Marketing your product with 3D animation

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If you are a product developer or marketer, you have just stumbled upon a lucrative, relatively untapped source of marketing power.

3D Animation is under-utilized. Not in Hollywood, where it thrills, amuses and captivates audiences in film productions that net billions of dollars a year.

But in marketing campaigns for products of all kinds that, collectively, dwarf the revenues of those movie studios.

Here's how to max out the full range of animation's capabilities. A few key strategies, executed well, can make a massive difference in sales for your company.

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Marketing your product with 3D animation

  1. 1. ©THIS GUIDE IS FREELY DISTRIBUTABLE, BUT MUST NOT BE SOLD, IN WHOLE OR IN PART.NO PART OF THIS MANUAL SHALL BE REPRODUCED, STORED IN A RETRIEVAL SYSTEM, ORTRANSMITTED BY ANY MEANS, ELECTRONIC, MECHANICAL, PHOTOCOPYING, RECORDING,OR OTHERWISE, WITHOUT CREDITING THE AUTHOR. WHERE THERE IS AMBIGUITY AS TO THE MEANING OF THIS COPYRIGHT STATEMENT, LIMITOF LIABILITY AND DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY THE MOST RESTRICTIVE LEGALLYPERMISSIBLE INTERPRETATION IS BINDING UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED EXPRESSLY ANDIN WRITING BY THE AUTHOR.LIMIT OF LIABILITY / DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY: THE AUTHOR HAS USED HIS BEST EFFORTSIN PREPARING THIS MANUAL, AND MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES WITHRESPECT TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS BOOK ANDSPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULARPURPOSE. THE ACCURACY AND COMPLETENESS OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINEDHEREIN AND THE OPINIONS STATED HEREIN ARE NOT GUARANTEED OR WARRANTED TOPRODUCE ANY PARTICULAR RESULTS, AND THE ADVICE AND STRATEGIES CONTAINEDHEREIN MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR EVERY INDIVIDUAL PERSON OR COMPANY. THE AUTHORHAS USED HIS BEST EFFORTS TO REPRESENT ANY COMPANIES MENTIONED HEREIN IN APOSITIVE AND HONORABLE FASHION. THE AUTHOR RETAINS FULL OWNERSHIP OF ALLCOPYRIGHTS PERTAINING TO ANY IMAGES USED IN THIS MANUAL.THE AUTHOR SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF PROFIT OR ANY OTHER COMMERCIALDAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OROTHER DAMAGES. WHILE ALL ATTEMPTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO VERIFY INFORMATIONPROVIDED IN THIS PUBLICATION, NEITHER THE AUTHOR NOR THE PUBLISHER ASSUMESANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR CONTRARY INTERPRETATION OF THESUBJECT MATTER HEREIN. THIS PUBLICATION IS NOT INTENDED FOR USE AS A SOURCE OFLEGAL OR ACCOUNTING ADVICE.THE PUBLISHER WANTS TO STRESS THAT THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN MAY BESUBJECT TO VARYING STATE AND/OR LOCAL LAWS OR REGULATIONS. ALL USERS AREADVISED TO RETAIN COMPETENT COUNSEL TO DETERMINE WHAT STATE AND/ORLOCAL LAWS OR REGULATIONS MAYAPPLY TO THE USERS PARTICULAR BUSINESS.THE READER OF THIS PUBLICATION ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE USE OF THESEMATERIALS AND INFORMATION. ADHERENCE TO ALL APPLICABLE LAWS AND REGULATIONS,FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL, GOVERNING PROFESSIONAL LICENSING, BUSINESSPRACTICES, ADVERTISING, AND ALL OTHER ASPECTS OFDOING BUSINESS IN THE UNITED STATES OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION IS THE SOLERESPONSIBILITY OF THE PURCHASER OR READER.THE AUTHOR AND PUBLISHER ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY OR LIABILITY WHATSOEVER ONTHE BEHALF OF ANY PURCHASER OR READER OF THESE MATERIALS. ANY PERCEIVEDSLIGHTS OF SPECIFIC PEOPLE OR ORGANIZATIONS ARE UNINTENTIONAL.GOOGLE AND YOUTUBE ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS OF GOOGLE INC.
  2. 2. This guide has been created as a quick reference for product developers who are looking for new ways to market their products. Outlined here are 3 strategies for marketing a product with computer animation that most marketers overlook, even many who are familiar...max out the with the medium of 3D animation. These key strategies will help you get more out of your animation marketing investment, and leverage the full range of power of this versatile medium to sell any kind of product. animation’s If you would like more information on using Mike Efford Motion Design capabilities. as your animation studio please contact me at: Phone: 416-763-7290 A few key Online: http://www.mike-efford-motion-design.com/ E-mail: mefford@interlog.com strategies, Thank you,executed well, Mike Efford can make a massive difference in If you are a product developer or marketer, you have just stumbled upon a lucrative, relatively untapped source of marketing power. sales 3D Animation is under-utilized. Not in Hollywood, where it thrills, amuses and captivates audiences in film productions that net billions of dollars a year. But in marketing campaigns for products of all kinds that, collectively, dwarf the revenues of those movie studios. Yet if 3D animation is so good at winning the hearts and minds of movie audiences, doesnt it strike you as odd that more ad agencies and entrepreneurs dont take similar advantage of the power of this medium to win in the marketplace? Many do, of course. But even those more experienced with the medium do not typically max out the full range of animations capabilities. A few key strategies, executed well, can make a massive difference in sales. My mission in this briefing is to focus your attention on 3 key strategies that can make that difference.
  3. 3. The creative possibilities with 3-D technical animation are vast, but not well known. Most product developers and marketers will not have any more than a handful of creative ideas for this medium in their repertoire. The natural impulse is to treat 3D animation like photography. The creative And thats true of not only marketing executives but even creative concept should people like producers and art directors. But its not photography. Its a much more versatile medium in actual fact, and the way products are answer for you typically animated tends to only scratch the surface of what can be the question done. “How can I use And thats a key advantage if youre willing to tap into some creativeanimation to best ideas for your 3D animation that bring out the best of the mediums capabilities. Show your product off more creatively, (making better and promote and more creative use of the medium), and make more money. demonstrate the So heres what to do: tap into some creative talent. Actively seek out theproducts features creative input of someone familiar with 3D animation, and what it can and benefits?” do. Get a great idea, and have the animation built around it. It doesnt matter whether you engage a creative director, art director, a producer, or the animator on the project. A great idea is a great idea. But the point here is to have one…working hard to sell your product! Just ask them to develop a creative concept for your animation, that tells the product story in a way that makes the most out of the medium. Have it written up and / or sketched out roughly. The creative concept should answer for you the question “How can I use animation to best promote and demonstrate the products features and benefits?” To jump start your brainstorming, on the next page is a list of one sentence creative strategies. These are short descriptions of what you want your animation to do. You can copy and paste one or two of these into an e-mail request for a creative animation idea. After that is a list of some sample ideas like those you might expect of your creative talent. You can add one of those as a sample of what youd be interested in developing further with them.
  4. 4. Creative strategies: Show a products inner workings Depict a fairly mundane consumer product as graceful and magical Enhance the perceived value of a deceptively simple - looking product Show the importance of a very small part in a large, complex system Demonstrate how liquid flows through a system or product Emphasize the directional flow through a system Take viewers on a tour of a project that has not yet been built Show how massive a project or system is Show each stage of a development, in sequence Zoom into a microscopic detail of a component or product Show several consecutive operations of a linear system or assembly line Take a client on an exciting, "theme - park" like ride through a linear system Diagram how a very complex group of systems work together Show how a numerous set of mechanical parts fit together into their respective positions Show how a complex assembly of articulated mechanical parts operates Depict how an engineered structure will interface in a critical way with the earth Give a visually boring system or part an exciting, stylized graphic look and feel Show how a consumer or medical product interacts gently with human tissue Show how a product or service spans a large geographical distance. Explain and dramatize a particular kind of data
  5. 5. Show how the whole assembly your company produces adds up to more than the sum of its parts Show internal detail that needs to be viewed in exacting scale and proportion Create a high energy, "cutting - edge technology" impression Dramatize the blazing speed of an electronic components processing power Excite the imagination through a physically impossible fantasy scene built around your product Emphasize the sleek external appearance of a well designed, attractive product Give a soft, feminine feel to an otherwise clinical looking product Emphasize the relationship between a brands product and its logoNow for some examples… Taking the first item in the bulleted list, “Reveal yourproducts inner workings, and inner value”, here are a few specific 3D animationideas which serve this particular marketing strategy exceedingly well: Cutaway/Reveal: portions of the exterior of the object become transparent, revealing the hidden value / and or complexity inside. Zoom - In Close Up: From an overall wide shot of the product or system, the animation zooms in rapidly through the outer shell to explore deep inside, sometimes in an extreme close - up. Animated 2-D Diagram: For pure simplicity, a 2-D diagram rates high. The camera view is often static and the overall graphic look is clean and minimalist . Mechanical Articulation Demonstration: An accurate 3D simulation shows how all the individual components function and move together, inside the product, or "under the hood"
  6. 6. Cross - Sections: Most often a 2D animated view of an object, seen as if it were sliced in half, to reveal its inner workings. Fantasy: A mysterious, make - believe world is magically revealed inside a product, grabbing attention and exciting the viewers imagination. Bubble Fly - Up: A specialized form of zoom sequence. A circular disk featuring a magnified portion of an object zooms up to the viewer, while they continue to the full - size object in the background.*** In development is a website totally devoted to marketing with computer animation. It will be acomplete resource on how to market your product ideas using computer animation. For example the above creative ideas (and 87 more) are each developed in full detail, along withan outsourcing guide, directory of animation studios, animation galleries, case study library, greatlyexpanded guide to promotional strategies and more.If you would like to be notified when the site is live, click the following link: http://www.mike-efford-motion-design.com/MWCA_Pre_Launch_Opt-In_2.htm Fast forward now to the completion of your animation: the production process is complete (too big a subject to cover in a briefing like this), and the animation demonstrates your product with clarity, impact and style. Now what? Unless your animation is deliberately intended for a very private audience, for example during confidential, closed door presentations to investors, the objective is to expose it to as many eyes as possible. Sounds painfully obvious. But the majority of product animations, both industrial and consumer, get limited exposure even if they are used on broadcast television. Even after they are broadcast, they are typically put up onto the companys website, perhaps uploaded to YouTube, and thats the end of the animations promotional reach.
  7. 7. But the possibilities on the internet to syndicate that content far and wide are staggering, and increasing daily. There are sites and strategies for taking a product animation and multiplying its online exposure many times over. Same animation, massively more exposure. Following are some of those sites and strategies: There are sitesand strategies for YouTube: taking a product animation and All marketers know about YouTube, of course. Much less known are a couple of techniques for getting your animation in front of multiplying its thousands more viewers, and boosting traffic to your sales page. online exposure “Tag” your animation: many times over. find existing videos on YouTube that are related to your product, and get lots of views. Next, look at the pale grey panel at the top ofSame animation, the page, just to the right of the video screen. Click on the link that massively more says “more info”. You will see a list of keyword tags in blue. Copy some or all of those tags and apply them to YOUR uploaded exposure. product animation. That way, you can attract the same traffic that the high profile, popular video gets. Your animation is more likely to appear in the “related videos” sidebar at the right of the screen, next to the high traffic website. Visibility by association. Post a “video response”: First, upload your animation to YouTube. Then, search for a related video or animation that has LOTS of views. You check for the number of views directly beneath the videos, and the thumbnail images previewing them. So find a video that is on a closely related subject to your animation. A couple of lines underneath the video screen is a link called “video response”. Click on it. Here you can choose the animation you just uploaded. When you return to the related, popular video that has the massive number of views, you will see your video listed under Video Responses, along with a thumbnail image of your animation. Result? Thousands more views of your product animation coming from the video response you posted. Related videos sending you tons of traffic.
  8. 8. Embed you video on other video sites: Theres more to online video than YouTube, even though it is the dominant video portal on the web. Several other sites online allow you to embed a video (and in your case, a product animation) in a web page on their site. Videos and animations uploaded to YouTube have “embed code”, which you can paste into a page on ...have it the following sites, to syndicate your product animation across the working for you in internet: multiple locations, http://www.flixya.com similar to the way http://www.spike.com http://www.instructables.comthat film distributors http://www.myspace.com syndicate motion http://www.uvouch.com http://www.magnify.net/sites/categories pictures around http://www.ulinkx.com/ the world. http://www.myvidster.com http://www.gemzies.com/ http://www.infectiousvideos.com/ Lots more views of http://www.videosift.com http://www.vewgle.com your product. http://www.tagged.com http://www.wonderhowto.com The embed code is found on YouTube in the light grey panel in the upper left corner of each video page. Tip: The best way to copy code? Single click on the code, then hit <control A> (<option A> on the Mac) to select all of it. Then copy and paste. That way you are 100% sure you selected all of the code. Its easy to miss some code if you drag to select. The above sites offer a variety of places to take the same video you uploaded on YouTube, and have it working for you in multiple locations, similar to the way that film distributors syndicate motion pictures around the world. Lots more views of your product. Press Releases: Some of the webs most prominent press release sites now allow one to embed or link to a video in a press release. This can yield extraordinary results, particularly when initially lunching a product. The news value of a product launch makes press releases with a
  9. 9. video / animation a perfect fit. This is almost always a paid option, but well worth it. Even just the back-links to your website/sales page can be worth doing this. PR Web: This site is the most prominent of the press release sites that accept video: http://www.prweb.com/ The site also has extensive tutorials for writing and developing press releases, as well as some excellent examples that your company can model your own release after.this site could get E-Releases.com: your product Here is a press release site that submits releases to over 3,000 TV animation on stations and shows. If your product is newsworthy, and you have a video or 3D animation showing how it is special, this site could get broadcast your product animation on broadcast television news. television news. http://www.ereleases.com/index.html Dont forget that you can include hyperlinks within the release text that can take viewers back to your website and sales pages as well. So it can be an animation syndication double play: broadcast television AND internet. Well worth looking into. “Re-purposing” is a kind of digital buzz-word, meaning to take information content and use it again in different media, usually in modified form. What does re-purposing mean when applied to 3-D animation? It means that once an animation “scene” has been created, still images can be rendered out at higher resolution for use in print media and interactive applications.
  10. 10. Say you have a 3-D animation that shows a new exercise machine. The art director is planning to create an ad for a trade magazine which will show a similar view of the machine. Instead of hiring a freelance illustrator to create a new image for the ad, she asks the animator to modify the scene somewhat, moving the camera for a different view, more appropriate for the ad. The animator sets it up, Your 3D animation then renders out a high - resolution image and refines it in Photoshop. It is then used in the trade magazine ad, and costs less can yield a large than what an illustrator would charge for an original work. range of content, Full disclosure: One caveat with high resolution images output fromwhich you will likely 3-D animation scenes is that they will almost always require some retouching, refinement and digital enhancement to be suitable for need anyway for a print. What looks like plenty of detail in a moving animation is not complete product enough for a print media illustration. marketing Plus the file must be converted to a different color format, CMYK, campaign. which is somewhat more limited in tone. A printer will take an RGB image and convert it for you, but they dont like to, and may insist that you prep it before you hand it off to them. And your art director will lose control over the color if the printer modifies the image. Best to have the animator and art director collaborate. The point is that there is real additional work involved. Dont expect something for nothing. So budget a little extra for this. (A freelance animator will not give this away for free, because there are at least a couple of hours involved to produce this, and a typical animator knows its value.) Even with the small amount of extra budget, however, youre way ahead. Your 3D animation can yield a large range of content, which you will likely need anyway for a complete product marketing campaign. Tip: Dont forget to tell the animator before starting the animation that some print media renderings will be needed. That way, the wireframe models can be built with the right amount of detail. Use the core animation to produce a variety of add-on pieces for your communications strategy and stretch both your communications budget, and the promotional reach of your animation.
  11. 11. Ffollowing are some examples of the range of extra content that can be spun outof a 3D animation:Illustrations For: Print materials Trade show graphics Website pages External articles and press releases Powerpoint PDF sales brochuresBroadcast and video ideas: Re- purpose broadcast animations for the web: smaller versions of the original broadcast animation, suitable for websites or YouTube Build the animation with pauses for editing: a video editor can stretch out the animation by building in pauses and freeze frames Same animation body with different intros: build the animation with a distinctly separate front end. Then create additional intros Loop it: ask the animator to build all or even just part of the animation so it can repeat seamlessly over and over Combine it into other forms of web video: the animation can be built into an interactive Flash presentation, with clickable text menus, audio etc. Break it up into segments: one long animation becomes a focused series of clips for insertion into interactive media or Powerpoints, webpages etcModifying the animation scene files for different kinds of output: Interactive “panoramas”: 3D animation software can output a series of images that panorama software can combine into a fully interactive tour of your product Proprietary interactive product viewers like VRML in PDF documents
  12. 12. In this guide we looked at 3 powerful strategies for marketing a productwith computer animation that most marketers overlook. These strategieswill help you make more money with your animation marketinginvestment, and leverage the power of this versatile medium to sell anykind of product. So dont take this medium for granted: use it to promoteyour product to the max!Whats the next step?E-mail me at mefford@interlog.com and secure a booking for yourproduct animation. If my animation schedule does not allow me to takeon your project at the present time I will refer you to a directory ofprofessionals. In either case, youll be on your way.To be notified when the Marketing with Computer Animation site is live,click the following link:http://www.mike-efford-motion-design.com/MWCA_Pre_Launch_Opt-In_2.htmAbout the authorMike Efford turns the magic of computer animation into marketing powerfor his clients.For more strategies for marketing with computer animation, plus demovideos and more, visit: http://www.mike-efford-motion-design.com

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