various newspaper websites vary widely:-
“Not a dry eye left in the family…” (The Independent)
“I think it is cute. Back to my childhood Christmases of Disney and kitsch.” (The Guardian)
“I was thinking of Animals in the Farthing Wood” (YouTube)
“You can pretty much set fire to the telly now, because ubiquity is guaranteed. Leave the country or suffer the oncoming bore-a-thon around the office watercooler about the inevitable claims to lachrymosity the two-minute movie will elicit.” (NME)
Wow. While Christmas does come with its festive sentimentality, whether the advert drives in more customers is something we will have to wait and see.
Russell Murch, animations connoisseur who is now in residence at Qudos Animations, speaks on the production quality of this advert and says:
“A good attempt, but I reckon it would still need a bit more work in order to meet the Disney benchmark. I would have liked it to come to the point quicker, as the length of the advert [2.10 minutes] could put off online viewers from watching the entire video.”
Takeaway: Animated adverts have the charm and charisma to impress and bring in success.
The Wonga.com Adverts
Wonga.com is a business that offers to loan short amounts of money (i.e. up to £400 for new customers and up to £1000 for existing customers) for short periods of time so that consumers do not need to feel the pinch that can come days before payday arrives.
While the cause does sound very helpful, Wonga.com has had its fair share of controversies and there have been reports in the British press on how children are nagging their parents to get loans from this company because they like the adverts.
Have a look at their most recent video to get a better idea:-
In terms of the production quality, the adverts used animated characters (made with 3D/clay models) to explain the services that Wonga.com provides. Colour, characterization (the clay models are of pensioners who come across as posh but in a cute way) and backgrounds (nice, clear, neutral shades) are put to effective use.
Moreover, the duration of all the adverts are consistently between 30-31 seconds; making it ideal for both television and online viewing.
Using animation as an advertising tool is the way to go, but in the case of Wonga.com, are they targeting the right audience?
Should children be watching these adverts and does the simplicity of their adverts come at risk of misleading the general viewing public?
Takeaway: Animated adverts can target audiences of all ages.
The ‘Running with Cats’ Advert by MoneySuperMarket.com
One of the typical ways we refer to YouTube videos are the countless number of them based on cats doing funny things.
Sure, there are videos on other animals getting up to funny antics too, but we refer to cats for some reason.
MoneySuperMarket.com, a price comparison website, picked up on this cat comparison fetish and took it to a whole new level!
The advert is nothing short of impressive and memorable. No doubt CGI technology has been infused with 3D animation to make this advertisement have its own unique vibrancy.
For its sheer peculiarity, this advert got written about in Campaign Live and The Drum, the latter observing that the advert would probably have enjoyed more success had it been released a little earlier than mobile network company, O2’s ‘Be More Dog’ campaign.
Takeaway: Animated advertisements can make commercial breaks lively, funny and enjoyable – therefore, engaging!
The Experian CreditExpert TV Advert
In late September Experian UK, a global information services company, launched an advertising campaign to promote its new CreditExpert tool for consumers.
The advertisement itself was a whiteboard animation but with a difference – it had a lot of different colours and even the background was shaded in pale blues and greys.
As marketers would know, colour psychology is a set of principles that – when applied creatively – can work wonders to a campaign.
It seems it has in the case of Experian CreditExpert, as the current viewer count on its YouTube channel stands at 189,850!
Take a look for yourself…
What a lovely example of an animated advert that ticks all the boxes (impressionable = yes, memorable = yes, engaging = yes) and explains product comprehensively.
Maybe the scathing review that it received from The Guardian newspaper back in 2011 was something the company took seriously; so seriously they changed from using real-life actors and drama to colourful, cute and kitsch animation ever since.
Takeaway: Animated advertisements can convey messages effectively when promoting products and services.
The Argos Aliens Adverts
From spring of this year, national catalogue retail chain, Argos, had launched a series of adverts that had your average family showing how to use Argos.co.uk to purchase and reserve items that could either be delivered to your home or you could pick up from your nearest store.
Oh yes, the family depicted are aliens – i.e. CGI characters – but they behave like humans.
Confused? Don’t be, here is a clip from the one Argos launched in June:-
Marketing Magazine ranked this advert at the top of its weekly chart on the best adverts and called it ‘loveable’. Similar sentiments were expressed on the YouTube page by users who reckon it was the “[the] Best. Advert. Ever.”
In a bid to boost their social media interactions, Argos asks viewers to name the baby and tweet their ideas using the “#nameourbaby” hashtag.
This elicited an interesting array of responses from which Argos picked the name ‘Blue’ for the baby alien.
Takeaway: Animated advertising can drive up social media interactions.
You don’t have to be a big brand to use animation in your marketing campaigns. Animation can be used for businesses of any size and industry as well as any time of the year too.
So, if you are looking to add that special sparkle to your Christmas/Boxing Day/Hannukah/New Year’s marketing campaigns, you could consider incorporating animation to evoke the festive spirit in your target audience and think of doing business with you.