Is animation right for my business?

The video production Raleigh (and marketing as a whole) uses is shifting towards more animation. Your business is going to be on the cutting edge by embracing this growing trend. However, you’ve got to do it with intention or you’ll get just as much payoff by literally burning your marketing budget. Don’t torch your revenue! Our team at Blueforest Studios makes some of the best-animated videos in Raleigh, and we’re here to help you dominate.

A heavy boost in the conversion of your audience may just be right around the corner. At the very least, you might see a nice jump in engagement. We’ll start with the benefits business may gain from this film style.

The complex becomes simple

An animated film is particularly useful for painting big ideas in a simple picture. If your brand needs to boil elaborate messages down to their basics, you’ll find much more freedom with animation over live action footage. After all, artificial characters can do things and be things that are impossible in real life. A smiling cloud can be the main hero of your water conservation brand. A scrappy computer chip can take front and center for your computer hardware store ads. Try illustrating data transfer or the water cycle in 60 seconds with live film. Good luck!

Isolated audiences become united

You may find your brand has services or products that are useful to many, but your audiences don’t identify with you. Maybe your brand is a financial education service, but the primary perspective is from a man. You want to give women the full value of your service. However, there are differences in experience that make it difficult to connect with them. Open up your brand’s message by animating it. Diverse characters, and even personified objects can be useful for breaking down barriers of age, gender, race, and more.

Make your message highly shareable

If you’re wanting to make your videos more likely to be shared, an animation is worth a shot. To piggyback on the last point, animated footage helps you find more audiences by taking advantage of universal humor and lightheartedness. You don’t have to make your films funny, but it is much easier when your characters and settings are a bit removed from reality. Think about it like this: few adult cartoons would work as primetime sitcoms (see: The Simpsons). By making your audience laugh, you’re tapping into the top element of shareable content. Make people smile, and they just might make your brand go viral.

Take a chance to give your brand new life (beyond reality).

Animate your brand to open new doors for audience engagement and conversion. You’ve learned plenty about the potential of this medium just by reading this post. You now know this production method can simplify your ideas, united segmented audiences, and boost your audience engagement. You’ll find strong benefits all over this video style, but it’s up to you to implement them well. If you ever have questions– or want outsource for professional video production– we at Blueforest Studios are here to chat!

Should my company create an animated video?

Brand marketing is becoming far more animated in 2018– literally. As business becomes more abstract and data-driven (see: blockchain), you are basically required to have simple explanations for your audience. The average modern marketer is waking up to the epiphany that there’s a lot of marketers can learn from cartoons. You’re going to be better than average, and we’re going to help you get there. Unleash your childlike wonder with our top essentials for marketing animated videos in Raleigh, and beyond. Let’s get started with why you’d use this type of marketing.

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When is an animated video good for your brand?

The best use of animation in marketing will involve explaining big ideas in simple ways. Maybe your brand generates complex data or provides a tool that gives your clients unlimited possibilities. Maybe your brand is a counterculture health movement that needs to re-educate the masses. Your audience needs to understand what your brand does. You want to give them a precise overview of what their lives will look like when you step in.

So, you’re going to want to explain it! Naturally, an animation is phenomenal when you’re making an explainer video. You’re not limited by laws of the physical world, meaning you can represent data as little people flying through the internet and much more. When the abstract becomes concrete, we are instantly more engaged.

 

 

How animated videos enhance your brand (and your wallet)

Let’s start with that last part because we all love to save money. For starters, you don’t have to pay actors and videographers as you would with live action film. Animated whiteboard videos require less time, money, and are even cheaper to edit. The process of creating animation is so ridiculously flexible, it’s almost a no-brainer to at least try it.

On that note, whiteboard animation is flexible in many other ways too. There are endless ways to explain complex topics like mental health and finance. The lack of limits can bring you closer to visually simplifying your message. When you strip your visuals down to the bare essentials of your message, audiences will understand and remember you. This freedom gives you more opportunities for humor too, and people love to share things that make them smile. Finally, your animated characters are easy to reuse if you want them in your long-term marketing campaign.

When you definitely should not use an animation…

While animated marketing video is almost universally good for your brand, there are clear situations where it doesn’t make sense. Animation should not be used if your message requires anything specific to the real world.

Testimonials hinge on your audience connecting with real people. The humanizing details like smiling facial expressions and body language are critical for credibility. Your brand loses that when your characters are simple cartoons. Product videos or demonstrations also require smaller details that real-world footage can capture. For example, a local visitor center website would be more effective showing off real places, people, or things.

Bring your brand to life with animation marketing.

Your company is on the horizon of innovative marketing simply by learning more about animation. While your competition will be trying to catch up, you’re going to be on the cutting edge and moving on to the next step in video marketing. Blueforest Studios is obsessed with new and lively ways to transform your incredible services into compelling video production. Set up a chat today and see what we can do for you.

Summer 2016 High School Interns

This is our fourth year participating in Triangle AdFed’s What We Do You Can Too internship program, or WWDU2, where high school students receive the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the advertising industry for one week. This year we have three interns:  Brendan Bello, Daniel Engman, and Mason Carrara.

Brendan Bello

Brendan Bello

I am a high school student in the Academy of Finance program at Sanderson High School. Throughout the summer between junior and senior year, Academy students are required to complete a 135-hour internship at a local business. I chose Blueforest Studios because I am interested in pursuing a career in the film industry. My plan for this summer and goal as an intern is to learn about video production. Blueforest Studios being a group of people passionate about their craft, they can help me accomplish that goal. With my experience at Blueforest Studios, I, like them, will hopefully be able to make audiences feel something and inspire them to take action.

(Brendan will remain an intern for the duration of the summer.)

 

Daniel Engman

Daniel Engman

Let’s start with who am I. I am a dual-sport athlete, playing both football and lacrosse for Middle Creek High School. I have one little brother, two crazy dogs, and I am very fortunate to have two loving parents as well. I am very influenced by sports in my life and they have molded me into a driven and very competitive person.

My competitiveness and my will to win have not only helped my football and lacrosse careers in high school (I’ve only lost 2 football games in my high school career), but it has driven me to go and get any and every opportunity I can get, such as this internship at Blueforest Studios. During my time at Blueforest, I hope to learn the amount of time and hard work it takes to create a successful marketing campaign and to recognize all the pieces that play into making the best possible product. I also hope to further my skills in video production, as well as graphic design and audio production.

 

Mason C

Mason Carrara

I am sort of a computer geek and I love to create things from scratch in Photoshop. I love creating objects,environments, and characters. The love to learn new skills is always open to me. I want to be able to do work that others would recognize, from the company and from me. I personally love working with others and hearing their opinions on given subjects so I can improve on my thinking.

I just started getting into animation and I was able to create a .GIF with the Photoshop Timeline window by creating individual frames for each movement. I enjoyed this, and I decided to go a little more in-depth with animation. I still only know the basics but I bought the book called “Animator’s Survival Kit” to enhance my skills. I plan to also learn more about animation at Blueforest Studios. 

My goal for this internship is going to understand how computer businesses work. I want to see what we do for planning, what we do for executing, and etc. I want to learn programs for the work of animation, editing, and teamwork. Getting to know these programs and critical thinking skills will help me understand the thinking of a business products. Being in a business is personally a good spot for me to understand what a business will be about.

The Voice of the Expert Presented in a Creative Way: Keen Strategy

by Ammon Ehrisman

With any creative project, you are going to have lots of possible decisions and you have to be very selective about what you choose.  It was no different when we started working on the Keen Strategy branding video.  

As I met with Greg and John I realized that their software was a bit technical and took a while to explain.  But their passion for what their software could do to help marketing managers was palpable.

After doing all of the normal creative discovery, we knew the three biggest things we would like the video to do.  First, we needed to describe what Keen’s software did so anyone could understand it.  Second, we wanted to demonstrate that John and Greg were really passionate about what they were doing. Third, we wanted to show that Keen’s MIDA software was different from anything else out there.

Great. Sounds like a plan, right? Well, since we only had 2 minutes to work with, we knew we would have to pick one or maybe two of these things to really focus on in the video or we were going to start losing people.

We ended up coming up with 3 ideas to address these issues.  Some were funny.  Some were told through the eyes of a marketing manager.  Others were more symbolic, but the one that John and Greg liked the most was also the most offbeat idea.  

The concept was to interview them about the software and their passion for helping marketing managers.  As we watched their interviews, they would magically transform into animated versions of themselves. This would hopefully grab the attention of the audience and give us the opportunity to demonstrate the high-level features of the software in a visually captivating way all while making a real connection between our audience and the founders of Keen.

The result is the Keen video: Greg and John.  Watch it and tell us what you think.

 

 

 

The Limitless World of Animation

As the animated video market has become saturated with whiteboard animations, it may seem like animation is a fad coming near the end of its tenure. We work on providing animation that goes far beyond the “whiteboard” style that was popular a few years ago. Our animation strives to be a part of the story and help convey the message that our clients are hoping to share.  We do this in part through the work of Blueforest’s in-house animator Emily Kohler and her assistants. Animation opens up the door to so many possibilities in the video production world and truly is limitless. A few of our favorite styles are motion graphics, kinetic, and hand drawn. Animated videos have an entire arsenal of possible options at their disposal.

Motion Graphics

Motion graphics can add a lot to a standard, live action video by visually incorporating key details. In this video, we added the graphic overlay to add information and keep the viewer engaged.

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Kinetic Animation

Kinetic animation is an animation technique that mixes motion and text. How the text is presented assists in its mission to convey an idea or emotion. Kinetic animation is special because the combination of animation and fonts makes it very interesting to watch as words can be very powerful.

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Hand Drawn

Lastly, and our favorite, hand drawn animation. Hand drawn animation is undoubtedly the most beautiful form as each image is hand crafted and is a moving piece of artwork. Not only that, but anything can be drawn and animated precisely to meet each client’s needs.

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To see our entire suite of animation capabilities, check out our Animation Styles video below!

 

Add ANIMATION INSPIRATION to your life!

Check out one of our latest projects! We used animation to tell local nonprofit CASA’s story for this year’s Blueforest Gives Back project.

 

Animation has endless possibilities. Think about it. You can utilize any style and customize until it’s just right. That is why animation can be an essential part of your arsenal.

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Using animation in your video marketing allows you to convey important messages and stories that you may not be able to do with live action. Even if live action storytelling is possible, animation stands out and can be personalized to fit your business.

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Animation’s limitless scope makes it a highly effective tool. You can use everything from simplistic drawing to intense special effects to capture your story.

We have a monthly Animation Inspiration newsletter that highlights the various forms of animation we use here at Blueforest Studios. Sign up today to receive monthly animation inspiration and ideas you can use for your business marketing! Click below.

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Contact us today for your animation needs!

Blueforest Gives Back – CASA Video Debut July 21st

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The moment we’ve all be waiting for – the winner of Blueforest Gives Back CASA’s Video Reveal! We had our First Annual Blueforest Gives Back for local nonprofits and we’re proud to announce that we will debut the final product July 21st at The Cary Theater.

CASA is a Raleigh-based nonprofit housing developer and property manager. They focus primarily on multi-family rental properties for people living with disabilities and veterans who have experienced homelessness. CASA’s housing model ends homelessness for people in great need by offering safe, permanent places to live. CASA manages more than 340 apartments and homes across the Triangle (Wake, Durham and Orange counties) and has 22 more currently under construction.

We’ve really enjoyed this exciting collaboration, learning more about what CASA does and how they positively impact our local community. Together we’ve creating an amazing animated video that embodies CASA and their message. We can’t wait to share it with all of you!

Come learn about Blueforest Studios, CASA, and the importance of animation! See how Blueforest tells CASA’s amazing story and learn more about the annual Blueforest Gives Back for local nonprofits. Open to everyone!

 

When: Tuesday July 21st

Time: 3:30pm- 5:30pm (2 showings of the debut video, no excuse to miss it!)

Where: The Cary Theater 

Who: Open to everyone!

Tickets : FREE! And choice to donate to CASA.

Reserve your tickets HERE.

You don’t want to miss this!

 

Introducing: Bailey’s – Experience Elegance

We were thrilled when we received a call from Bailey’s and they said they were considering using us for their upcoming holiday campaign.  Who in this market hasn’t heard of the Bailey Box?  They are great marketers and we were honored to have a chance to develop a holiday TV spot for their company.  And, the fact that they let our team stretch their creative muscles made it that much more enjoyable. It’s an elegant and unique video that combines animation and live action, view below!

 

 

The purpose of this video was not only to unveil their completely redesigned store but to convey the feeling of shopping at Bailey’s in a memorable and unique way.

 

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We shot all footage using the Red Epic 4K camera riding on a Ronin 3-Axis stabilizer to get that floating feeling to the footage.  We decided on shots that were bright and sunny for the outdoor shots.

 

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We designed a animated female character and used several techniques to make it feel as though she was really part of the scene but at the same time feel as though she were part of the viewers imagination.  The character is designed to convey a stylish, carefree spirit.

The result is a commercial that stands out from other jewelry commercials in a memorable way.

Press Release: Raleigh Production Company Adopts Humanitarian Role in Community

View the official press release here.

Blueforest Studios is a company that realizes there’s more to business than making money. The Raleigh-based video production company places an emphasis on maintaining a benevolent reputation, both in and out of the workplace. Their efforts to stay involved and active in the community include volunteer work for charity, donations to non-profits, and a general practice of selfless, healthy office activities.

Blueforest’s most significant local contribution is monthly participation in Meals on 6386194_origWheels, an organization that delivers food to elderly and disabled citizens with limited mobility. Each month, two or more staff members take their turn delivering meals to residents of Wake County that are in need of this form of assistance. Employees at the company are happy to take a couple hours out of their day to give back to the community and meet fresh new faces in the process. Video Producer Vann Dwiggins expresses his high regard for Blueforest’s altruistic labors:

“It’s encouraging to be a part of a company that not only cares about it’s employees, but about the general public. I enjoy coming to work even more knowing that my role here can occasionally help others that are in need.” 

In addition to their participation in Meals on Wheels, Blueforest Studios donates half the proceeds from their monthly training seminars to select nonprofits in the area. For example, August’s event sponsored Passage Home, a nonprofit dedicated to aiding the poverty-stricken residents of Wake County. This is just one of several nonprofits Blueforest Studios engages with, including the NC Lighthouse Foundation and Cause for Paws. 

unnamedThe team is dedicated to maintaining an office environment that’s conducive to a healthy and inspired work-life. They do so in a variety of ways, such as watching motivational TED Talks at quarterly staff meetings. One such video provided five methods for living a happy life: random acts of kindness, journaling, exercise, meditation, and counting gratitudes. These five actions have been illustrated on posters that grace the walls of Blueforest’s office as encouraging reminders for the staff and visitors. Through their efforts, Blueforest Studios hopes to make even the smallest of difference in their community, as well as influence others to give back. 

About Blueforest Studios

Blueforest Studios is an integrated video production firm located in Raleigh, NC that serves the mid-atlantic region and beyond. Their work features the RED camera that will deliver 4K and UltraHD footage. They place an emphasis on storytelling to connect with their audiences through high-end animation and live-action videos. 

About Meals on Wheels

Since 1974 Meals on Wheels has been giving our community’s most vulnerable citizens their independence by serving 1,300 healthy meals a day. Their outreach to the elderly and persons with disabilities in Wake County improves nutrition, reduces isolation, and helps our friends and neighbors stay in their homes.

The Why, Where, What, and When of the Animated GIF

WHY

Cute kittens and klutzy kids have been using animated GIFs for years to showcase their particular brand of cute. But the animated GIF isn’t all fun and games. Okay, it’s mostly fun and games. But who says marketing can’t be fun every once in awhile?

Because we’re a video company, motion is kind of our thing. So you can bet we love animated GIFs. After all, they handily bridge the gap between a still image and a video.

GIFs are hardly a new frontier. They’re been around since 1987! Marketers have been slow to catch up, but animated GIFs’ popularity as an alternative advertising device has been slowly growing. Used correctly, they can be a great way to get attention, showcase a product, or express your brand’s individuality.

Here are some great examples of GIF usage for inspiration:

This slick GIF by Jakub Antalík showcases the smooth animations and clean interface of the app design.

 

Subway has started using illustrated GIFs to show off their fun side.

Diesel put together a moving fashion shoot for one of their recent marketing campaigns.

Here at Blueforest Studios, we just can’t resist GIFs. We’ve been using them in some of our recent online spot ads to help explain what we do.

WHERE

Some popular sites, like Twitter and Facebook, still don’t allow animated GIFs. Even a few email clients have been slow on the update. So make sure your animated images can also work as a static image and do plenty of testing beforehand.

Some sites, however, go with animated GIFs like jelly on toast. Tumblr in particular is the unofficial kingdom of the GIF, and its platform encourages users to like and reblog posts. Brands that have embraced the motion movement include Coca-Cola, American Apparel, Adidas, Sesame Street, and Disney.

WHAT

Consider your audience and let that guide your content.. Does your GIF have entertainment value? Make people laugh? Show customers how to interact with your product? Illustrate some life truth that resonates with folks? People normally don’t share ads. But people do share good content. And if your ad just so happens to be good content… win win!

WHEN

If you know anything about animated GIFs, you know that they’re best used sparingly (unlike this blog post).