The Move to Motion

With social distancing and self-quarantining becoming the new norm and the need for fast, real-time content continuing to rise, content teams have a new best friend again—motion graphics. Whether it’s blending text with iconography, animating illustrations or breathing life into stock footage, MoGraph provides a more turn-key way for brands to communicate quickly and effectively.

We spent some time recently chatting with Chad McClure, MBB’s Associate Creative Director of Motion and Video, to get his take on how things will continue to evolve as in-person and on-location shoots will be put on pause for a while. Here’s what he had to say.

Have you ever experienced a move to motion like this before?

The postponing and canceling of live action shoots is almost identical to the freeze that happened in 2008-2009 due to the financial crisis. At that time, there were many live action shoots that switched gears to MoGraph to save money since it employs only a few people rather than an entire crew. It was years before shooting regained momentum, but it has also been way more stripped down as far as crews and budgets.

What are the advantages of MoGraph?

Illustration is the oldest medium of storytelling in human history, and its only limitation is your imagination. With the addition of photography and stock footage (which used to be a dirty word but has come a long way), the possibilities are truly endless. Oddly enough, as I dissect this question I’m not only exploring the advantages of MoGraph but also realizing how many limitations shooting live action presents in many ways. It definitely has its place. But we (and clients) are always very quick to choose live action as a medium before all concepts have been fully explored. Basically, when you are holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail, but in these interesting times we can drop the hammer and explore the hardware store for so many different tools. I’m actually very excited to see the innovation that will take place soon. Hey, any silver linings we can think of are a good thing, right?

What are a few of the things you look for in a good MoGraph piece?

Flow and execution are the main things that I look for in a good motion piece. Emotion comes next. Is there a visceral response to the piece? There should be. Even if it is just meant to be informative about a subject, the viewer should feel something. Music, sound design and voice over can really help with the guiding of emotion in a piece if done correctly.

There are so many subjective decisions that can be made in a piece that anyone may love or hate, but those are the main beginning elements that determine a great piece. After that I look at style, this is where the designer in me really comes out to play. I look to see if they are nodding to a known design style in history and how well they executed it. Are they innovating? Have I seen anything like this before?

Lastly, I look to see if it solved the problem. Did it tell a story or just deliver information? Did it have the desired effect on me emotionally? Will I remember it?

Give us three ways brands can stand out with motion.

  1. Tell a story, don’t just deliver information.
  2. Live within your brand but be willing to open the boundaries up a bit and let it breathe.
  3. Entertain the viewer. A piece should hit your target but also be interesting or enjoyable for someone out of your target.

What types of content lend themselves better to MoGraph?

Brand origin stories are a great example. Bringing the history of the brand to life and showcasing a timeline of sorts is a great scenario for motion. Educational content is another great opportunity to utilize motion. An infographic is OK, but taking that infographic and breathing life into it with movement sets it apart. Many brand launches lend themselves nicely to motion—especially if the brand doesn’t truly have all of its assets in place. While those are a few primary content pieces, motion really can have its place in anything and everything.

While the world we live in today is scary and uncertain, continuing to market to your prospective clients shouldn’t be. The use of motion graphics allows us the ability to quickly adapt and communicate both current and possibly new messages. If you need an effective tool to reach your clients where they are – at home and online – reach out to us.

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