Is animation right for a successful charity marketing campaign?

Animation can be used as an indispensable medium to communicate messaging within the charity sector. Whether internally, or for a wider audience, injecting life and movement into at times sensitive subject matters, means that information can be given to the viewer with discretion. Animation can be the perfect approach to discuss subjects with tact and subtlety. But is animation right for a successful charity marketing campaign? In this article, we highlight the huge benefits of using animation as a successful communication tool for the charity sector.

Why Choose Animation?

With animation, picture and sound can work together to engage the audience and deliver messaging with emotion. The combination of these two elements paints a picture that captivates and moves the viewer. Ultimately encouraging a deeper connection with the subject matter. We asked our client at the charity, Samaritans why they regularly use animation for their marketing campaigns:

Communicating about our work at Samaritans can be difficult. We work closely with people with lived experience to improve our services and inform our research. However, we’re often unable to feature them in our films, since they’re vulnerable and need to remain anonymous. Animation is a great way for us to take our research findings and turn them into compelling content. It allows us to speak about sensitive issues, such as self-harm and harmful online content. Using animation, we can create characters and stories to help people understand and care about those issues. At Samaritans, we want to change the way we think about suicide. Animation is helping us to do this.

Micha Hilliard, Digital Content Producer at Samaritans

Samaritans Explainer - How to support someone who’s self harming

Fred & Eric have worked closely alongside many charities. Here are a few reasons why we believe animation works exceptionally well for this sector. 

Simple Powerful Messaging

A well animated typographic film can be incredibly effective and powerful, especially when paired with a clever sound edit. This approach can be used particularly well for difficult subject matters, avoiding the need for direct imagery. The story can also be told wholly through word and sound, without losing any of the meaning or impact. This animation we produced for Oxfam International is a great example of this.

The Truth About Ebola - Oxfam International

Animation can also be used in combination with live-action, merging seamlessly between the two. Animated sections can visualise imagery that is too sensitive to be shown on screen. Additionally, combining live-action clips with factual animated moments can connect the viewer powerfully and emotionally with the real-world problems. This technique is illustrated by our animation produced for Save the Children UK.

Save The Children - No Child Born to Die: The Fight Against Hunger Campaign Film

Using metaphors

The hard-hitting nature of many charity films means animation is the ideal place to use metaphors. They can be used to represent disturbing or emotional material in a sensitive way. Metaphors can conjour meaning and emotion in the most memorable and creative ways. Beyond what could be conveyed through using realistic stills or live-action footage.

Using metaphors to convey compelling messages, is illustrated in this series of films we produced for the NSPCC series titled Sharing the Science.

NPSCC: Tipping the Scales

In addition to using metaphores, the above animation also combines live-action talking heads featuring experts. Illustrating another way complex messaging can be conveyed factually via an expert’s on-screen interview.

The Power of Social Media

It’s no secret how powerful and useful social media channels are when it comes to disseminating messages. 

A key part of producing successful campaigns is to make sure the design can efficiently play across all social media channels. This is because each platform has its own optimum aspect ratio and duration. For multi-platform campaigns it is crucial to find an efficient solution to produce animations for varying screen sizes while making sure cropping doesn't lose any of the vital messaging.  You can read more about how we achieved this in our animation produced for Childline.

Childline: Family Relationships

Hitting the right note on social media channels, mean users are more likely to share the animation. Spreading viral messages even wider.

A Picture is worth a Thousand Words

As discussed in a previous Story, What is the Best Animated Explainer Style for your Business, the appeal of visual communication (especially when it’s moving) cannot be overstated. Put simply, people like to watch videos. They engage the viewer in a way that reams of text and written messaging can struggle with.

NSPCC: Safeguarding in Sport

Making an emotional connection with the audience of a charity is absolutely key. When a well-crafted animation combines with a sensitive sound mix, the end result is a poignant and incredibly affecting film that stays with an audience long after it’s finished.

Want to discuss an animation project? Get in touch