New Trends In Animation And What They Mean For Marketers

Melissa Burns

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that animation is one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing industries in the world. Having been firmly associated with entertainment for years, recently it has been making inroads into other areas, including advertising, marketing, and interactive experiences, to name a few. In today’s digital world, it would be a mistake for marketers to neglect such a development. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most important animation trends for 2018-2019 that you should look for.

1. 3D CGI is gradually losing its popularity

There isn’t much to back this up yet, so you may well be skeptical, but we believe that 3D CGI finally started to lose its appeal after twenty years of being mainstream. 3D CGI in its modern form was almost single-handedly created by Pixar in the 90’s, and most studios have been trying it since then (perhaps with the exception of Japanese ones that have always constituted a category of their own), doing their best to work in the same vein. Considering the popularity of this style, results have been surprisingly bland, and the dominance of Pixar look over the industry made it look clichéd and repetitive.

Currently, 2D CGI animation tools have caught up and overtaken 3D in terms of quality. Taking into account that 2D animation is much more diverse and allows more space for experimentation and personal style, we are likely to see the use of 3D animation dropping. For marketers, this means it may be a good idea to concentrate your efforts and attention on 2D animation when developing your marketing materials.

2. Whiteboard animation

Whiteboard animation is nothing new – in fact, it is the oldest type of animation. However, in the past year, it has become widespread in the marketing segment due to the development of easy-to-use, powerful tools that make it accessible even for those with no background in animation. This trend is likely to continue to grow over at least the next couple of years.

Whiteboard animation is especially useful for marketers because it makes for excellent explainer videos and is very easy to get into – just install the necessary software, find a comprehensive guide, spend a couple of hours studying it, and you can produce simple, effective whiteboard animations.

3. YouTube is getting less friendly to animated content

YouTube is becoming less friendly to animation, and placing it there—and only there—risks putting yourself at the mercy of constantly changing YouTube algorithms. At any given moment, you may be one change away from losing all your traffic, which is could be disastrous for marketers. Fortunately, YouTube no longer singlehandedly dominates the market, and there are alternatives such as Vimeo available.

4. Motion graphics

Motion graphics is also gaining popularity. The software automatically creates intermediary positions to form an illusion of movement, so the objects you create appear to be moving instead of just changing several positions on the screen. The advantage of this type of animation is that it isn’t purely cartoon-like and can use many different types of imagery, from human-like characters to letters to infographics. It makes for attractive, vibrant, and informative videos.

5. AR/VR

Although AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) technologies have been around for some time, but only in the past few years have they started to become available for mainstream use. Only the most innovative companies use these technologies to date because they require considerable investment and expertise. Nevertheless, they can create immersive and fascinating stories. AR and VR have the power to draw clients to your campaign and make you a trendsetter in your industry – they may present an opportunity you cannot afford to neglect.

6. Animated Web series

Web series have been on the rise for the last five years or so, and as production technologies get more and more available to average notebooks users, they are shifting from entertainment to the advertising industry. Many brands today are creating animated web series that relate to the business they run. If series are amusing and compelling, current and potential customers will come back to watch new episodes, establishing closer, more human relationships with brands.

Animation technology is undergoing rapid change right now, with innovative technologies such as 360-degree videos finding their way into production and altering the industry landscape. How you will use these technologies may vary, but the key is to look for opportunities and adopt new trends before they become mainstream.

For more on marketing strategies, see How Technology Enhances The Customer Experience.


Melissa Burns

About Melissa Burns

Melissa Burns is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. She spends her time writing articles, overviews, and analyses about entrepreneurship, startups, business innovations, and technology. Follow her at @melissaaburns.