Remember that silly little mouse who use to drive a steamboat while whistling a tune and shaking his rear? Or a Wiley coyote that could never quite catch a roadrunner as he relentlessly ran around the desert? If childhood has served you well, these cartoon characters are familiar memories that you think of when you hear the word “animation.” In the past, animation was used primarily for entertainment purposes, to enliven media with whimsical character depictions and movement never before seen by audiences. Its success can be attributed to the unique sequencing of frames that moved characters in new ways. Those iconic figures are still remembered by people today.
But like every medium, animation’s application has surpassed the cartoon world. Companies have been incorporating animation into their commercials over the last few decades, realizing that audiences cling to active symbols that leave a lasting impression. A recent article notes that animation has helped "brands to not only capture imagination, but also attention," a pursuit that I'm sure all branding specialists seek fervently when promoting their companies. We loose count of how many brands, videos and advertisements we're exposed to on a daily basis, so businesses must ask: "How can I engage my audiences in memorable ways that set us apart?" Memphis' shipping giant FedEx asked this exact question, and this is what they got. Despite the fact that FedEx is not known for their artistic side, they utilized animation to promote a sustainability campaign that communicated their vision in a creative manner. And they're not alone. Coca Cola brought some animated magic to what happens when you order a coke through a vending machine. IBM illustrated its global connectivity through animated watches and trains. And Chipotle won some great awards by animating their commitment to sustainable and humane raising of livestock.