Blog - May 17th, 2021

Animation in marketing: a beginner’s guide.

Animation | Marketing | Video production | Reading list

Animation marketing videos are an excellent way to grab people’s attention and to add some personality to your brand. Using animation in marketing can strengthen your brand, improve audience engagement and better demonstrate your product or service.

That being said, it can be quite tricky to choose the right type of animation to suit your goals. There are so many things to take into consideration, such as budget, key audience, time limitation and so on.

There are several digital animation techniques out there, each one suited to specific applications. Let’s clear up some of those uncertainties for you, and help you choose the most efficient type of animation for your project.

Motion graphics

motion graphic of people with data screen

What are motion graphics?

Motion graphics animation consists of turning static graphic design into animation. This type of animation focuses on making dynamic and interesting presentations using basic illustrations, shapes and text. They can be used anywhere, from explainer videos and news, to commercials and TV productions.

How motion graphics work

The process of creating motion graphics usually involves animating 2D illustrations, text and transitions using basic keyframing. To move an object from one point to another, all you need to do is to set its initial position and its final one. The computer does the job of filling the gap between the two. You can get very smooth animation, with minimal effort.

Pros of motion graphics

It is the fastest and often cheapest way to create an animation. You can illustrate complex ideas with animated graphics. And the visual style is appealing to a vast range of viewers. 

Cons of motion graphics

It is a lot harder to get complex motion (such as a character running in 3D space, or intricate facial movements), which means it’s harder to follow the narrative of a story. It is harder to deliver emotion and character. Other animation mediums are better for that. 

So when are motion graphics most useful?

  • When the deadline and/or budget is tight.

  • When there is minimal narrative or storytelling.

  • When you need to explain complex services or products.

Motion graphics are also great for...

  • Short GIFs for social media to boost engagement. It’s no secret that video and animation get a lot more love from people on social media than static images do. 

  • Loopy on Behance 

  • Animated elements for your website such as logos, accents and simple characters. This can make your website more interactive and fun to browse through. 

3D animation

3D animation of girl with laptop and cat

What is 3D animation?

3D animation, also known as CGI (computer generated imagery), is the most popular animation type for character-driven animation. It is used in both feature film and games. But it is also used commercially, often to visualise products that have not been manufactured or photographed yet.

How it works

The process of creating 3D animation is often technically intensive, as it requires a lot of steps to get a final result. A character is first modeled, then textured, then rigged (this creates controls which move the character), then animated and put into a scene which has been decorated and lit. After all that is done, the whole thing is rendered out - which can take days, if not weeks. And finally, you have an animation.

Pros of 3D animation

With 3D animation, you are playing the long game. Once the assets have been created (things like the characters, environments, objects), you have them for life. You can re-use them, show them from different angles, and create future animations a lot faster. These assets become very versatile. You can also create very complex scenarios, tell stories, and even create visual effects like flowing water or falling snow.

Cons of 3D animation

It can be quite time-consuming - not only the creation process, but also the rendering process. And that means it can be a lot more expensive if the animation is done from scratch. 

So when is 3D animation most useful?

  • When you need more complex animation.

  • When you know you will be using the assets for a long time.

  • When you need to see more angles of the subject matter.

  • When dealing with narration or a story.

3D animation is also great for...

  • 3D visualisation of your product. You can show what it’s made of and how its inner workings run in a very accurate way. It’s also a lot more versatile than product photography. 

  • Airpods Max ad from Apple 

2D animation

2D animation of brother pain

What is 2D animation?

2D animation, also known as traditional hand-drawn animation, is the oldest type out of the three. While it is very time consuming, it has a specific charm to it. It stands out from all the other styles of animation that are out there.

How it works 

The process of 2D animation is the most straightforward out of them all. The animator draws every frame by hand, mostly digitally these days. It is usually animated at 12 frames per second rather than 24. That means that it takes 12 separate drawings to make up one second of moving imagery. Most movies run at 24 frames per second but when it comes to 2D animation, artists often choose to skip every second frame, thus cutting the production time in half. The animator only has to make 12 drawings per second as opposed to 24. This way, creating the animation becomes more achievable in terms of time and budget. Often times, the final result has a ‘choppy feel’ that is very characteristic of 2D animation due to the low frame rate. 

Of course you can always choose to go for a smoother look with 24 frames per second, as long as you have the time and budget for it.

Pros of 2D animation

2D animation has a definite ‘wow factor’. It stands out, as it’s rarely used these days. You can animate anything in 2D, as long as it is not very technical. And it is great for storytelling and conveying emotion. It is a lot more artistic than technical, so it’s better if you’re looking for a more relaxed feeling.

Cons of 2D animation

It is time-consuming and therefore more expensive. The end result also heavily depends on the art style of the animator.

So when is 2D animation most useful?

  • When you are looking for something unique.

  • When you have a narrative, a story to tell.

  • When emotion and character have priority.

2D animation is also great for...

Do you need some animation to bring your project to life? Find out how our animators can help or drop us a line.

Who wrote this?



She / her. Iulia is Rusty Monkey’s animation, illustration and 3D expert. Responsible for making everything beautiful, she also dabbles in graphic design and UX design. Among her credits is an animated music video for local parody heavy metal band Evil Scarecrow. A talented artist, she showcases her work on her Instagram channel. She usually spends most of her time in some random corner of the house with a drawing tablet and a pen, scribbling away. Cat obsessed. Professional house plant killer. Autumn lover. Maker of things.

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