If modern marketing has proven something, it is the fact that you can find an ally for your efforts even in unexpected places. A bad review can turn into a playful message, current (and serious) news can make up for ingenious ads and, you better believe it, cartoons can help with humanizing your brand.
Now, that last part seems counterintuitive, right? How can fictional and goofy-like characters make a brand more human? If you were to show your human side to your audience, you wouldn’t pick cartoon marketing videos – that’s work for real people! You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.
Cartoons can help a lot to put a human touch into your marketing efforts. It’s one of the most unexpected allies for it, mind you, but one so damn effective that more and more companies are betting on it. Here’s how and why you should use them as well.
Make the humanity stem from the message
Thinking that the human touch comes from an actual human face is too simplistic. Though it obviously is the easiest way, it’s the wrong approach. Believing that what you show on screen is what counts is forgetting one of the key aspects that make companies feel ‘human’ –the message.
What you say is as important as what you put in front of the camera. You can use real actors and still feel fake (I’m looking at you, As Seen on TV ads!). That’s because what you are saying and how you’re saying it seems scripted, forced, and unnatural. Caring about the message is the foundation block for building a sense of trust among your target audience.
So, having real people, cartoons or puppets on screen only matters if your message is capable of sounding relatable and reliable. If your target audience can identify with the problems your product or service is out to solve, they’ll think of your brand less as “a bunch of greedy no-faces that are after my money” and more like “people that had problems like mine but found a working solution.”
Thinking like that will free you from the constraints of working with real actors and actual locations and put you in the right set of mind (the one in which you start to consider cartoon marketing videosto humanize your brand). Trust me, you’ll want to free yourself from that because…
Use animation’s flexibility in your favor
If your message has the priority when branding, then having all the freedom you can to tell it is crucial. Depending on what your service or product is, getting your point across with live video can be challenging. Cartoon marketing videos don’t have that limitation. You can have any character you want in any situation you can think of and fit everything in the message you need to tell.
Characters and scenarios are the building blocks of an animated video capable of feeling human. Here’s how:
Animated characters are the messengers of the emotions you are trying to convey. Your message needs to click with its target audience. For that to happen, people watching your video have to identify themselves with what they are watching. In other words, characters have to feel like they are real people with real problems with which the audience can relate to.
So, your characters have to talk and behave like your target audience in order for people watching to go “yeah, that’s me.” Of course you can get that with real actors, but it’s far easier with cartoon videos. If you already know who your customers are, you can talk to them through an animated character built from the ground up with their same traits. The same goes for the problems they face.
Additionally, the flexibility in animation makes it possible to exaggerate feelings and put a bigger emphasis on how they can show their feelings. You can make a character fly with joy or be overcome by a problem just before your product swoops in to save the day. The best part is that you can work on those emotions in detail and with total control, something that’s extremely hard when working with real actors.
Scenarios in animated videos can help you set the tone and bring out extra emotion. If the message needs to be emotional to click, then nothing is better than helping to set the tone through the scenarios you pick. Now, you can get that with live action videos but it depends on the locations, the lighting and the elements you use. There are so many things to consider!
On the contrary, cartoon videos can take place anywhere you want, underlining the emotional journey you need to make your point. Perhaps you want your story to begin in a dark and dangerous cave before your product enters the scene to bring the characters to a bright and safe spot. Animation can pull this off easily and at a lower cost.
Flexibility is one of the major advantages you’ll get with animation. Since you create the whole video from scratch, you can fit every little element in it to achieve your ultimate goal: to generate the emotions that will make your video (and your brand) feel human.
Pick a style that’s appropriate for your audience
Many people believe that looks is the biggest shortcoming when it comes to humanizing a brand through animated videos. Plenty of business owners see videos as ‘goofy’, ‘immature’ or ‘jokey.’ Perhaps that’s because of the wrong notion that cartoons are for kids.
But you should remember, animation is just a way to tell a story which can be a fairy tale, a psychological thriller or an emotional journey for the whole family. With Disney, Pixar and the Simpsons as prime examples, believing cartoons only cater to a young audience is understating their power.
Besides, we’ve already established that flexibility is one of the biggest assets when working with cartoon videos. And you can certainly bend cartoon marketing videos to fit your brand’s overall tone and make them more emotionally on-point to boost their humanization and engagement potential.
Sure, cartoon videos are mostly used to present companies as funny and lighthearted businesses that can tackle complicated issues through simple and easy-to-use solutions. But they can also serve ‘more serious’ brands through the use of a more appropriate style. The video that Yum Yum Videos made for WSP is a perfect way to show that.
There’s no business that can’t benefit from cartoon video advantages. Regardless of the industry, the nature of the product and its intended audience, a cartoon can work to explain, entertain and make a nostalgic connection. Those 3 goals are the most human things that a marketing video can do for your brand. So, make sure you use the style that fits you the most.
Be (and look) original!
You probably already know this but it’s always great to be reminded of it – the best marketing is a strategy that feels unique and fresh. People are constantly bombarded by videos in their daily lives, so you have to go the extra mile to make a genuine impact and feel like you’re truly trying to make a special connection (a human connection, if you will).
The way to achieve this is simply explained yet is hard to master. You have to bet on what sets you apart as a company and make it evident from the get-go. If you’re putting out cartoon marketing videos like the ones from your competitors, people won’t see a human touch but rather an automated copycat trying to make a quick gain.
Originality is the answer here. Of course, how fresh your message sounds is capital for your success. But don’t overlook the importance of a unique aesthetic. Having characters like no other in scenarios that can wow anyone is nothing to sneeze at. A unique message resonates as long as the way it’s conveyed actually supports that uniqueness.
Summing it all up
Humanity isn’t something you achieve just by putting people in front of the camera on your marketing videos. It’s something you get when your message rings true to the people you’re talking to. With that in mind, it’s possible to use cartoon videos to humanize your brand, betting on all the advantages of this particular storytelling device.
The flexibility is animation’s major strength, because it lets you play with your ideas to the confines of your imagination. You can create any character in any situation and make them work in your favor. You can mix entertainment with a sense of wonder, complex concepts with mature tones, and unique aesthetics with a fresh approach.
So, don’t be so quick to dismiss cartoon videos as ways to humanize your brand. They are one of the most popular marketing devices out there for a reason – they actually work! Interested in knowing a little more about them and how they can change your business forever? Let Yum Yum Videos help you. We have experience, ideas and a great team to make your ideas come true. Give us a call!