Video’s Deadliest Weapon

Branded video content has taken the world by storm yet animation remains hugely underused. In a recent study of the highest performing videos on YouTube, animated content made up 25% of its top 20 viewed films despite only accounting for 5% of the total number of films on the site. So what makes animation so powerful and why should every marketeer consider incorporating it into their marketing strategy?

The most obvious benefit of animation is storytelling. Complex concepts can be distilled into an easy-to-digest, linear narrative that hits its message home with simplicity and precision. Character animation in particular is also highly memorable, relatable and can trigger an emotional response in the viewer.

But the same can be said of live action video content so let’s look at the benefits of animation that leave live action well and truly in the dust.


Much in the same way that a smiley face represents every single person in the world, a simple and neutral animated character appeals to a broader audience and this allows for increased empathy in that character which otherwise would be diverted by a real person’s physical traits and characteristics.

By the same token, animation transcends cultural boundaries, making it the ideal medium for use across multiple markets and territories.


Unlike live action, animated content allows brands to remove all surplus visual information so that the focus will remain on the core message.


Animation enables sensitive or uncomfortable material (such as animal poaching) to be delivered in a softer, less graphic way.

Funny AND Clever

Animation is one of the easiest ways for brands to inject a dose of humour into their messaging but it’s also the perfect medium for instructional films and How Tos.


Finally, no other format is as customisable as animation. Every detail can be manipulated and with the addition of voice over and sound effects, extra layers and nuances can be added to create a fully immersive visual experience.


Whilst most of Google’s YouTube content is live action, this animated short explaining how Google Translate works is a perfect example of how a simple animation can really grab and hold your attention.