When the Ideas Take Off: How Important is Animation in Advertising

In this text, we talk about some of the great marketing ideas, as well as designers' tools used to form initial ideas into a final product that is visible, palpable, and most importantly attractive. In regards to this and much more, we sat down with a designer duo from Ovation BBDO, one of the leading advertising agencies in the country.

The team’s secret ingredient for creating ideas is the concept of reinvention. Interestingly enough, the agency itself has gone through the process of reinvention, and often in their work, they lean on references from well-known examples that they then put into an entirely different context.

Do you like Munchmallow? Was The Little Prince one of your favorite books growing up? Most likely it was so, and Ovation BBDO has managed to put together these widely adored references in one of their most successful campaigns in 2021.

Same product, different packaging!

“Every campaign that granted me an opportunity to learn something new is very dear to my heart. For example, in regards to the campaign for Munchmallow from 2018, I took part in the creation of the TV ad reel that was done in the stop motion technique, and the innovative billboard was encapsulated in industrial aluminum. I would also highlight the ad reel for Frikom that had digitally created and animated raspberries.”

This marks the start of our conversation with the graphical designer Milan Petrović after taking part in the CGAcademy: Talent Sandbox conference where he represented a few of Ovation BBDO’s campaigns and workflows.

“Watch movies, TV series, and play games. All these things are important lessons if you seek a career in the creative industry”, says the panel’s moderator Vladan Vasiljević Điri, motion graphics, and video design lecturer here in our training center, where many of today’s advertisers and animators had studied their craft.

One of them is Nemanja Obradović, one of the leading creatives in Ovation BBDO, who enrolled in the Adobe After Effects video design course when he worked as a Graphics Designer in the agency. His job description has changed throughout the years, giving him a chance to dip his toes into the role of a Senior Designer as well as Art Director. Today he carries the title Creative Head, meaning he deals a lot more with coordination, teams, and creative concepts, although he is still tasked with design and animation. We asked him to highlight his favorite projects as well:

“One of my very first clients in Ovation was Visa – their payment system, that is. As dull as this may sound, I think that we really pushed the boundaries during the 7-year-long partnership with this client and managed to create some truly creative and important campaigns. Setting up the creative strategy on Instagram, its direction and guidelines, for me is one of the dearest campaigns. We have also had an opportunity to experiment with creativity with one of our smaller clients called Burger House Bros. Aside from these campaigns, I would also highlight our work for Galenika. There were a lot of campaigns that shifted the boundaries, just like the ones for Flonivin or Oligovit products”, says Nemanja

How do we measure the success of a campaign?

Throughout the years, Ovation BBDO has won numerous prominent awards, which lead us to wonder how they, both as individuals and professionals, measure success. When do they know that the campaign that they worked on tirelessly has become successful and how do they manage the constant feedback they get from the ever-expanding audience?

“A campaign is successful when we, together with the client, succeed in accomplishing its goal, whether that is an increase in sales numbers or the brand’s visibility. It all depends on the nature of the task. We have long-lasting partnerships with big clients, and the fact that they choose us time and time again speaks volumes about our success rate and mutual collaboration”, says Nemanja.

In regards to the question about the public’s feedback, our interviewees say that it’s THE thing that drives them. To them, feedback, whether positive or negative (a.k.a. corrective), should be used as fuel for further development as it is always a valuable learning experience. Check out one of our older articles to learn how to make the most out of your feedback.

Milan Petrovič & Nemanja Obradović, Ovation BBDO

The fundamentals of animation in advertising

With technological development came possibilities of putting out more and more attractive content in front of an enormous number of users, which has led to the conclusion that in this day and age in order to make a good quality campaign, having just a good visual is not enough. The key is users’ interaction, their engagement, and, of course, a high-quality video.

This usually results in clients asking for more and more animated content – and more urgent than ever. Yet agencies usually do not have enough time nor the resources to outsource experts in the fields like 2D or 3D animation, and they rather use in-house workers for such assignments.

This knowledge boost in the fields like animation, motion graphics, video design, and visual effects is useful to well-experienced designers, enabling them to further give useful suggestions to younger coworkers. This also leads to smoother communication with professional studios that work on more complex animations, primarily for TV commercials.

So, what does it look like when a Graphics Designer in an advertising agency takes up one of the aforementioned skills? Milan talks about the skills he acquired on the video design course in our school and how they affected his workflow.

“I felt the biggest change during the concept stage of problem-solving on a project, both from the organizational perspective as well as the creative one. A clear and firm base that I acquired on the video design course made it easier to further improve my skills and take up some of the more demanding projects for which we had to outsource. The completion of the course itself didn’t affect my title at the company, but it most definitely did affect my role from one project to another.”

What does all of this mean for the creatives that have just entered advertising?

In the conclusion, we talked to the Ovation team about the personality traits and talents that, aside from technical skills, are necessary for young creatives and junior artists looking for a job in the dynamic working environments – as is usual in advertising.

“Technical skills are very easy to take up and master. What I am looking for is the willingness, the passion, the desire for further improvement, as well as another thing that is very important but often forgotten – communication. We work in the communications industry and it wouldn’t be OK if we were unable to communicate, make decisions, sometimes compromises, fight for an idea, admit when we are wrong, or praise one another when something is done well”, says Nemanja.

“Aside from the skills that Nemanja listed, I would like to highlight that empathy is crucial in our line of work. A high level of emotional intelligence enables us to be more precise in recognizing the market’s demands and presenting the product in the best possible light for our target audience – Milan concludes.

Check out our session with Nemanja, Milan, and Djiri. The session was part of the CGAcademy: Talent Sandbox conference, held in April 2022.

The next iteration of the 2D animation course at our school applicable to a wide spectrum of creative industries starts at the end of May, and we are currently enrolling!

The rest of the sessions from the conference Talent Sandbox 2022 you can find on our YouTube channel.

Author: Branka Malenica