Animated Video Vs. Live Action: Which to Choose For Your Brand in 2024?

18 min read

benefits and disadvantages of live action videos and animation videos

Video marketing is now the cornerstone of modern brand strategies. Which is not surprising given recent statistics.

In the dynamic landscape of 2024, an astounding 9 out of 10 businesses have embraced video as an integral part of their strategy.

 This strategic shift aligns perfectly with consumer behavior, with 86% of users dedicating a quarter of their time on social media to video consumption. In addition, research has found that 84% of people said that they visited a website after watching a video about a brand’s offerings, underscoring the undeniable power of video to convert viewers into visitors.

But with so many different types of videos out there, which one should a brand choose? The big debate is, what engages audiences better, animated or live-action videos?

Unfortunately, it’s a debate without a quick answer. Each has its merits and limitations. The real question lies in determining which aligns with your specific video objectives.

 In this blog, we delve into the pros and cons of both animated and live-action formats, helping you identify the ideal video type that aligns with your business goals.

Animated Video vs. Live Action: The Pros and Cons

Advantages of animated video

  • Good for complex topics: Animation has the power to break down complex topics into engaging and easily digestible content. By employing kinetic typography and motion graphics, it transforms intricate concepts into clear and concise narratives, effectively reducing cognitive overload. This simplification not only ensures a smoother learning experience but also helps in making your message both understood and memorable.
  • They stand out more: Animated videos tend to be more engaging and eye-catching, which, psychologically, means viewers are more likely to recall them. (According to behavioural science and the Von Restorff effect, people remember those things that stand out from the crowd).
  • They are timeless:  In contrast to live-action, animated films can easily be adapted for different situations. For example, you can easily translate animated videos into other languages or update them with new products or services that you want to showcase. Animated video content can be evergreen and you don’t have to start from scratch every time a product line is tweaked.
  • The animation studio: As animations are created in a studio, there is no need to pay for expensive set locations or even share the same location. Animated video can very easily be created by remote teams, making the process both cost-effective and flexible.


Disadvantages of animated video

  • The long production time: High-quality animated video content has a longer production time. This usually starts at 6-8 weeks but can take longer (or shorter, for that matter) depending on the difficulty of customisations required.
  • More difficult to show a product in action: With animated video, it can be more difficult to provide a tangible look and feel of the product needed to motivate someone to buy it. But not impossible.

Partner with an award-winning professional video production company. With years of experience, we know how to bring your product to life through animation.

Advantages of live-action video

  • They have a sense of authenticity: Live-action videos are good for brands wanting to make a more personal video. It is the closest medium to human experiences because it’s easy to show human emotions (although a well-crafted character animation can be equally effective).
  • The accessibility: For brands low on budget, live-action videos can be created quickly and easily on a phone these days. While this may result in a rougher, ‘behind the scenes’ cut, homemade videos can work well as a marketing tool on social media.
  • They can be quick to shoot: If you opt for the above video type, this can be shot fairly quickly (usually within a few days.) The good thing is you can also make any required adjustments on the spot as it’s shot in real-time.


Disadvantages of live-action video

  • The production process: Brands looking for a more high-end live-action video than the home-made types have to take into consideration the number of steps involved. From organising actors to being on-site and booking equipment, the process is not simple. It also relies on a whole team physically being on location in person, which is difficult these days as people tend to be more spread out across different countries.
  • They can be costly: Considering the above-mentioned process, it comes as no surprise that live-action videos can be very expensive. Costs for the set location, camera equipment, actors and insurance, to name a few, can add up very quickly.
  • They’re not a long-term asset: Live-action films can become outdated rather quickly and it’s difficult to update them if any changes occur. For example, if a brand uses employees in their internal live-action videos, they will need to think about what will happen once they move on or change roles.
  • They are difficult to repurpose: It’s not that easy to break up live-action films to repurpose them for different channels once the video has been created. Animated video, on the other hand, makes it much quicker and more cost-effective to repurpose a character animation, for example, for a new video.

The Verdict: Which Video Type Is Better For Business?

While both animated videos and live-action content have their strengths and weaknesses, the choice between them hinges on the specific goals you have for your video.

If your aim is to showcase tangible products and create a connection through real-life scenarios, live action is often the preferred choice. This approach can make your products more relatable by featuring real people and authentic settings.

Live-action filming might be ideal if your video goals include:

  • Authenticity: Highlighting genuine human emotions, interactions, and real-life situations.
  • Realism: Depicting actual locations, events, or products accurately.
  • Relatability: Creating a connection with your audience through familiar visuals.

On the other hand, animation excels at capturing attention with unique, impactful, and memorable content. It’s perfect for:

  • Simplifying Complex Concepts: Breaking down intricate topics into easily understandable visuals.
  • Visualising Data: Transforming statistics and data into engaging visual narratives.
  • Storytelling: Using creative animations to showcase your brand’s values, mission, and vision.
  • Increasing Engagement: Using dynamic visuals to stand out and captivate viewers.
  • Consistency: Maintaining a uniform style, tone, and branding throughout your video.

But here’s the twist—you don’t have to choose just one! Combining animation and live action can be a strategic decision. By blending human elements with animated explanations, you can create a dynamic and engaging video that keeps viewers hooked throughout.

Check out our work with the world’s leader in airline leasing, AerCap, creating a brand film that captures their unique story using both animation and lie-action filming:


Animated Videos To Tell Brand Stories Vs Live Action to Create Authentic Connections

Video marketing is an essential component of your strategy to tell your brand story and connect with your audience. But choosing the wrong video type  can hinder your message and fail to engage your target audience effectively.

So, how do you nail it?

It all starts with your creative brief. This is the strategic document that outlines your video’s objectives, target audience, key messages, and desired outcomes. It helps you determine which video type suits your business goals and resonates with your intended viewers. You can discover how to craft an effective creative brief by learning more here.

If you’re still unsure about which direction to take, Content Creatures can provide guidance by examining your creative brief and suggesting the best option for you.

 You can schedule a free consultation with our creative partner, who will assist you in crafting a creative brief to define your video goals effectively.

We have the expertise and experience to help you make the right decision. We produce a wide range of highly tailored videos for large companies, using both animation and live action techniques. We’re experts at bringing brands to life and supporting them with long-term digital marketing and communication strategies.

Whether you’re looking to simplify complexity with animation, forge authentic connections through live action, or blend both for maximum impact, we can help you to elevate your video marketing with compelling, purpose-driven video content.

Alternatively, discover the array of services we provide by visiting our dedicated pages for Brand Films, Explainer Videos, Corporate Videos, Events Content, and Motion Branding. Each page offers a deep dive into the unique features and benefits of our offerings.