Cartoons for the Big Kids

Anish Patel is the CEO and Head Producer of Revolution Productions, an explanatory video production agency. His goal is to utilize the power of web video on the Internet by producing the most creative, result-oriented and captivating video content on the planet. Follow Revolution Video at @joinrevolution on Twitter.

We all have positive memories from our favorite cartoons. From Bugs Bunny to the Road Runner, cartoons stick in our minds, even from early childhood. Now that we're grown up, businesses are using those past times to influence our buying decisions by integrating cartoons into explainer videos. Don't think cartoons have the power to persuade? Just think about the history of political cartoons or corporations' cartoon characters, such as Microsoft's paperclip helper guy, you know, Clippy.

We know video engages viewers for a longer period of time than text, which is why more and more companies are using videos to explain their product or service. Some companies lean more towards presenter videos, seeing them as more professional. Those videos, however, can sometimes come across as too spammy or pushy. Though you might think cartoons are only for kids, here are five reasons why you should consider using cartoons in your next business video.

1. Cartoons Target a General Audience

Animation is a clever way to engage any type of audience without segregating a particular target market. For instance, when you are dealing with issues that need to attract multiple demographics, it can be difficult to select either a female or male presenter with a particular ethnicity or age.

Using a cartoon character, you can take the voice of the audience you want to attract and look a way that anyone can relate to: think Smokey the Bear, a cool camel, etc. Using cartoon animation in video can generalize the presenter so your message will engage a wider audience of users that you want to target.

2. We Trust Cartoons

Why would we trust a cartoon? Better yet, why wouldn't we? Let me explain. Cartoon animation, whether it is a human character or imaginative creature, has an instant trustability that not all humans have. In your business videos, cartoons give viewers the ability to open up to new ideas, including the belief that this service or product may be what they were looking for. Giving your viewers a sense of trust is very important, since you may have only 60 seconds to win their attention and potential business.

3. Cartoons are Best for a Series

The best part of cartoons is that we want to see them again—we can't wait to see what the character will come up with next. Using cartoon animation is a great way to build a series of videos that customers want to watch. Using a series will not only build out your video audience, but also increase your brand's relationship to your users. Your cartoon character can get into adventures that only our imaginations could create, making your video both original and interesting.

4. Cartoons Can Explain Serious Topics

Typically, not-for-profit organizations approach serious topics that not only have to engage users but also result in a call-to-action. Using cartoon animation is a gentle way to illustrate the details without being too overbearing. Again, cartoons can relate to a wide variety of people and open their minds about a delicate topic or issue.

5. Cartoons can Simplify Complicated Messaging

Think about political cartoons. Using illustrations, such as the famous donkey vs. elephant or comical situations involving politicians, has opened the opportunity for complicated subjects to become more understandable to everyone. Cartoons can engage the audience and break down complicated subject matter into easily digestible facts.

When all is said and done, cartoon animation can have a great deal of impact in a business video. When you are considering what type of technique to use for your next business video, just think about your favorite cartoons and how they shaped you today.

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