Animated videos are exceptionally skilled at delivering emotions. They’re able to make us laugh just as quickly as they’re able to make us cry (Pixar’s Up, anyone?).
And, according to Dr Karen Nelson-Field in Viral Marketing: The Science of Sharing, videos that produce a strong emotional response in a viewer have double the chance of being shared than those with a weak emotional appeal. As a result, companies that release such a video are likely to see an increase in sales and brand interaction.
Not surprisingly, animations start popping up everywhere around Christmas. With consumers full of those childish, giddy feelings December brings, companies are presented with a great opportunity to market themselves.
Cynical? Who me?
Instead of paying lip service to department stores, we at Squeezed Media thought we’d write a blog post about two charity animations that have been released this Christmas.
The technical skills are impressive and the messages are important. What’s not to like?
‘Santa Forgot’ by Alzheimer’s Research UK 2016
Something about Stephen Fry’s voice brings a real sense of gravitas to a message – not that a disease like Alzheimer’s doesn’t carry a fair amount of weight already.
In this story, narrated by Fry, Santa has dementia and is no longer able to visit children on Christmas Eve. The film highlights the social isolation faced by dementia sufferers, and shows the audience that the illness doesn’t discriminate.
Chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, Hilary Evans, said: ‘We have to be provocative about dementia, to help fight misconceptions and fatalism around the condition and to demonstrate that pioneering research holds the answers.’
Whilst the video is unlikely to fill you with festive cheer, it champions the power of research and, ultimately, has a hopeful message.
#ProtectTigers: WWF UK Christmas Advert 2016
In WWF UK’s Christmas offering, a suburban family find a beautifully rendered wounded tiger lying on the bed in their guest room and nurse him back to health.
Interestingly, WWF don’t Disney-fy the situation. The tiger is a wild animal, and acts as such: it growls at the mother’s attempt to attend to its wound, and once healed, leaves the house with not much more than a backward glance.
WWF, it appears, aren’t afraid of hitting us with some hard truths. We learn from the video that wild tiger numbers have dropped by more than 95% in the past century. With public support, WWF hopes to help double the number of wild tigers to more than 6,000 by 2022 – that’s the next Chinese year of the tiger, by the way.
It’s not surprising Christmas has become so synonymous with charity. It’s a time of giving, after all.
(Note: Merrier context next week, we promise.)