With branded animation, businesses can communicate with their audience in a more engaging way than what they could do through traditional static campaigns. This article will look at the history of brand animation, how it has evolved and why it is useful today. Brand animation is an area of brand identity design and content creation that uses moving image and motion design to tell a story. This story can be about a brand, product or service and can take several forms, from simple executions to more complex films. Brand animation can also be used in advertising campaigns to build awareness of a brand while creating engagement with an audience.
Simple brand animations may use subtle motion design techniques to give a sense of movement. These can be incredibly effective when bringing a brand to life, particularly online. Complex branded animation like product explainers or architectural projections can be much more immersive and may also include sound design and lighting. These are particularly effective in fixed environments such as exhibitions, brand homes, showrooms and other experiential spaces.
Brand animation as we know it today has its roots in early 20th century American film, where some brands such as Coca-Cola implemented elements that could later be identified as brand animation techniques. These brand animations were designed to engage and entertain, which is still an essential principle of how brand animation is used today. As brands become more complex throughout the 20th century, brand identity design was also becoming increasingly important in communicating product value through both visuals and copywriting.
Brand animation found a home on television screens during this period too through title sequences, brand idents and closing credits. The goal of these brand presentations was often to distinguish programmes from their rivals when there was little opportunity for direct consumer interaction. Creatives like Saul Bass used animation to create brand identities for companies including Audi, United Airlines and AT&T.
Saul Bass’s branding work with movie studios is particularly interesting in the context of brand animation today because it demonstrates how brand identity design can be used to engage an audience through moving image. Rather than just creating a title sequence that was related to the film being shown, Bass used brand animation to create an immersive, cinematic experience.
Many of the principles that characterised brand identity design in this period are still relevant today and have only been enhanced by new technologies. Brand animations can be created seamlessly across multiple platforms with modern software tools like After Effects, allowing brands to communicate their message with fluidity regardless of where their audience is located.
Brand animation, much like illustration, can essentially visualise thoughts and ideas that would otherwise be impossible through traditional film and photography. Animation, in its simplest form, uses many pre-planned sketches to bring these ideas into reality. In the world of brand, animation can be an incredibly powerful tool, particularly when combined with brand storytelling.
Together, these elements can build up a picture of a brand that is remembered and loved by its audiences.
As technology continues to evolve, so does branded animation. There are many common types of animation, including brand animation, product animation and service animation.
Brand animation is the umbrella term for brand-related animation and is often used to bring a brand’s personality or values to life. Brand identity design can consist of anything from subtle movement in logo animations, product videos and brand idents through to complex architectural projections. The goal remains the same: create an immersive experience that engages audiences.
Product animation is a type of brand animation that works to sell the brand’s product or service. Product animation is often used in online e-commerce stores, catalogue presentations and brand explainers that are shared on social media platforms such as YouTube.
Just like brand identity design can consist of anything from subtle logo animations through to complex architectural projections, so too can service animations range from simple brand idents through to complex brand experiences. The goal is the same though: engage audiences and create a memorable, immersive experience that will resonate with them long after they have stopped watching or interacting with brand animation.
If your business would benefit from a fresh approach to content creation, please get in touch and we will be happy to advise on the best route forward. We recommend that a strong brand identity is defined to ensure all printed, physical and online materials are unique, consistent and effective.