More than a few years ago, animation videos that presented a company’s products and processes were a fairly novel concept. Audiences “oohed” and “aahed” at seeing something that looked real but clearly wasn’t. The technology itself was a part of the promotion, and companies built cachet on those advances. Today, the consumption of animated visual information has increased exponentially in broadcast media and with personal wifi-equipped devices and an array of practical and gaming apps. To view an animated sequence has become as common as seeing real recorded footage (which in turn has become far more prosumer). Using one to simply add a bell and/or whistle to your website is still cool, but no longer carries the novel weight that it once did.

Still, with CAD animation software making it ever easier to use existing exploded product views for animating purposes (SMS uses Blender software), these attractive marketing tools are still powerful ways to sell your ideas as long as you follow a few simple guidelines that should ring true for any marketing initiative:

1 – Keep it short. Attention spans continue to shrink, but audiences still crave engagement. Know what you want to say and get right to it. Video presentations work in concert with websites, so industry minutiae can be found elsewhere if necessary. Write your script and go back and cut as much as you can, keeping only what you absolutely need to tell your story. Your focus shouldn’t be on comprehensive coverage; it should be on keeping them glued until the end. Most people can only focus on one thing at a time so don’t give them too much to retain at once or they’ll zone out.

2 – Be specific. If you have a specific feature that is different or better and can only be demonstrated by an animation, then an animation will best serve you as a solution. If you can shoot and show, do that instead. It is always far more useful to see what is happening for real and in real time. But if your featured process is inside a box or spread out on a busy manufacturing floor, going with animation will be a relief to viewers. Set it up with footage, and then get into it from there.

3 – Know your audience. This is really step one. Before putting a single word of voice-over or description down you need to know exactly who you’re talking to. Just like in real life, we gauge our vocabulary, tone and approach based on our audience. In an animation, you’re paying for rendering time and the more words you use the more visual information you’ll need to cover them. Ask yourself how much knowledge is already built into your audience. Put your eyes in their head with an understanding that their day is also over-scheduled and then begin to tell your story. They’ll appreciate it.

Below is a short animated video that demonstrates a few unique features found in a bin activator designed and manufactured by SMS client Metalfab Material Handling Systems, LLC. At a running time of 1:31, it doesn’t ask too much of your time and after a quick introduction it gets straight into those features.

– S. Norton


For more info on how you can affordably produce your company’s animated video presentation through our experienced SMS staff, send an email to [email protected] and/or reply in the comments below.

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