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Why do we lack animated ads despite their popularity

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MUMBAI: Do you recollect the much-loved Zoozoos, the evergreen Amul girl or the crazy alien dance when they find Cadbury Chocolate on their planet? Most of us might because these are iconic animated characters that create a higher brand recall in the consumer’s mind.

Eye-catchy visuals in animated ads not only help push brand advertising but also have a 30 per cent higher engagement rate making it an essential piece for the marketing heads in order to drive more consumer engagement and conversation.

The claim to the first animated advertisement is a much-debated subject but one of the oldest recorded animated ads was named ‘Matches an Appeal’ that utilised stop-motion to illustrate a matchstick man spelling out the company’s name. Although animation in advertising dates back to as early as 1940, the phenomenon hit India only in late 90s. Brands such as Amul, Vodafone, Appy Fizz, Mortein and Red Bull, etc, are the brands that successfully used animation in ads.

Dentsu One national creative director Titus Upputuru points out that, while some great animation ads have been created in the past, there is a lack of innovation in animation for television advertising. Though, we are more advanced today, the same is not reflected in the advertising industry through animations.

Explaining that India has a long heritage of drawing and painting, Publicis India MD and chief creative officer for South Asia Bobby Pawar draws attention to technology and newer well equipped animation studios that have created animations for Hollywood blockbuster Avatar, in turn aiding the evolution of the art of animation in India.

Time still remains a major constraint while creating animated ads. Titus adds, “We don’t see a lot of animated ads because it is time consuming to create each frame and see progression of movement or any action in the frame."

According to a recent FICCI KPMG report on the Indian media and entertainment industry, Indian animation and VFX industry grew at 16.4 per cent in 2016 and is projected to expand at a CAGR of 17.2 per cent over 2017–21 to reach a size of Rs 131.7 billion, driven by a steady 9.5 per cent growth in animation and a 25 per cent growth in the VFX segment. Although the numbers look decent, we lag behind the West when it comes to the quality of animation and seamless VFX.

Bobby Pawar suggests that, “There is a serious dearth of talent for animation directors; people who can imagine characters, write about them and have fun with them.” While lack of talent, studio-set ups, animation artists, time, and the high cost of execution remain a challenge for the industry, brands are slowly inclined to experiment.

Indiantelevision.com takes you through some of most memorable and milestone moments (ads) in the Indian ad world.

Maggi noodles, as we know now, once had flavours like Fruitti fruitti (more like Toofi Frooti) and Toffi Toffi back in 1986. Although the ad was loved by the kids, the sweet flavours did not work for the brand and were soon discontinued. Maggi hasn’t gone the animated ads way after that and decided to get celebrities instead or showcase the ‘2-minute’ cooking.

OLD MAGGI TVC:

Created by Sylvester da Cunha in 1966 to rival Polson’s butter girl, the Amul Girl which was a 2D animation character was first used in outdoor advertisement and later made her way to television ads.

OLD AMUL TVC:

AMUL TVC (2013):

The poofy-loveable white creatures, Zoozoos have been a hit ever since they were launched in 2009 during the second season of Indian Premier League. The white creatures with ballooned bodies and egg heads have been used to promote various value added services of Vodafone and remain a favourite among the viewers. Vodafone continues to leverage the popularity of Zoozoos even today.

Vodafone Zoozoos TVC:

Nestle India has experimented on an array of products from their kitty with animation and VFX in their ads, be it the singing Squirrel ad, the dancing babies ad, love birds ad for Kitkat or the Kangaroo mother ad for Nestea. The ads have helped the brand in creating higher brand recall and driving more sales.

NESTEA TVC:

Mondelez International created animated ads as early as 1980’s in the United States and other markets but the concept came to India only in 2004 when Mondelez India (then known as, Cadbury India) decided to have an animation film to promote its new product. Although Dairy Milk has always been associated with its iconic ads and the song ‘Kuch khaas hai, kya swaad hai zindagi mein,’ the brand decided to adopt a new song this time that would be a hit with their target audience (kids) for this new product (Dairy Milk 2 in 1). The ad became an instant hit and it also used the animated series to advertise another product (Dairy Milk Whoopie). In October 2016, Cadbury Dairy Milk introduced an animated alien series to promote its product with #InterstellarParty where the alien was thoroughly enticed by the chocolate. The song became an instant viral hit.

DAIRY MILK TVC (2004):

DAIRY MILK TVC (2016) :

Havmor ice creams is the latest entrant to join the bandwagon of animated ads. With an aim to create a property that reflects what Havmor stands for, the brand has launched a #MadeOfMilk campaign to grab the attention of the consumer and create a lasting impression.

HAVMOR TVC (2017) :

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