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2D Animation Examples to Inspire Your Business Video Strategy

Posted by Debbie Camper on December 29, 2022

When you’re considering what to create your next corporate video, you can look to animation to expand your horizons and deliver new possibilities. Not every piece of brand video content needs to feature live-action footage filmed on location or in a studio, and generating an animated video allows you to try out ideas that would be impossible otherwise.

Within the world of animation, you can take a few different paths. While 3D animation is a common way to create content today, there’s a certain clarity to 2D animation that makes it a compelling option. Both options have perks and downfalls when you’re creating your next animated explainer video, motion graphic or social media marketing clip.

Admittedly, 2D animation and 3D animation are no longer radically different products. Most animation today is generated as digital art on computers — even among major film studios, traditional cel animation is rare. With that said, your choice of aesthetic matters acutely when creating animated videos, and there are countless uses for 2D animated video content.

Uses for 2D animation in business

When is animation the right medium to get your message across? There are a number of scenarios best handled with traditional animation incorporating your brand’s logos, colors and imagery. These are a few of the most helpful applications for this content:

  • Complicated or abstract explainer videos: When your company has a complex, multi-part process to explain, a 2D animation video can be the clearest medium to get the message across. After all, in an animated environment, text can interact directly with objects, and you’re not limited by budget regarding what you can show — it’s possible to zoom out from an extreme close-up to a faraway view in seconds.
  • Motion graphics: A quick motion graphic can  serve the same role as an infographic, delivering a few key points of information in an easy-to-understand format. This is a perfect role for animation, with the numbers appearing in a large, clear font, mixed directly in with images that illuminate their meaning.
  • Elements for use with other footage: Animation doesn’t have to stand alone. You can create a 2D animated logo, introduction or transition and then use that element as a complement to live-action content. This allows you to engage in an eye-catching and professional form of branding, one that you’ll get use out of for years to come.

Animation can serve the same role for your business that it fulfills at the movies and on TV: It allows you to bring ideas to the screen even when those concepts are impossible or prohibitively expensive to film. It also allows you to engage and delight your audience through fun and colorful designs.

2D animation examples to spark your creativity

One of the most exciting aspects of 2D animation video creation is that no two brands’ videos will look exactly the same, as each company customizes its content to match its particular aesthetic. Therefore, when you browse examples of 2D animated videos, you’re not looking for ideas to copy 1:1, but rather sparks of inspiration that you can adapt to your own needs.

With video and graphic design sources such as Wyzowl and Graphic Mama compiling lists of interesting and creative motion graphics, there are lots of places to turn for inspiration. The following are a few of the most compelling-looking animated clips.

  • Red Bull: Energy drink brand Red Bull is well-known for its focus on creating video content. This includes an amusing clip designed around a story told by racing driver Mark Webber. The clip uses minimally animated caricatures of Webber and his family and ties into the brand’s overall fun tone and house animation style.
  • ClearVoice: This marketing company crafted a video that uses compellingly designed 2D characters along with splashes of text and graphics that explain its business model. By using animation, the business was able to cut between all of these scenes in less than a minute, linked by fluid transitions.
  • Herman Miller: This furniture brand didn’t just embrace the short form of a 2D animated video — it made that brevity part of the video’s hook, counting its way through its 108-year history in 108 seconds. The chosen animated style is strikingly flat and dominated by gray, giving a strong sense of the brand’s visual identity, while drawing eyes to the few pops of bright color.

When you’re working with animation, you can focus closely on your favorite aspects of your brand’s graphic identity, building whole worlds around those visual cues.

dec ebook CTA scaled 2D Animation Examples

2D animation vs. 3D animation for corporate video

If you’re not finding the right fit for your brand with 2D animation, you can branch out and try 3D animation. In the years since its emergence, 3D content creation has evolved considerably, delivering the capability to mold your video to fit your company’s visual style, just as you would with 2D animation.

The Graphic Mama blog points out a few different routes designers can take when working with computer-generated imagery. Some animators are embracing cuteness, creating a hybrid look that’s as colorful and cuddly as traditional 2D animation can be. Others are creating highly detailed and realistic landscapes. 

The breadth of styles available to 3D animators today, as well as the ever-growing talent base, means your company can likely find an animation style that’s a good fit, whether you’re most excited to populate a photo-realistic world or go for an overtly cartoony appeal.

Work with an expert video crew on animated content

Striking up a partnership with expert video production crew members can help you turn your 2D animated corporate video dreams into reality. With this collaboration, your in-house creative team gets an infusion of expertise that can help you deliver more complex, stylish and ambitious marketing videos.

This type of agreement is similar in concept to hiring a video crew for an on-location video crew. You can still work with expert teams based in numerous locations around the world who come to the job with long experience and high-quality technology.
To learn more about the creative side of video production, download our eBook. To start on your own video production journey right away, request a free quote now.

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