Original video animation, or animated films and series made especially for release in home video formats, has become a burgeoning enterprise in the entertainment realm, particularly in Japan, where it originated. But OVA also holds promise here as a unique means to convey a corporate promotional message, especially when your audience is techno-savvy and entertainment-minded. Here are five ways animation can introduce or enhance a brand – or simply tell a story in a different way.
Introduce a world that supports your message – Yamaha created an animated video series called “The Master of Torque.” It features stories told in two to seven minutes that contain various characters who experience all manner of adventures, many of which include rides on Yamaha motorcycles. The good guys always seem to outrace the bad guys, subtly suggesting that the Yamaha motorcycle is special.
Present characters that the audience will associate with you – A common theme in animation is the hero or heroine. As with conventional comic-book-based animated films, there can be flaws or complex circumstances that have rendered an unconventional protagonist. But the protagonist is almost always compelling – to the point that at the end of an episode the viewer can’t wait to see what takes place in the next one. Speaking of…
Take advantage of the serial format – Animation is best employed when it is part of an ongoing series. Episode One introduces something that ties to Episode Two. Episode Two is wrought with adventures that create the need for resolution, which you find in Episode Three. And so on. If it is done well, original video animation creates a bond between the story’s characters (and its adventures) and the viewer. Engaging the audience is top priority with any type of communication, and OVA is an excellent way to appeal to the demographic noted in the first paragraph.
Make beautiful music together – By together, we mean the integration of the images in the video and music you choose to share with your audience. MTV introduced the music video back in the 1980s, and gradually, as the first song that ever played on the network predicted, “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Everyone wanted an image to go along with the song. Why? Because a song took on a whole new dynamic as a video, as it escaped the sound realm and ventured into sight, as well. Video animating can do the same thing, only in a “next generation” way. Here’s an example of a company creating compelling characters, enhancing their situation with music, and reinforcing just how cool this company is for doing all that, in just over three minutes, no less.
Enjoy the sizzle, but focus on the steak – Almost any technological bell or whistle will hold some appeal for a time, but unless it gives the audience a practical reason to respond or react to a brand, product, or service, it is doomed to be a near miss. You want hits. A well-focused original video animation can hit a home run.