Why use animation for business?

Firstly, I realise the irony of writing this and not using animation to express the point. However, do not despair there is an animation coming, actually this post is a precursor to that based on the research we are gathering on the subject.

Secondly, and possibly controversially, video is not worth 1.8 million words! That seems to be formed out of some kind of Internet Chinese whisper. “A picture is worth a thousand words” refers to the statement that a complex product, service or idea can be illustrated with just a single still image, which started from a 1911 newspaper article. Then taking that figure, in order to create some kind of maths scenario:

1 second = 1 single image in video, 30 frames per second x 60 seconds in a minute = 1,800 pictures x 1000 words = 1.8 million words

In fact, if you take the European frame rate which is 25 frames per second, then the figure is different (1.5 million words). In an increasingly fast-paced world, you need to get you message across in the quickest way possible. I am inclined to think less is more, through clear, concise messaging and image representation. That doesn’t need to start as lots of words, just your message and the intended ‘call to action’ once the viewer has seen the animation. There is not doubt that animated storytelling can deliver anything from product pitches to company policies in a quick, clear and creative way. Animation can bring your messages to life!

Ever since paintings were etched in red ochre on cave walls, we have had a natural human interest in animated storytelling. Its probably the earliest example of an explainer animation on ‘How to hunt’? It is known as narrative power – ultimately, our love of stories. It generates emotion, context, and these paintings filled our ancestors with anticipation and fear – the life and death of situation!

Humans simply aren’t moved to action by ‘data dumps,’ dense PowerPoint slides, or spreadsheets packed with figures. People are moved by emotion. The best way to emotionally connect other people to our agenda begins with ‘Once upon a time… (Peter Guber, author of Tell to Win)

Here are some pretty compelling stats for using animation as part of your campaign mix. Our projects have ranged from product explainers to medical mechanism of action to online series to our latest project, which is part of a cultural change programme for a large organisation. These are based on the post 50 Must Know Stats About Video & Animation:

  • According to Online Publishers Association, 80% of users recall a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days.
  • 46% of users take some sort of action after viewing an ad, according to Online publishers association.
  • According to Forbes, 59% of executives would rather watch video than read text.
  • Enjoyment of video ads increase purchase intent by 97% and brand association by 139% according to Unruly.
  • 50% of executives look for more information after seeing a product/service in a video, according to Forbes.
  • According to Implix, an introductory email that includes a video receives an increase click-through rate by 96%.

When Dropbox launched their explainer video it helped them gain 100 million customers within the first 5 years. Can you imagine explainer Dropbox benefits through text alone? Present company accepted(!) nobody wants to land on page full of web copy. While some will skim the page, very few will read it all the way through. Many users will leave the page because your webpage has failed to grab the visitor’s attention and engage them within the first few seconds.


Animation is, on the other hand, an attention grabber that engages visitors from the start. They’re more likely to press play and watch a quick 60 second video and leave with more information about your products than if they skimmed your website for a few seconds. With animation you can focus your visitor in order to be able to tell your story and deliver your message. Our online series Trona for Sony had 200,000 viewers weekly (pre-YouTube) and the average viewing time lasted 6 minutes. That’s 6 minutes in-front of Sony’s products, born out of suite of 30-second episodes!

At Sliced Bread we believe there are 5 key points for using animation in business:

Communicate Quickly – Animation allows complex messages to be distilled into clear ideas, which is vital for a projects success.

Gain Understanding – Animation transforms a message, making it easy to understand and visualise. A complex objective can be broken down into easy to understand and digestible information.

Audience Retention – Using animation allows you to make things happen that are outside the realms of reality, therefore making the message as a whole, much more engaging to the viewer.

Versatile – Build once use hundreds times. Animation can easily be adapted and reused to tell further stories, and it also be reworked easily for use off-screen.

A Lasting Impression – The right hand side of the brain likes animation because it easily generates feeling and emotion. The left turns thoughts into images, allowing animation to communicate to left-brain thinkers in a way that words alone can’t. Animation caters to both sides of the brain.

Efficient communication is extremely useful in critical situations where time is very short, which is often in your audiences working day, particularly with internal communication pieces where your target audience has limited access to media channels. Having a piece that is unique, that stands out from the everyday world, animation then becomes the perfect medium in that respect.

If you would like to know more about our animation services, please feel free to give us a call on +44 (0)207 148 0526