Any sector professional worth their salt will tell you that high levels of engagement are essential for effective Learning & Development. From school students to business executives, we’re all still human: your educational and informational assets need to create an impact that lasts well beyond the audience’s exposure to the content itself: only when it’s engaging enough to remain lodged in their minds will it bring about the lasting effect you’ve envisaged.
Enter animation: complex information visualised in accessible, engaging narratives, guaranteed to hold your audience’s attention. Don’t just take our word for it: Forbes notes that animation is enjoying a rise in popularity, not least because projects can be completed remotely.
Humanity, without the humans
It’s vital to capture the essence of your organisation across your L&D material. With live-action video content, for example, your target audience is far more likely to respond proactively to the message conveyed if they can identify with the individuals they see and hear.
Yet finding people who perfectly embody the ethos and messaging of any given organisation is a monumental task: star pupils leave schools, top employees eventually move on. This is where animation comes in.
Here, we share four reasons why animation is the key to long-lasting and effective L&D materials.
1. Animation provides evergreen resources, for everyone
The make-up of a company’s workforce shifts over time, meaning animated characters who remain relevant over the years are a vital asset. Live-action representations have a far shorter shelf life: in a few years’ time, they’ll appear at best stuffy and outdated, and at worst woefully unrepresentative.
Animation provides an opportunity to connect with your entire target audience, bridging different demographics with ease. Animated characters convey complexity, emotions and personalities without overtly specifying gender, ethnicity, culture, age or any other element that may limit a diverse audience’s ability to identify with your L&D materials. This was a central pillar of Nucco Brain’s work on HSBC’s ‘Serve, Empower, and Grow’ initiative, connecting with staff and clients alike.
Animation allows for targeted videos that will retain their relevance through the years, allowing for a better ROI than live action videos that need to be updated frequently. Animations’ colour schemes and stylisation can also subtly speak to your organisation’s branding, creating a baseline of associative recognition that helps build a strong brand identity. To see this in action, take a look at our animated brand storytelling for Deloitte.
2. Animation allows us to learn through immersion
Expensive set dressing and location shoots are just some of the downsides of live action. Animation, on the other hand, allows your organisational messaging to break out of the present and if relevant, into the past.
Animation can help ignite your participants’ learning by immersing them in the action and emotion of historical events, like in this virtual reality experience we created for Arizona State University. Bringing to life the events preceding the American Revolution, it allowed students at ASU’s Prep Digital online high school the chance to step into the past in an engaging, exciting way.
From the deep past to the far-distant future, animation allows your L&D to move beyond the realm of the present day. If you’re broaching longer-term development plans, animated content with a futuristic touch can inspire your audience to envision their future.
3. Animation makes high-risk training safer
Maintaining audience attention is vital during training sessions, particularly for new recruits about to enter a potentially dangerous workplace. Hundreds of pages of health and safety manuals might contain all the information required, but our modern brain’s ever-decreasing attention span simply isn’t up to retaining information in traditional formats.
Instead, mining firm Anglo American approached Nucco Brain to create an animated immersive experience for teaching new employees about the potential dangers of their soon-to-be workplace. Using animation, recruits can be trained to effectively respond to even the unlikeliest of hazardous situations, without putting their safety – or that of L&D instructors – at risk.
4. Animation makes abstract concepts accessible
Animation can help your organisation present complex concepts in such a way that they’ll stay with employees and clients alike, who’ll then be able to explain them engagingly to new potential customers.
Infographics are an excellent resource for visually representing otherwise complicated data, and – given their already stylised appearance – can be integrated seamlessly into animated content.
Nucco Brain utilised this strategy to create an interactive learning platform for the International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research, part of De Beers Group. On-brand, animated materials allow the organisation’s workforce and partners to develop their understanding of the diamond grading process, from initial mining to end-point sale. Animations take them down through the layers of the Earth itself and straight to the heart of a diamond atom, creating in-depth educational experiences impossible to achieve with live-action.
Animation’s heyday is here
The purpose of L&D is to engage, inform, and inspire its audience, generating a lasting impact that extends beyond the here and now. In the live-action vs. animated content debate, there’s a clear front runner for that all-important ROI. Conveying even the most complex of concepts in accessible formats, complete with characters with which your entire audience can identify both now and in years to come, animations will unlock the future of your organisation’s L&D.
If you’re looking to increase engagement with future-proofed L&D material, get in touch with us today.