Animating Corporate Characters

Are your internal communications failing to connect with your workforce?

Corporate environments are rarely associated with being great spaces for self expression. If your business uses corporate jargon and data driven visuals when communicating with employees, they will associate the information they are being fed as laborious and for the benefit of the company, rather than for them.

Using characters can help break down the barrier between a company and their employees as they can identify with the characters on a emotional level. It gives them an instant connection with what they are viewing and the information being communicated. It may also grab their interest to see how the character is affected by the situation being shown to them, and promote thinking about how they themselves would deal with the issue or task. Animated characters in particular can also add some well needed comic relief to a piece, where appropriate. This goes a long way in making your message more memorable.

Your character does not need to be Tony the Tiger or Sergei the Meerkat – your business can easily incorporate a simple character into your internal marketing, but the main thing to consider when introducing characters to your communication is to represent all employees, of all backgrounds and identities. This enables you to create a real, relatable focus in the animation, without discriminating against or alienating anyone within your workforce. This means it is of the up most importance to consider race, gender, age, disability, and more, when creating human characters for your communications. If you are looking to use only one character, perhaps consider using an animal or a non-humanoid character – this could be as simple as a blob, or an object related to the information you are communicating.

We designed non-human, almost alien characters for MTR, to be used in a health and safety animation we were working on. The group of characters did not have genders, or even natural skin colours, so we were able to easily represent the workforce in a general way without discriminating. For this piece we had a central character (Cai) who has a number of near fatal situations going on around him, and yet just walks on by. The animation was slapstick in approach, it was not relient on voice-over or on-screen text to convey its message as the character tells the story.

For Syngenta we created an information security animation that needed to show a large number of people in home, city, and office environments. Due to the nature of the film, it was important to the client that we used human characters, so we designed a multitude of characters with different skin tones, ages, genders, hairstyles, and clothing, so that we were not isolating any individual in any situation.

This was vital as in the animation we have a troop of shady, criminal characters, and did not want to single out any specific group of people. The end result is a video that feels like a real world environment, populated by lots of people. The style of the piece allows it to be entertaining and fun, while communicating a serious topic.

If you’d like to find out more about how Sliced Bread Animation can help your business create the perfect character for your corporate communication, get in touch with us by emailing [email protected], or call us on +44 (0)207 148 0526.