Should I use animation or live action in my business video?

Animation has come to the forefront in business video lately, as an effective and upbeat way of getting your message across.

A whole range of new tools has made it a much more accessible and affordable option than in the days when it was done by hand.

So, in a business video when should you use animation and when should you use live action video?

1. Animation is great when you have an abstract concept to put across.

You can use simple illustrations to put your thoughts into words and bring to life a new service or product to your customers. BUT don’t be under any illusions that animation is cheaper than live video. Everything has to be created from scratch and doing a decent job may even cost more than live video.

2. Live action is great when you have a real story to tell about real people

BUT when the story you need to tell involves consent issues or it’s not appropriate to show the real people (vulnerable children for instance), animation may provide a better way to put the story across.

3. Animation can really bring a fresh and fun tone to your message

and with well designed graphics, you can put across an offbeat and friendly message BUT live action can also do this. With imagination, you can create interesting, fresh and engaging video ideas with the people in your business and you’ll set up a positive expectation for real-life encounters between your people and their potential clients.

4. Simple animation of typography, icons and simple illustrations can be a quick and cost-effective way to visualise a simple, one-off message,

using visual puns, bold colours and dynamic moves BUT you can also do this with a cleverly scripted piece to camera or interesting interview. Consider what resources you have at your disposal, how you want to come across and choose accordingly.

5. Animation can be a good option when you already have 3-D models and imagery of an item,

such as a product prototype or building design. As long as the files are compatible these can be imported into the video software and used to create enthralling visualisations of your work. You could even bring live humans into the environment by filming in a green-screen studio and superimposing them alongside the products, getting the best of both worlds.

There’s no hard and fast rule and when you think about it, animation is just another tool in the video production toolbox which you can use if it’s the most appropriate way to put your message across. As usual, you should start every video project by defining what you want to say and what business result you want the video to achieve and then your production company will advise you on the best way to achieve that aim.