A piece of the action: Consider animated graphics for your next ad

animated ads
by: Shannon Givens , August 20, 2019

Did you get a big kick out of cartoons as a kid? So do many adults, which explains why animated graphics and videos have become such a popular element of online ads.

Fans say well-designed animation better engages the brains of visual learners, keeps viewers’ attention, evokes emotion, sparks conversation and sometimes provokes nostalgia. Animated ads can be used to tell a story or describe a process, can lighten up tough subjects and can impart messages through multiple formats, including banners, pop-ups, infographics and videos.

While some studies have concluded static ads are ultimately more effective, others point to the value of animation. One academic study found animated banner ads grab more attention, produce higher recall and generate higher click-through. In other research, consumers who watched web ads featuring a product that moved across the screen were more likely to view that product as innovative.

“Animations enable us to deliver core marketing messages using efficient multimedia, but without the fear of being considered overly blunt,” states a recent article on Franchising.com. “Animations can distill even the most complicated idea to its essence.”

A few best practices for designing and incorporating animated ads:

  • Keep your animation short. One study shows banner ads with animations lasting 6 to 9 seconds produced a 38 percent higher click-through rate than static banners, but those lasting more than 13 seconds performed poorly.
  • Strongly consider incorporating GIFs, the animated image files that contain animation without sound. The short, eye-catching vignettes are typically cheaper, more cost-effective and more time-effective to create than videos, with similar advantages. They’re especially handy for silently grabbing viewer attention in news feeds.
  • After designing them, post your animated ads on social media to be shared. Hint: Viewers are more likely to do that if the message makes the sharer look good in some way.

Finally, don’t forget what may be the most important element of your animated ad: entertainment value.

“People love being entertained, even if they talk business or get educated,” advises Olga Bedrina on Dreamgrow.com. “Animation adds 10 points to the entertainment factor.”

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