The Production of Video Advertisements: Animation vs Live Action

In a world where more than 70% of all traffic online is video traffic, businesses need to consider video marketing one of their top priorities in spreading the word about their brand. This is especially crucial since these statistics are expected to exceed 80% by 2019, and you don’t want to miss out on the huge potential a video ad can provide.

In our last blog on this subject, titled The Potential of Video Advertising, we discussed some of the benefits of using videos in marketing and for promotional purposes. Now that you know video ads are crucial to a marketing plan, you are then left with the choice of using live action video or animated video.

When you’re making an ad, you want it to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible while maintaining a high-quality calibre, and this can require a lot of effort and attention to detail and intricacies. And it doesn’t end with just one good video ad, either, as consumers will likely expect to see more equally well-made ads from the same company again and again. Regularly produced high-quality content is necessary in boosting engagement and generating high-quality leads. Let’s look into what goes into the production of live action and animated video footage.

Animated Video Advertisement Production

Animated video is typically cheaper to produce than live action video, even though a lot of skill is needed to produce an excellent animated ad. This is because there are less team members and staff involved with animated video production, and you don’t need to worry about renting a set - you can focus directly on the video itself.

Animated video ads can take a bit longer to produce than the average live action ad, but it is also much easier to make changes to them after, as no technical reshoots are necessary. Working with animation also means that it’s easier to put out consistently high-quality content at regular intervals in an affordable manner.

There is also a lot of room for creativity with animation. You can make virtually any idea come to life with the mood, tone, and concepts that you desire. You don’t need to frame your ideas within the limits of reality; instead, you can opt to create the most unique, fascinating video set anywhere you want. You can make something sweet, cute, touching, sad, or exaggerated to get your point across in a powerfully visual manner - and vision is a human’s most powerful sense. The only limits in animation are your own imagination and, of course, the chosen medium of animation used, whether it’s 2D or 3D.

One of the biggest practical benefits to animation is that while live action ads have a tendency to become outdated, animation is timeless. Compare, for example, the first Toy Story movie and James Bond’s Goldeneye, which both came out in 1995 - the latter clearly shows its age, while the former can still be easily watched today without noticing too much discrepancy.

Live Action Video Advertisement Production

Making a live action video is far from an inexpensive process that involves a lot of steps. This includes finding a suitable filming location, obtaining good quality filming equipment (including microphones, cameras, lights, and screens), and hiring qualified members of staff like directors, videographers, actors and even set and costume designers in some cases.

With that being said, the production process of live video advertisements is generally known to be faster, usually taking only a few days to film and edit the ad. However, this isn’t always the case, as more complex and ambitious shoots may even take months to create to perfection. It’s also worth keeping in mind that in the event of errors or changes needing to be made to a live ad, reshoots may be a necessity.

The kind of content you can produce with live action ads are fantastic for showing practical actions and for advertising tangible products, such as food, items of clothing, or even to demonstrate how an item or device works in real life. The extent to which you can make content for live ads is, however, more limited - you can only film what you can point a camera at, and it has to be somewhat grounded in reality, unless you have the budget for CG.

Live action video ads also have a tendency to become outdated as the years wear on. While it is far from impossible to create a more timeless live action video ad, it will take a little more work and effort. For example, a celebrity endorsement or pop culture reference made today may no longer hold any interest a few years down the line. Of course, this is only a minor problem if you plan to continue releasing new and up-to-date advertisements as time goes on.

In a nutshell…

In terms of production, both live action and animated video advertisements have different sets of positive sides and negative sides. Live action allows for more practical visuals and is often faster to produce but typically costs more, requires more staff and steps, is limited in a few ways and runs the risk of becoming outdated. On the other hand, animated video is more inexpensive, is arguably easier to work with and has timeless and limitless properties, though the overall production process may be longer. Depending on your business and vision, either one may be the better option for you. Our next blog will delve even further into the pros and cons of these two mediums from a psychological standpoint.