Back in the days when explainer videos had just begun to make a shift out of America, did you ever wonder what might be that ‘special potion’ or ‘the winning formula’ behind these videos? Well, we did! In fact, after a lot of deconstruction and reconstruction of the concept, we noticed a prevalent pattern that was being followed in these videos.
A lot of these explainer videos were led by a character and, usually started in the same vein, “Meet Billy/Sue/Eddie/ Tyler…. A problem would be presented typically like, “Maggie finds excel spreadsheets boring and time-consuming”, followed by an alluring, flashy statement – “Our product will make you save money/save you time/make you sexier than ever….” etc. So that’s how character animation videos make their way into people’s lives.
Keeping the ‘Americanisms’ aside, what is most interesting here is the relationship the viewer has with the character. But this gives rise to questions like – how do not character and character animation videos compare? How do different types of characters relate to audiences? What ‘feel’ does a character bring to an animation? How is the character responsible for changing the perception of a brand?
It seems like when your character in animation and tune it to the customer’s ‘perceived problem’ (which your product/service is about to solve), a very interesting thing happens. The message that goes out to the client is “Hey prospective client, this is meant to be you”, and this can be dangerous.
One of the best things about character animation videos is that they can be kind of detached, yet an emotive explanation of the product/service. This really works well and is one of the main reasons animation always outweighs corporate videos. With character animation you’re not judging the interviewee on his/her dress sense, the way they walk or talk, or the scene that’s playing in the background, you’re only concentrating on the message that’s being put across instead.
When you bring forth a character that represents the viewer, the audience often personifies them in that character. It’s all about building empathy because after watching the video you’ll surely go for it.
If the viewer can ‘see themselves’ as the character, then the job is done, you can move on to explaining the product/service. Because if the viewer doesn’t like what they see in the character, you’ll know you’re swimming against the current.
Lastly, we think characters animation videos work really well when done in a quintessential tongue in cheek way.