TV is the most trusted form of advertising in the UK and has been proven to increase effectiveness of a campaign by 40% (- Think Box) So now is a great time to include a commercial in your marketing strategy.

Broadly speaking there are two styles of media, animation or live action. But which is best?

Below we have rounded up some of the pros and cons of live action and animation to help you decide which format will suit your campaign.

Animation Pros:

Endless possibilities – With animation, whatever you can imagine can be created and animated. It is a great format for ‘owning’ a visual space and building a brand when budgets might not allow you to create the same impact in the real world.

Light style – The style of animation lends itself to being naturally light and fun. Once considered as a format best suited to children it now has a huge impact on adults as well. For example, almost one million adults between the ages of 18 and 49 tuned into the premiere of “Rick and Morty” in 2017.

Cost – Animation is often a cheaper format for creating TV commercials (depending on the style of animation of course!). A simple 30-second, motion graphics, animated character can be very cost effective in comparison to a live action film.

Amendments – animation, in particular 2D animation, can be amended quickly and with less cost compared to reshooting a scene in a live action commercial.

Animation Cons:

Light style – Animation’s naturally light and fun feel may not always be appropriate for your brand. If you are making a commercial for a serious luxury piece of technology, for example, the style might feel out of place.

Slow – Animating is famously a slow process as it is labour intensive. Both 3D and 2D animation have made extraordinary progress so it is not as difficult as it once was, but it still takes longer than your average live action shoot. Keep it simple if you have a tight deadline or consider live action as a quick alternative.

So that covers animation. Now onto live-action TV Commercials:

Live Action Pros:

Range of emotions – Live action has the ability to convey a range of styles and emotions from fun and light hearted to serious and emotional. People connect with people, so seeing an actor’s joy or despair on screen can really have an impact!

Speed – In general it is quicker to produce and film a live-action TV commercial. Even with the post production time included they are a lot quicker to produce than an animation.

Cost – Although live-action can be more expensive than a simple animation, if the creative is chosen with care, it is still affordable.

Amendments – Providing the amendments are only for off screen voice over and graphics, it is easy to repurpose your advert for perhaps a sale or special event.

Live action Cons:

Restrictions – Filming live action does have restrictions. If you wanted your advert to contain unicorns, it will be much more cost effective to create with animation. You are also restricted by budget, actors ability and equipment. The higher the budget, the less restrictions you will have and, as for price, the sky’s the limit!

Amendments – Once your advert has been shot you can’t amend the footage without a reshoot. This could be expensive as you will need to hire a crew, location and effectively repeat the whole process just for a pickup. However, this is an unlikely scenario and, with careful planning and the many options available in post-production, this risk can be mitigated.

We hope that this has given you some insight into the pros and cons of using animation or live-action in your commercial. Let’s get started…

Fable Studios is your partner in the world of video content.

We’re here to help you unleash the incredible brand-building potential of video to meet your challenges, engage your audience and grow your business.

About the Author: grizzly

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