Category Archives: Animation

6 Reasons Why You Should Make Video Marketing a Priority

In the age of social media and content sharing, we explore why video marketing should be at the top of your to-do list 

In the days of dial-up, you wouldn’t dream of trying to load up a 10 second video of a cat playing a piano, let alone a 2 minute long video just to watch the ethos of somebody’s business. Nowadays, we scroll through our social media feeds at lightening speed, watching video after video just to fill our tube, train or bus journey. This is not a mere phase of technology boom; instant video sharing is here to stay. As we saw from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014, the power of viral video can be global and really spread the word about your business or cause.


1. Utilise Your Resources


It is no secret that ‘YouTubers’ earn a shed load of money for uploading 5-minute videos of putting on make-up, playing video games, or simply showing off their daily life. These unlikely stars have had a helping hand in making video content a key way for people to access information quickly. A lot of these young entrepreneurs found a rising gap in the market and latched on to it by creating interesting content for their viewers by tailoring content into bite size, well-produced chunks that keep people engaged. However, we are not here to talk about these curators of content, this was just the catalyst of things to come. Now, we have so many video sharing apps and websites that there is simply no excuse not to utilise them. YouTube is just one outlet to market and keep your consumers interested, whatever your business may be. Apps such as Vine, Instagram and Snapchat – where the users can create videos only seconds long – pushed for social media users to focus on short, punchy and engaging videos. Facebook shortly followed in these footsteps, offering a heavily weighted timeline of videos with many of those being sponsored explainer and corporate videos. If you came here wanting just one good enough reason to utilise video marketing and content sharing for your business, this would be it.


2. Sharing is Caring


When someone finds something funny, engaging or emotional, you can bet your bottom dollar that they will want to share that with their friends, family or colleagues. Whether this is an interesting article, a picture of puppy or an incredible business idea that they can’t wait to explore, people want to show this to others to create a reaction. This is exactly what you want the viewers of your content to be thinking. A good way to challenge this theory before you put your content out to the masses is to show it to one of your friends, family or co-workers and ask them honestly if they would share this after watching it.


3. Brand Recognition


You want the style of your video to reflect the brand that you are. Putting together a video with dark colours and clean lines may not be appropriate for a children’s clothing company, however, it may be really engaging for the customers of a technology company. Getting the potential consumers to instantly recognise your brand seconds into your videos will allow people to remember your business and be more likely to return to it in the future.


4. SEO

Not only does brand recognition help drive traffic to your website, but it also increases your SEO. It helps to push you to the top of the search engines and is likely to increase the click rate from video to webpage. Including relevant tags and web links to your content will help to also improve this.


5. Suitable for all devices

Making sure that any of your video marketing is, including (and probably most importantly) your explainer video, is suitable for all devices is a very key detail. Is your video suitable for all types of smart phones, such as iOS and Android? Can you watch this in high definition on a laptop or desktop as well as a phone or tablet? Is the content suitable to watch on a smaller screen, such as a phone, as well as a large screen, such as a desktop computer? These are all details that need to be thought about from the very early stages of creation right to finalizing the finished production.


6. Content, content, content!

Finally, it would be silly to not mention content. Of course all of the resources and tips above will help you to tailor your use for video marketing, but your video will not make an impact if it is uninteresting, inappropriate for your business or produced poorly. You may have great ideas for your next marketing video, but creating and executing that content is crucial. Is it engaging? Is it relevant? Does it make you want to re-watch and share? Conduct your own research and look at other businesses similar to your own. Have they utilised video marketing? If so, how long are the videos? How are they designed? What social media have they used to place their video marketing? Have their consumers taken interest and ‘liked’ or shared their video? These types of questions will help you to understand how to curate your own content and how best to exploit it.


Ranging from explainer videos to promotional videos and corporate videos to animation, we can help guide you in your journey to creating and producing great content. Contact our team of experts today and get your video marketing on a roll!

Animation Vs. Live-Action: What is best for your business?

Don’t know whether to go for animation or live action – let us help you decide.

There are many things to consider when thinking about the best way to create, produce and market your start up or advertising video. As you well know, it comes down to your budget and your audience, but how do you utilise both of these factors to benefit your business in the most successful way? We want to look at the pros and cons of using animation versus live action video techniques in order to help you decide exactly what your business needs.


No matter what style of video or website, this is always our number one priority when considering the project that we are getting involved with. You have to have a realistic outlook of how much you are willing to spend on your start up or advertising video. By creating a reasonable budget, it allows you to have a better idea of how to create a suitable video without over or under doing it.


It may sound blaringly obvious, but when creating your start up video, the most important thing to think about is your audience. Who is going to be watching this video? How will this video make create more clicks for your website? These are important things to think about when you are deciding between whether you want to use live action or animated video. It is not enough to think, “I’d love to have an animated video of a dog running through a garden!” or “we need to have a live action shot of a man standing by a river” without thinking about the appropriateness for the demographic and the different effects that they have (Although, I’m not sure what this particular business would be marketing, to be honest with you!) However, what we are trying to say is, appropriateness is key and the decision between animated and live action could make or break the barrier between you and your desired audience, so think carefully.


We are not trying to say that animated videos are not effective, as we at Stormnet Media love a good animated video and they can be very informative, concise and fun. But sometimes, depending on the message you want to convey and considering the audience, some videos may benefit more from a human touch. Having a well-known face to bring a message alive can really instill trust in your business, as it can illustrate certain professionalism to your campaign.


So, you have considered your budget and thought about which type of video is better for your business and how you would like to market it. But before you start putting the final touches to your mood board of ideas, have a think about your resources, as this can ultimately effect your decision about the use of animated versus live action. If you are outsourcing in order to produce your video, there is often not much difference in price, but of course costs will vary depending on the style of your video, production time and length, etc. If you are wanting to do a DIY job or you know someone that may be useful to talk or appear in your video then it is possible to do a live action video without outsourcing, however, this is much more difficult when it comes to animation.

DIY and live action

With a greater quality of affordable technology at our fingertips, it is no surprise that you can see and endless amount of ‘vloggers’ running businesses from their bedrooms using smartphones and cameras. With this in mind, there are so many pieces of technology that make it much easier for you to produce your own live action videos using things such as GoPro’s, iPhone’s and Drones. However, the devil is in the detail, and often it is the professional touch of a seasoned video producer that creates that final touch to your video. DIY can be truly magnificent when utilised and put together in the right way, and for many of these vloggers we have spoken about, it is endearing because it is very personal and conversational. However, if you seek a more professional look for your video then there is often no replacing the experience of a good video production team to advise and guide you.


Animation can be a great tool for a concise but fun start up or advertising video. We are big fans of the use of animated videos as there are no limits of what you can create because there are so many possibilities. DIY animation can be much more difficult to create at home unless you are knowledgeable in all aspects that come with it. There are many things to consider when creating an animated video, such as voice-overs, sound effects and illustrations. Unless you know what you are doing with animations, it can be very time-consuming and often less cost effective than outsourcing the talent to do it for you. A film such as Disney favourite, ‘Up’, is a great example how to use animation in a way that touches the audience and creating an invaluable emotional connection between the audience and the characters (the animation and a great storyline of course!). Due to the advanced animations that we can now create, it shows that you don’t always have to use live action to truly connect with your audience emotionally.

As you can see, both techniques can be very effective but there are may things to think about when considering how to use them. So, if you cannot decide between whether to use live action or animation for your start up, advertising or promotional video, or if you need an advice or quote then we would love to help you.




Animation Case Study – Motorola

The Challenge

When Motorola came to us they wanted to showcase the features of their new mobile phone in a way that was easy to understand and without using voice over. Motorola were in the process of launching lots of new devices to the networks and were struggling to find a clear way to quickly show the innovative new features of their phones in a way that was engaging and persuasive. They had piles of technical specs, drawings, production prototypes and a wish list of all the final features but no actual phone. In fact there would be no phone available until after initial launch.

Moto Concept Wheel

Initial concept of the phones main navigation

The Brief

The brief was fairly simple – design and create a 90 second animation that would show-off all the phones features in a new and innovative way. However, they wanted all of this without us ever actually seeing a working phone and they wanted it delivered in under 4 weeks. They could see that we were full of good ideas and had helped other businesses boost sales with animated videos, but even by our standards this was going to be a big challenge. Usually with a project like this we’d get to see a prototype so we could understand how the software would work which would enable us to translate this into the animation. However, we were running blind so we despatched our creative team to set-up camp in Moto’s ‘war room’ so we could talk to the various techies involved and develop a clear idea of just how this thing worked.

Lucy, our storyboard artist hard at work

Lucy, our storyboard artist hard at work

Motorola’s audience were what they termed as ‘early adopters’ and ‘fire-breathing-achievers’ so we were briefed on the demographic of the audience so we could ensure that the animation was aspirational and appealing. The video was to be used by their sales teams, on their website as well as part of a TV campaign in some European territories.

Creative Process

Because of the short timeline we needed to define the animation quickly. This required us to come up with three different concepts for the animation so we could present these to Motorola’s marketing team and then decide on the final style and direction. Working with such an open brief our creative team produced the concepts in record time. Fuelled by ‘Red Bull’ and copious quantities of coffee all of the ideas definitely had a feeling of energy and passion.

The idea that was chosen centred around a piece of music that Motorola had the rights for by the ‘Black Eyed Peas’. The challenge from here in was to now show how the phone used an innovative navigation wheel to access and play music without any voice description. It was decided that we should create a 3D animated model of the device and overlay the video with highlights to show the finger gestures that could be used. This was then to be combined with graphic representations of some of the features such as the music library.


The start of the 3D modelling process

The start of the 3D modelling process

The animation process was extremely complex. Firstly we had to build an exact copy of the device in 3D space. It needed to be a perfect representation of the phone in all aspects, from the dimensions through to the different surface textures and materials. Normally we are able to import CAD files that our software uses to build the model, however on this occasion we had no files to work from and had to build it from scratch. This process normally takes a couple of weeks to complete but with the clock ticking (and yet more coffee) we had this completed in 48 hours. We did have a bit of luck along the way, normally we wait until all the surface materials are confirmed, but on this occasion we second guessed a few to save time and luckily for us they were all spot on.

Once the animated model was completed we then build the animation environment. By this we mean the ‘universe’ in which the model sits. From this point we can start to add lighting and decide on how we are going to move the actual model or the camera viewpoint. This is all done with what are called wireframes so as to make the manipulation and rendering time faster. As soon as these have all be decided we can then add in the final textures to complete the model moves.

On top of the 3D model sits a few layers of video effects. Using a programme called ‘After Effects’ we then add in some of the animation details – in this case the gestures and images that represent things such and the phone’s music library. This is all edited together with the soundtrack and sound effects to give the animation the final touches.

After Effects Interface

After Effects is used to create additional animation effects

End Result

The end result was an animation that helped Motorola successfully sell in the device to all the major networks and operators as well as retail outlets. The animation was used online and across Europe in a number of TV campaigns.

Hopefully you’ll have got an idea as to how things can be turned round very quickly and an idea of the processes involved in creating an animation. All in all with this job we had a lot of our resources working on it at the same time so we could hit the tight deadline required. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any project then we’d love to hear from you.

Written By: Ian Stainton

Ian Stainton is the CEO and Founder of Stormnet Media Ltd, an award winning video production and digital media agency based near Birmingham in the UK. He is trusted by global brands, SMEs and start-ups to help them engage and interact with their customers  - ultimately selling more stuff. You can check him out on Google+