Is animation a good choice for marketing your brand abroad?

While the creation of an animation video commercial for a UK audience may seem an intricate and overwhelming enough process, producing something similar with an overseas audience in mind may threaten to ratchet up the complexity still further – or at least, in theory.

Could there be scope for damaging cultural misunderstandings, from which it may be difficult for your brand to recover?

The fears can be understandable

Some countries – such as the United States, the home of Walt Disney, or Japan, from which Studio Ghibli hails – have an established animation heritage that will leave you confident of a well-made animation video commercial being positively received.

But in some parts of the world, such as less developed parts of Asia, there may not be such a strong history of producing, exporting or even really embracing animation at all. Do you therefore have good reason to be nervous if you are contemplating targeting an animated video at such markets?

Animation is frequently a much safer choice overseas than live action

It can be easy to presume that the best path for a commercial or explainer video aimed at a country without much of an animation culture is to go with the live action to which audiences in that part of the world are accustomed.

However, this logic doesn’t always hold well. After all, if you are filming a live action commercial with a specific country or region in mind, it may be desirable to maximise the video’s ‘relatability’ by using that country’s architecture or cities as backdrops. Hiring such native sites can be expensive, particularly when also accounting for travel costs and the frequent need to recruit local actors. 

Then, there is the sheer cringe-worthy nature of many ‘infomercial’ style live-action adverts that is frequently just as apparent to overseas audiences as it is to a British one.

Another frequently vital factor when filming an advert for foreign eyes and ears is the need to show complicated things in a simple, easy-to-understand way, especially when there may also be a language barrier to think about. An animation video commercial is often much better at this than a live action one.

Nor can you easily alter a live action advertisement at a later stage, unless you’re willing to pay what may be significant reshooting costs. Such changes are also cumbersome to make compared to the simple tweaks within software that are possible when making an animated video.

We’re the people to ask for a great animation video commercial

All of the above means that you really shouldn’t feel too intimidated by the thought of creating an animated video for a part of the world that might not be very familiar with them. Indeed, the very unfamiliarity of animation can be a boon, providing your brand with an easier means of standing out.

In fact, animation is now becoming more commonplace even in many territories that had barely encountered it until relatively recently. It could therefore be great timing to pitch an animation video commercial at such audiences now, while the art form is still a fresh one in many locals’ minds.