The future.  What a wondrous thing.  It’s a time of endless possibilities and questions that are impossible to answer.

Will robots rule the world?

Will raccoons be bred so they can eat all the trash, thus ending urban pollution?

Will we reverse engineer dinosaurs resulting in mass moral dilemmas like in Jurassic Park?

Will I eat chicken or fish for dinner tonight?

Ya know… the big questions.  

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It’s fun to imagine what could happen in that land of limitless wonder.  Here at Explanimate! We like to ponder the future of animation.  Once a week we all sit in a circle and philosophically debate potential timelines for everyone’s favourite form of digital media…

But, before we can dive into what the future will hold for animation and your brand, it is important that you first understand a little bit about the history and development of the technological wonder that is animation. 

Where modern animation came from…

Now I won’t bore you with the intricacies of how the first animated sequence was made in 1900. Or with how the 1914 cartoon Gertie the Dinosaur was the first animation to make use of techniques like key framing and animation loops – techniques which are still used today.  I won’t even touch on how Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was the first full length animated feature film and popularised animation as a form of entertainment.  

You wouldn’t be interested in any of that.

However, I will dive into the 1980s, because that is where things get really exciting.

The 1980s were when computer generated animation started to enter its golden era.  This marked a time when stop motion and celluloid techniques began to be succeeded by computer graphics.  Something which is very important to the development of modern animation techniques.

As technology evolved, animation evolved along with it.  Through the increased accessibility and intelligence of computers, animation has become one of the premiere forms of entertainment.  This ever increasing digitisation of society has also meant digital media is now the easiest and most effective way for brands to engage consumers.  And, with animation being the one of the best forms of digital media and marketing, for a plethora of reasons, it has become a mainstream choice for branding productions.

 

Where the future of animation can take your brand…

I know, I know, I’ve said it before and I will say it again.  If you’re looking for a way to create bespoke and unique branded content, animation is the way to go. But, we have written a bunch of articles about how animation can help your business now.  That is not what we are here to talk about.  We want to talk to you about why you should invest in the future of animated productions.  

The potential for animation is limitless.  It’s an industry dedicated to thinking outside the box.  Which, coincidentally, is very much in line with marketing’s principles of uniqueness and the importance of memorability.  So, if you want your brand to be remembered, the easiest way to do so is by staying outside the box. 

As the animation industry continues to expand and develop, the potential for it to benefit your brand also expands.  Exploring the use of developing forms of animation like interactive imagery, data driven animation and immersive, or VR, animations can be great ways for your brand to stand out above the crowd.  Think of it as becoming a branded animation trendsetter.  

But, we also understand that being the first can be scary and you may not be comfortable investing in these new forms of animated production just yet.  Well, there are still many ways animation can be used to invest in the future of your brand.

 

Where animation can take the future of your brand…

By creating characters, styles or storylines that can be replicated and continued across current and future campaigns, you give audiences something to look forward to.  In doing this, you will be setting up future campaigns for success by teasing audiences now.  Kind of like how you’re always left wanting more after that cliffhanger at the end of each season of your favourite TV show.  You will be leaving audiences thinking about your brand and always wanting more.

Another way to use animation to set up the future version of your brand is by simply choosing animation.  Animation has a longevity which other forms of digital media do not.  Sure you could reuse a live action film for a few years but the clothing, hairstyles and sets will quickly begin to betray the reuse of old productions.  However, in creating a classy animated production, you are investing in a project which can be used indefinitely.  

 

So, whilst the future is full of uncertainties (I still don’t know what I’m going to eat for dinner) one thing is for certain.  So long as technology continues to develop, animation will continue to revolutionise the branding industry.  

Written by Caitlin de Graaf.