The Creative Edge

Creative Ways to Animate Your Marketing Video

When it comes to animating your message, I’m not sure if the message gives birth to the style of animation, or if the animation gives birth to the message (insert Marshall McLuhan-type philosophy here).

A lot of the time, the way that a commercial message is going to be animated has been predetermined by the client, producer, and/or director. Other times I’m more involved in the creative process, helping clients and producers figure out the best way to animate the message in a way that makes sense. The back and forth can be a bit more time-consuming, but that’s not always a bad thing. Reaction to something that already exists is easier than creating from scratch. Commercially, it’s my recommendation that this kind of back and forth be sussed out before moving forward with production because you can always build on the foundation laid before you as the process continues.

For those who’ve been called to action, it is my hope that I can help you emphasize your message through animation. Think about your message organically, or better yet, as an extension of your company. Think about how you move under different circumstances; your message can move the same way. For example, if there is urgency, you will move quickly in a calculated route.

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This is the best place to start. Think about how the message is supposed to move your target audience — that is how it should move itself. If the goal is excitement, make the movement reflect that upbeat emotion you want to your viewers to feel. Then, as it organically becomes something powerful, you can decide what design style accentuates your message (think typography, color, or any art ever).

You can also think about which inanimate things would serve your message if they were animate. Start with your script. Your animation should call out, emphasize, complement, and repeat key components of your script.

And sometimes it’s more helpful to say what NOT to do, rather than trying to figure out what works (people usually leave that bit to me). So here’s another way to think about it: never let the animation and movement detract from your message. If it distracts or doesn’t make sense, then animation could actually take away from what you want to communicate.

If you dig meta, you can plan a script to emphasize the animation that emphasizes the script that emphasizes the message. Take a typography video for example: it most likely includes a group of words that will fit on the screen together, short words (or scale of a 16:9 ratio) that will dominate the screen, or syllabic words to rhythmically hammer the message home.

The animation works in conjunction with the style and the design and the color choices and the writing and the music and the sound design and talent and well, you name it. When it comes to effective messaging, everything is stronger with thought out reinforcement. And truth be told, there isn’t really a limit as to how to best animate your message…which is why this wasn’t a list. Typography for this, and character animation for that, and photo manipulation for this, and stop motion for that. There are infinite tangents, and a good message is personalized not copied.

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About Jude Szempruch

Jude Szempruch is the Senior Motion Designer at AMP. He was acquired in 2008 for his knowledge of the equipment, and his experience in pre-production, production, and post production…but mostly for his cherubic smile. He studied film, photography, graphic design, sculpture, and other art forms, all of which have been incorporated into his work.

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