Monday, 12 October 2009

animation in advertising

I saw recently Michelin's ( new TV advertisements on the tagline "the right tire changes everything". Click title to see ad on youtube.

Without going into a discussion on the content, the position , message etc i simply reflected on the use of animation.

Bibendum, the Michelin mascot cleraly works better in animation that in real life. Animation proposes modifications to Bibendum's expressions and actions that would be difficult to replicate with real life actors.

And since Bibendum 'humanises' the tire like nothing else, he does appear at the centre of all advertitisng. Is this a good idea in itself? A very thin line between using the Michelin man to help tires emote, verus overexposing him.

Coming back to animated ads. (Coke has started this as well).

Unfortunately for the advertising industry Pixar is setting the standards in the animation business. And i would believe that consumers that see animation advertisements are immediately comparing the work to Wall-E or Nemo. TBWA is not a Pixar and the production quality shows.

Animation works well when it creates an incredible world for its characters. Worlds with lights, colors, sounds that seem more real than real. That's the difference between animation and cartoons.

Animation works when it uses a great storyline and humanlike characters. With expressions, with an interaction that allows us to experience our own lives even while looking at a movie about monsters, fish or outdated robots. Great animation
re-creates life through unreal metaphors.

Average animation is "plasticy" and establishes a disconnect from its message. Average animation simply exaggerates the human existence while drowning out the human condition. The message for a real world becomes distant.

The real risk for companies using animation comes not from their product competitors but from companies that exploit the animation technique so well that anything less than extraordinary simple makes the execution of the ad very ordinary.


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