Etching the story: Animated Advertisements

7 mins read

Animation has been largely associated with video games and kids’ content. The world of advertising is mostly out-of-touch with this idea of the use of animation in ads.

However, animations need to be used as the vehicle of storytelling in ads more often and here is why: An ad may be creative and enigmatic, but the cost of producing such ads are higher than the budget might allow. Recruiting animators for this job eases the cost put in production. An unfair advantage that animation has over regular ads is the transition.  The content to be narrated need not be as structured as regular video advertisements.

The second reason is that animations make a memorable and distinctive impression in the minds of the viewer since it is starkly different from the appearance of regular advertisements. The main subject often happens to be a clumsy or a friendly figure instead of a powerful inaccessible figure like a celebrity.

Since animations are still connected with kids, ads with an animation may seem more kid-friendly to the algorithm social media algorithms. Thus, the reach of an animated advertisement might be higher because it is still under the camouflage of kid-friendly content like so:

  1. Gillette

Gillette Venus released an ad that featured a pubic hair performing a musical, akin to the characters of Disney movies. This ad was released to introduce the customers to a new line of razors, shaving cream and serum meant especially for the pubic area.

The ad features a pubic hair in the surroundings of a bathroom singing about the atrocities it has to face from society for being who it is. She sings about how unfair she feels that her existence is seen as gross or shameful while the hair on her head is advertised and glamorised. Venus, through this pubic hair character, tries to draw one’s attention to the grooming and hygiene practices of the genitals. Pubic hair sings how it should be okay to talk about pubes more often and there shouldn’t be any shame around their existence. While it is okay to keep your pubic hair in any way possible, since they aim to destigmatize the talk about pubes; Venus displays its new line of products meant specially for genitals.

  1. SodaStream

For pride month, SodaStream collaborated with Lavern Cox, a transgender actress and an LGBTQ+ activist; to tell her story. Through animation, they showed how tough it was for her to grow up being transgender.

This is where the animation helps in the transitions and the flow of the story. Lavern, as a child believes in herself and grows older to become a superhero. She uses this new founded power to fly through the sky, celebrates the Pride parade and inspires people to accept their sexuality. She also achieves huge success in her own life.

Lavern Cox and SodaStream collaboration were pretty straightforward. As she flies down from the sky down to her balcony, she transitions back to her human self and enjoys the soda made from SodaStream.

This ad by SodaStream was only meant as an extension of their support to the LGBTQ+.

  1. Kissan

Kissan’s approach to utilizing animated advertisement was inspired by the former purpose of animation. Animation has always been widely and wrongly interpreted as part of kids’ content. But, instead of completely abandoning this narrative behind; they chose to use it as a foundation for the ad.

Jams and other packaged products derived from natural ingredients often contain preservatives to elongate their shelf-life. The additives; among the masses have acquired an ‘evil’ image perhaps owing to the poor knowledge of mass-product manufacturing. Therefore, an image of a ‘healthier’ product has gotten associated with terms like ‘natural’ and ‘organic’. Kissan with this ad tries to adhere the image of “natural and organic” label to their brand without explicitly mentioning so.

The ad opens where a mother reads a children’s storybook to her daughter. The story is about a farmer who sings to the animals to urge them to join him in his daily routine. His daily routine consists of fetching different kinds of fruits. These are the fruits that are supplied as the primary source for the production of jams.

  1. Chobani

The American food company specialising in yoghurt production released an ad in March 2021 called “Dear Alice”. The special element of this ad was animation but importantly, the theme of the ad would have been harder to fulfil if it wasn’t an animated ad.

Chobani’s marketing through this ad was refreshing, cheerful and subtly attractive as they drew attention to their motto through the words of Alice’s grandmother. Alice’s routine life in the futuristic world gave way to promote Chobani’s products.

The futuristic ad produced by Chobani shows Alice residing in her grandmother’s home along with her daughter. Away from the chaotic city that remains in the distance, she farms for a living. With the use of technology and gadgets in a useful and sustainable way, Alice runs her business based on the advice issued by her grandmother through the letter.

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