Header for an article about animated content showing a calendar showing the year of 2020

2020 started and as at any beginning of a decade, we all ask ourselves "How will the future be?". Well, the future of content marketing has motion graphics as its main characteristic. My objective with this article is to touch on some relevant topics that will help you see how your content is expected to be animated or to have some kind of movement from now on.

Something that inspired me to write this was listening to one of the latest episodes from School of Motion's podcast released in 2019. It's a 4-hour long show so we won't be talking a lot about it here, especially because most of it was focused on the motion design community itself. If you're interested in all things related to motion design though, it has a lot of great tips on conferences, courses and favorite projects and studios of the year – we were featured with our project for Anymotion 🙂

My objective here is to discuss how online and conventional media has changed and how animation is becoming an integral part of that, with possibilities that might impact multiple verticals in this new decade.

Are explainer videos dead?

The traditional Explainer Video structure that we have all seen over and over is more than dead, and that's also a unanimous opinion among School of Motion's roundtable. 

The “recipe” of a script that presents a character, shows its pain, brings the solution, and ends with a call to action, is nowadays as silly as infomercials back in the ’90s. If you're starting your script with "Meet John" and ending it with a poor Call-to-Action like "Subscribe Today!"... you're doing it wrong.

It was a tremendous success in the early Tech Startup boom, but nowadays, our brains easily turn off when approached with something like this. With that being said, a good and fresher story is more necessary than ever to make brands stand out. The message of an AD needs to connect on a deeper level, instigating the viewer in a way that an obvious call-to-action shouldn't even be necessary. Storytelling may sound like a cliché word now but whenever you immerse yourself due to a well-told story, you understand how vital it is.

Supply and demand

The demand for animation not only increased in the last years but is expected to become even more significant. With every new year, the number of screens we interact with grows more and more and all of this demand requires quality animated content that can entertain, engage and communicate. 

We can easily see this demand happening inside many tech companies that started most recently to build their own motion design departments. It goes even beyond tech, Marketing Agencies and even more traditional businesses are building teams of editors and motion designers to help them produce content more constant.

This new decade brings changes and challenges on how to supply the big demand for this upcoming market. Internal teams will be used a lot more to fulfill constant and low-complexity demands while studios with either bigger or more focused expertise will be responsible for larger and more complex ADs related to product launches, positioning statements and other branding-related content.

A new and improved industry

Animators from the industry are starting to get more and more specialized rather being just someone that "makes things move". We saw this happening to ourselves a while ago when we started to combine strategies from both creative and marketing fields as a way to differentiate ourselves. Agencies gain a lot when working with professionals that can bring relevant inputs to support and improve the ideas their teams have.

The battle of video specifications

With every new Social Media – and sometimes, update – we see users consuming content in different ways. For example, five years ago, when talking about animation for the internet, the recipe (besides the "dead" Explainer Video structure I mentioned above) was to have 60 to 90 seconds, horizontal 16:9 animation. Who would have ever imagined that a few years later we would be producing 60 to 90sec animations in horizontal, vertical, and square formats, including 30sec, 15sec, and even 6sec versions of the original video.

Nowadays, it is not an option to have one or another format with one or another duration. Basically, every piece of content is tending to have at least 3 different output formats to allow the animation to better engage with viewers across all marketing channels. 

With the crescent growth of screens, the content will be consumed in formats and durations we can’t even imagine now. The ability to adapt, as technology and human behavior evolves, is essential for any brand, studio or agency to survive.

What’s next?

The future is always up to discussion, but it's clear that there’s more necessary than ever for industries to absorb animation inside the core of their businesses. At MOWE, we like to inquire about the future because the best way to "predict the future" is creating it and there's no way of doing so if you don't reflect on the current state of technology, human behavior and media consumption.

If you also find this subject interesting and would like to discuss it further with us, feel free to leave a comment or contact me at felippe@mowe.studio.