With a huge amount of uncertainty for companies of all sizes right now, keeping employees in the loop with consistent, reliable communications is absolutely essential.
More than ever, content needs to be engaging where the many nuances of in-person communication are absent, and you need to be able to effectively deliver clear messages to your employees.
With disruptions from COVID-19 making shooting film content almost impossible, more and more HR departments are discovering just how effective animation can be for employee communication. Here are a few of the advantages of using animation for your internal messaging:
1. Communicate richer information, faster
Often, you’ll have complex internal insights that need to be translated into employee-centric messages. That means communicating a lot of data quickly, in a way that’s both engaging and informative.
Data visualisation is a powerful way to do this, by using animated infographics to support the messaging. And because the aesthetic is already stylised, animation matches well with data visualisation graphics.
Take, for example, our campaign for John Lewis, communicating Pension Scheme changes to employees. We wove an engaging story into animations, infographics, posters and letters, the simple graphic style ensuring the information was clear and accessible to everyone at JLP, from fishmongers to top accounting managers. With an additional 53,000 individuals contributing to their pension savings after the campaign’s release on an overall workforce of ~90,000 people, it’s hard to imagine that live-action shooting could have provided the same kind of results.
2. Stand out in the data-stream
People are continuously filtering out what they see as ‘irrelevant’ information, especially online, where they’re constantly bombarded by content. And employees are no different.
Whether posting on a public feed or an internal company social networking platform, video is more eye-catching than static imagery, but animation stands out even further, helping you better connect with your diverse employee base.
How? By broadening characters and scenes through stylisation, animation is able to flex horizontally across genders, ethnicities and cultures.
When HSBC approached us to help them introduce their new ‘Serve, Empower, and Grow’ initiative, our animated campaign adopted the same approach – using stylised, non-ethno-specific characters to build empathy for the message with both customers and employees. With the initiative aiming to increase engagement between HSBC’s staff and customers, it was vital for the video content to appeal to a wide audience, and animation achieved this.
If you’d like to know more about how we design and choose characters for animation, you can read our article on creating relatable characters.
3. Flexible content that can grow and evolve with your brand
One of the key advantages to animation is how flexible it is, both in its look and its ability to be updated.
Because it’s practically an entire world being created from scratch, we can easily apply the right branding to content, for a consistent ensemble of reusable internal material. This is difficult to do with live-action shooting without expensive and time-consuming set dressing and direction.
With the rate of constant change that we’re witnessing today, at both a societal and regulatory level, it’s important to have employee materials that can easily be updated and amended to reflect this fluid context. And although live-action content can be re-cut, it’s not as easy to modify and match scenes and audio as it is in animation. That means it’s easy to substitute scenes in and out without having to reshoot or recut video footage – so your internal content is future-proofed.
In our animated internal comms campaign for Deloitte, we supported the adoption of the company’s new digital transformation programme. The conversational tone and stylised imagery both communicated the complex topic in a simple, relatable way, and ensured the videos could easily flex with future updates to Deloitte’s digital approach.
4. Longer lasting brand assets
Essentially, animation offers a level of consistency and cohesiveness that’s hard to match with live-action shooting. That goes from personal fashion choices to props present during shooting; compare a live-action campaign from 8 years ago with an animation campaign from the same time and it’s pretty evident which one aged better.
Furthermore, even filming an employee who’s engaging, knowledgeable and good on camera, there’s no guarantee they’ll still be in the same role, or even in your company, twelve months down the line.
With animation, you get long-lasting internal materials that aren’t tied to a certain individual or fashion trend. It allows you to capture your in-house expertise in evergreen content that’s on brand and updateable as your internal messaging changes.
Take our animated campaign pushing out Jim Beam’s “Partnership Playbook” to employees, for example. Introducing the new commercial partnership guidelines, the video is now an integral part of the Jim Beam training material. Its animated illustrations ensure the video won’t become quickly outdated and will be the go-to place for checking the company’s partnership principles long-term.
5. Visualising the invisible
Perhaps the most compelling use of animation is its power to depict what can’t be seen by the human eye, offering a glimpse into abstract concepts or things so small or large we can’t perceive them.
For training purposes in particular, like the educational digital platform for the International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research (part of the De Beers Group), this can be extremely valuable. In creating visual content for the interactive online course, we used animation extensively to explain the entire diamond grading process, from mining to selling. Through stylised graphics, we were able to dive inside a diamond atom, explore the earth’s layers and more, providing De Beers employees with powerful insights that couldn’t have been portrayed in a live action shoot.
If you need to convey a complex internal message to employees, get in touch with us today.