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Bryant & May turned out to be the first British company that used the illustrative field of animation in advertisements. In 1899 the famous animator Arthur Melbourne Cooper, was asked to produce a stop motion film that had matchstick men in them. These matchstick men were supposed to move along the ladder and paint an appeal on the wall, which read "For one Guinea Messrs Bryant & May will forward a case containing enough supply of matches to each man in the army along with the name of the sender. Though this campaign may not seem as much, it is to be noted the animation industry that gained popularity and momentum through this advertisement.
On 22 September 1955, the commercial television broadcasting in the UK was born. This was seen to be the medium that all advertisers were waiting for. Since right from the onset of this medium many character animations were put through. In addition, these characters made it a point to sell their products in a way that no medium had been successful that far. Many new names, names that kids tagged along as friends and looked onto as companions were born. Characters such as Snap, Crackle and Pop were the brand ambassadors for Kellogg's Krispies, which made it to the scene during the first year of television itself. Animation was used to give life to these characters after being placed on the product boxes since 1928. These animated characters turned out to be so popular and people, especially kids started to relate to them so much that even after 50 years now those characters are still alive and the medium used for them is still animation.
The Murray mints advertisement, which showed off soldiers in hats, who marched to the notes of a jingle turned out to be the best commercial of the first year of British television advertising. Such acclaims and applauds turned out to be fruitful for animation in commercials. People were taken aback by this new concept and were loving every moment of an animated character on screen.
This back in the day, turned out to be very useful and even economically helpful to the nations. As advertisers started to show keen interest in animated campaigns and this was backed well with a very enthusiastic animator industry. The industry gave opportunities to new animators everyday. Young animators were employed all around the globe, who started taking up this novel hobby to a living. The young blood that came into the industry gave a lot of new concepts and techniques over which the industry started experimenting to a lot of success. This also gave birth to companies like Biographic, which was initiated by its founder Bob Godfrey, who produced ads for many campaigns of Shipams Fish Paste and Nestle.
The popularity of animation in commercials was a proven fact demonstrated by the advertisers and its audience. But the major boon came along when "Homepride Flour Men" showed how this could be used as a very effective medium. Their ad came along in 1965, this featured two men who were looked classy in their black business suits and bowler hats, and they stood between two packs of flour. One packet of flour tears and it starts pouring out on one man, whose hat was filled with flour but looked unconcerned as he could dust it off. But it was the second man, who was in trouble as he stood under the Homepride flour packet, which when tore he was drenched white with flour all over him, since even the finest of bowler hats couldn't keep off the fine flour. This was added with the voice of a celebrity John Le Mesurier who said "Graded Grains Make Finer Flours"
The campaign succeeded in making Homepride a market leader within four months. These characters became so popular that a leader (Fred) was named by the advertising brains to give a name to the uniform faces. Merchandise such as aprons, peppermills, fridge magnets and various other kitchenalias were produced as 'collectors' items. Fred's image spurned a whole range of sub products for the company and it is still used to sell a variety of Homepride products today. To keep up with changing times made retain a sense of tradition; various comedians such as Richard Briers and Paul Merton have voiced Fred, he is today voiced by Nick Frost from Spaced.
This ad campaign turned out to be so successful that it made them the market leader within a short span of four months. Homepride's two business men then were in the need for a name, and the name Fred was given to these uniform faces. Not only were these two animated characters seen on television but these two gave birth to sub product marketing in ways of aprons, pepper-grinding mills, fridge magnets and so on were termed as Collectors items. Even today Homepride uses these characters which only goes to show the effectiveness yet again of an animated character in the advertising industry. Homepride have seem to create a brand identity with Fred, who now could be termed as an iconic talisman for the brand. They have used this concept on their other home products too randing from sauces to kitchen utensils.
Creature Comforts, who began their life as a short film, is seen to be an extremely engaging short film due to the co existence of both fantasy and reality in a way that audience were never subjected to before. The book understanding animation is where Paul Wells portrays the relationship between the two as a fully balanced nutritional narrative one. The environments are those that are constructed but the forms and substances are all natural which constituents to an element from our everyday world. This means that there is always a hidden relationship between the abstract expressions of a character whose model through an everyday world. Though the animation might be an abstract form, when the two are combined together they seem to form a sort of great bond.
Then came Nick Parks Creature Comforts and the electricity commercial, this showed a world in which very futuristic and stylish models of animals were seen to be given life through animation, with voices of members of the British public. They put all these voices of opinions and views of people and synced it perfectly to different animals. One such animal
The success of such advertising campaigns is also the fact that advertisers can now employ any animal that may not be possible in live action campaigns. The way they take animal characters to be their brand ambassador is a simple proof of how well these can go with the audience. Characters like these live to do a very simple task, the lead the audience to a desire that he/she particularly didn't need to have before. The Kellogg mascots animals for products like frosties, rice krispies, coco-pops and so on. These mascots have become an integral part of the product today, since the way customers relate the product through them.
The main advantage of using animation is the ability the promoter gets to give his/her audience an out of the world experience by incorporating environments that are simply not accessed or can it be reproduced by a live action camera. These artificial environments are used to bring out the imagination and desire in every possible audience group. Everyone wants to be a child again, and that's what animation does for the audience. These stimulate the desire for a fantastic world of endless possibilities. Coco-pops which is shown in a variety of jungle where kids live a life of fantasy are extremely fun and appealing to any young child.
The animation in advertising also goes on to boost products result stats to the foreground. For example in the medical presentation such as toothpastes or cough syrups. We can see how the product works miraculously well in comparison to that of the competitor. Hence, this works as an effective medium to show the difference to the audience in the most simplistic yet most detailed way.
A great appeal of such animation is the no class idea of the form. Characters taken in animation are usually characters any person of the society could relate with for example that of Chintamani the face of ICICI. These characters fall under no class constraint of the traditional Indian society. And hence they bridge the gap of classes from the popper to the industrialist alike.
Animation is also a method that can be made relatively inexpensive in its process. The pioneers of the field in the likes of Peter Sachs of the famous Larkin studio and The founder of Biographic, Mr. Bob Godfrey have found ways to create cheaper animation methods when compared to the traditional fluid method of Disney. They started off with inspiring from the german style of expressionism which were jagged and rough styles. The theory was quite simple, Use minimum animation to the maximum effect. By making sure the emphasis on every shot gave out a detail to the advertiser, that eluded in its qualities were then associated with the product of the client. A perfect example for this would be Michelin Man's tyre body that always depicts the strength and durability of the tyre.