Mr. Samir Husni, a well-known University of Mississippi journalism instructor, once gave a talk on the state of magazines in the digital age. In his assessment, the effects of digital publishing would most impact print magazines with the lowest quality content.
Husni argued that magazines with the best content would emerge mostly unfazed.
He pointed to Playboy — a magazine people have always joked they “buy just for the articles” — which was still financially solvent, while other “nudie mags” were closing their doors. He pointed out that the magazine’s success was, after all, because of the content of the articles in the magazine.
He then took a magazine, unfurled the centerfold for all to see and said, “You see, magazines just don’t move the same way the internet can,” and proceeded to jiggle and shake the centerfold from the stage.
In other words, if you were looking for realistic nudity, you could get “better” content on a digital platform. Deductive reasoning points to the fact that people stayed with Playboy because of what it uniquely delivered — content.
To further confirm Dr. Husni’s theory, Playboy announced late in 2015 that it was dropping nudity from its magazine. Reports in spring of 2016 point out that this enhanced the success of the magazine.
See, folks really do read it for the articles.
Dr. Husni was right. Shaking a print image isn’t quite as sexy as seeing graphics in motion.
However, the implications of his talk go so much further than the adult publishing industry.
Everywhere I look, I see digital replacing static.
Think about the movie theater lobby. Where a letter board once showed movie times, there are now television screens displaying the most up-to-date screening information, while simultaneously showing previews for the upcoming movies.
Doctor’s office signs are no longer vinyl applications on a wall or bulky logos rendered in 3-D; they’re screens that allow the doctor to advertise specials, inform waiting patients about policies and display branding materials digitally.
Bus stop kiosks in major cities are no longer printed on corrugated plastic. They’re revolving digital images.
Marketers in larger markets are doing some impactful installation advertising to help tell their clients’ stories and make profound points.
While it seems like this is a phenomenon only experienced in larger markets, I assure you it isn’t. Every brand worth its salt has an online presence, and online has never been anything but digital. Even small cities like Tupelo are covered in digital advertising spaces. If you live in a town that isn’t, you can make your own digital signage for the cost of a cheap flat-screen and a USB drive.
By now, hopefully, your design is intentional, signaling your consumers, , drawing associations and creating appropriate responses. Now let’s talk about how to make it move.
Motion graphics have become a mainstay in advertising, so let’s start by explaining what constitutes motion graphics.
Motion graphics are as simple as the name implies. Any time you see information displayed on a screen — a bar graph, an icon, an animated character — that then comes to life, you are seeing motion graphics. It’s as simple as a bar graph adjusting from one data point to another or as complex as an animated narrator on screen explaining the bar graph in detail. It could be a wink from a smiley face or a fully animated company logo.
A study by Invodo tells us web users watch an average of 19 hours of internet video per month. If we simply look at shoppers, 60 percent watch product videos, and the act of looking at a product video makes them 174 percent more likely to purchase the featured product.
After watching one video, they are 174 percent more likely to make a purchase. If that’s not compelling to you, you probably can’t be compelled.
Motion catches the eye of the consumer. Motion helps us tell a story. Motion turns inanimate objects into living, breathing things.
Users are more likely to interact with motion graphics videos than plain text, and the result is almost always a more informed consumer.
Explaining something to a consumer can be helpful, but so much can be lost in language. Illustrating large or complicated concepts can give clarity to our words. Giving motion to our words and images, however, engages consumers in a way they can’t ignore and takes them on the journey with you.
My agency saw the importance of this trend and recently recruited a motion graphics expert from Minneapolis to help us breathe life into our clients’ brands.
We found that adding relevant motion to brand icons and word marks elicits more attention from consumers, but we’ve also found it helps the consumers understand the purpose and personality of a brand at a much higher level.
When we want clients’ brands to stand out in a sea of sameness, we add motion to their branded materials.
When we develop signage for a conference, motion graphics help us keep the attendees informed and on schedule.
When we need to explain complicated financial processes to customers, motion graphics help us empower the customer to make the right decision.
Branded animation today is important in the same way branded jingles were important in the early age of radio. They engage the consumer beyond static imagery. They cannot be ignored.
If your content isn’t quality, it had better jiggle. If it doesn’t move, it might not move your customers.