The Complete Guide to Using Animation in Marketing

Learn Why Animation Is a Marketer’s Best Friend And How You Can Use It to Promote Your Own Products & Services

Ever wondered why marketers seem to love animated videos? The answer, in a word, is results.

Time and time again, animated marketing’s been proven to work amazingly well. Read on to learn why that is and how you can use animation in your own marketing to expand brand awareness, improve your brand’s image, and most importantly, increase conversions.

Why Do Marketers Rely So Heavily on Animation Marketing?

The main reason for animation marketing’s popularity is because animated videos do so many darn things really well. In this section, we’ll examine what those are, so as to better understand the appeal that animation holds for savvy marketers.

Explanations Are Easy
with Animation

Animation marketing is great for explaining concepts and ideas—hence the term, “animated explainer video.” There are plenty of reasons animation is perfectly suited to this role.

For one thing, it’s dull to watch some guy in a suit ramble on. With all the videos, websites, and social media channels available at the click of a button, people quickly lose interest in “talking head” videos, moving on to stuff that’s more captivating.

Of course, the alternative to watching someone talk is to show something live action. However, that isn’t always realistic. For instance, if you wanted to show a video illustrating the brain “communicating” with various cells of the body, it would be difficult—if not impossible—to capture that on video.

Animated marketing doesn’t have that limitation, which is why you can use an animated video to explain a really complex subject in an interesting way.

Animated Videos Are Super-Engaging

If there’s one word people in the marketing field love, it’s “engaging” … in marketing lingo, engaging refers to content that’s particularly compelling to prospects. Typically, that means the content gets plenty of likes and shares.

Engaging content is especially important when you consider how adept prospects have become at drowning out the nearly 5,000 marketing messages they’re bombarded with daily … link building service

Fortunately, animated videos command prospects’ attention, giving marketers the perfect opportunity to sneak past their defenses. After all, cartoons are fun to watch and perfect for storytelling.

As a result, people tend to find animated videos very compelling, even getting emotionally involved in the story that’s unfolding.

Animated Marketing Shows a Brand’s Humorous Side

Smart marketers know that not only is humor memorable, but it also triggers rapport with viewers. Again, here’s where animated videos fit the bill perfectly. They’re great for showing a brand’s personality.

For instance, you can create an animated video and put the hero of your story into all kinds of ridiculous—and treacherous—scenarios.

Once your audience is emotionally invested, let your character be “rescued” by your brand’s superhero-like abilities. Tell the story in a clever, funny way, and you’ve got a hit on your hands.

Of course, as a result, that means you’re much more likely to get those oh-so-important likes and shares we talked about earlier.

Creativity Can Run Rampant with Animated Videos

Pigs can’t fly in real life, but they sure can when they’re animated. They can also jump, sing, burp, and lay eggs— can any other character or object featured in an animated video.

In real life, there are all kinds of limitations to what people can do. But, remove those constraints, and you can create really interesting animated videos where all kinds of unusual, creative things happen.

Animated Marketing Is Cheap

While cheap is a relative term, it’s far less expensive to create an animated video than it is to create a professional live action one. After all, the live action video requires actors, a set location, a film crew, equipment, and post-production editing.

By contrast, you can create a high-converting animated video with Toonly software for as little as $20/month, if you opt for our standard annual membership. What a deal!

Animated Videos Trigger Nostalgia

Nostalgia marketing is a way to get people’s attention by appealing to their warm recollections of the past.

This type of marketing’s become especially popular in recent years, because nostalgia’s been shown to be powerfully engaging—as well as a great tactic for getting consumers to spend money. Which is probably why all the big brands are using nostalgia marketing, including Apple, Spotify, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and Adobe.

Having said that, there’s probably few things more nostalgia-triggering than animation. Virtually everyone has fond memories of sitting around the TV as kids, watching cartoons in their pajamas. That’s a key reason that animated videos are so successful at inspiring warm fuzzies in prospects.

These Types of Videos Don’t Feel Like Advertising

Most people wouldn’t deliberately choose to sit around watching ads. And yet they do, time and time again, when those “ads” are animated videos.

That’s because a well-done animated video doesn’t feel like an advertisement. Instead, it just seems like an interesting and compelling story about someone we can relate to in some way.

Animated Marketing Is Crazy-Effective

Virtually all of the big brands are creating animated videos for marketing purposes. We’re talking brands like Amazon, YouTube, Whole Foods, TripAdvisor, PayPal, Walmart, IKEA, and Google.

Mind you, each of these companies has the money, resources, and expertise to use the best, most effective marketing tactics in the world … and they’ve ALL chosen to use animated videos.

Why? Because they work unbelievably well. After all, it’s safe to say that YouTube, the largest video hosting site in the world, knows a little something about how to get views, likes, and shares.

Google too–it tracks hundreds of different metrics on what works and what doesn’t. The company’s used those metrics to determine that animated videos are a super-powerful way for Google to expand its reach, increase engagement, and improve conversions.

The message is clear: animated videos are incredibly effective, and brands that can afford to create them, DO SO.

Speaking of affordable, that brings us to something you might be wondering by now …

How Expensive ARE Animated Videos Anyway?

Compared to a live action video, animated videos are infinitely more affordable. However, as we explained before, affordable is a relative term. For instance, if you hire a professional to create an animated video for you, you can expect to pay $5,000 – $35,000 … per minute.

Fortunately, Toonly is a great alternative. Not only is the software incredibly simple and intuitive, but the price is just right—you can pay as little as $20/month for it, creating unlimited videos to market your business.

And if you’ve ever seen some of the videos created by our Toonliers, you know that those videos are every bit as professional-looking as ones created by the “experts.”


Now that we’ve covered the “why” of animated videos, we’re ready to move on to the “how.” So, let’s look at some of the different things you can achieve with animated videos. Along the way, we’ll also provide some relevant examples to get your creative juices flowing.

Educate Your Prospects

As we mentioned previously, animated videos are perfect for explanations. After all, it’s much easier to get someone to sit through a cartoon, than it is to get someone to watch a “talking head” video.

Case in point … Old Republic Title Insurance created this video below, explaining the importance of title insurance:

Unfortunately, the video yielded just 434 views. Later, the company created an animated video, containing very similar content, and views exploded, going up to 75,663—a 200 fold increase!

Which goes to show that if you can take content typically considered boring, like insurance, and make it interesting by way of an animated video, people will pay attention.

Increase Brand Awareness

While today Dropbox is a household name, that wasn’t always the case. When the company first started in 2008, it was facing an uphill battle—nobody had heard of it before and even worse, most people had no idea what cloud storage was.

Dropbox resolved that problem with a clever animated video that it placed on the home page of its site, explaining the benefits of cloud storage with relevant, relatable examples:

Dropbox kept the video front and center on its home page, and ultimately, it was played 25+ million times overall. As a result, Dropbox grew at an incredible pace, eventually signing up 100 million users and yielding an ROI of $48 million in extra revenue.

Although Dropbox is probably the best-known example of a company increasing brand awareness with animated marketing, any business can do something similar with the right animation.

Tell a Story

Everybody loves a good story, and one of the best ways to tell one is with an animated video. Not only are they fun to watch, but they’re highly relatable.

For instance, you can create a video where the main character is just like one of your customer personas. Take the following video, for example, about a baker named Mark:

Mark is overwhelmed with orders for his baked goods. Orders are being emailed, tweeted, texted, and called in around the clock. As a result, Mark’s overworked and stressed out.

Although the video doesn’t even mention the brand it’s promoting until 40 seconds in, Mark makes for a compelling figure—keeping prospects watching to find out what happens to him. That’s the power of good storytelling!

Increase Trust & Likeability

All things being equal, you’re always going to go with a brand you like and trust over one you’ve never dealt with before. Fortunately, animated videos are great for amping up the trust/likeability factor.

For instance, check out this “Zombie Apocalypse Survival” video used to launch Black Gold’s emergency response app.

In creating this video, Black Gold had their work cut out for them, because much like insurance, emergency preparation is a dull topic.

Preparing for a zombie apocalypse, on the other hand, is a funny way to make emergency preparation more interesting. And as you can imagine, humor is great for increasing brand lvikeability and trust.

Reach a Younger Audience

Traditional marketing is no longer the best way to reach young people. As Reid Genauer, CMO of Magisto, put it, “…the younger generation [is] leveraging different marketing tools and strategies than their older counterparts.

By different marketing tools, Genauer’s referring to video. By and large, millennials and young adults are avid video consumers, with 80% of them reporting they consider video when making a purchasing decision.

Of course, it can’t just be any old video. That’s where animation marketing comes in. As Forbes reports, animated videos are the best way to connect with the younger generation. That’s because millennials, who grew up with popular animated movies, love animation.

For a good example of how a brand might use animation to connect with a more youthful audience, take a look at this Venmo video:

In the video, the references to roommates, restaurants, and rock concerts, make it clear that Venmo’s trying to appeal to young people, who are more likely to have roommates, dine out, and attend music events.

Note also the slick use of the line, “I’ll Venmo you the money right now.” Not only did Venmo create a video millennials could relate to, but it also managed to turn “Venmo” into a verb, making it part of the everyday lexicon!

Wow ‘Em with Professionalism

A really impressive animated video can set your business apart from your competitors. Take, for example, this video by Good Books, which is described as “the graphic equivalent of a drug-fueled rant:

Not only does the video contain really intriguing animation, but the script itself is ridiculously clever and worded in a way so that you can’t miss Good Books’ value proposition—the company’s commitment to philanthropy.

As the video creators describe it,

The story is essentially Hunter [author Hunter S. Thompson ranting about his need to buy the book Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and why he has come to the conclusion that he should buy it from Good Books.

He doesn’t actually want to read it; he despises Kafka. It just so happens that the book is the exact height that one leg of his desk is off the ground and he wants to use it to stop the damn thing from rocking when he types.

He doesn’t want to buy it from the Great River of mediocrity (Amazon) and have the greedy capitalist bastards get their hands on his hard-earned cash. Rather, he wants the money to go to the insane Pollyannas who give their profits away to people who wash their children’s heads in raw sewage.

After some mind-melting contemplation he goes to the website, types in the address and as he presses enter, his desk shifts again and his tea spills onto his pants. He looks down to see a beetle sipping his bong water tea, the beetle then convulses and dies.”

What a concept! The video’s funny, interesting, and a perfect example of how a great animated video can transform the perception people hold of a brand.

Go Viral

Sure, this may seem like a lofty objective, seeing as how businesses don’t have much say in whether their videos go viral or not. However, you can definitely better your odds with a clever script.

Take, for example, this video created by Metro Trains Melbourne, which has racked up 178 million views on YouTube:

The reason for the video’s popularity can be attributed to the cute characters, catchy jingle, and the message itself—people feel compelled to spread it, in part, so they can warn others to be careful around trains.

While it can be difficult to predict which videos will go viral and which won’t, we can say with all certainty that without a video, you won’t go viral at all!

In Conclusion

Animated videos are one of the most effective methods marketers have at their disposal to attract new customers, build brand awareness, and increase sales. And with Toonly software, these types of videos are easier to create than ever before.

If you’re looking to take your marketing to the next level, we recommend using Toonly to make animated videos for Facebook ads, email marketing, B2B marketing, your website, and all of your social media channels. Create just one animated video, and with the results you’ll get, your Toonly subscription will have paid for itself!

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