Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Animated type is the new black

Some of you may remember the videos I posted back in May—one was all animated type about the Internet as tool for idea-sharing that will ultimately enable things that wouldn’t be possible otherwise, the other was the awesome “I Met The Walrus” animated short—both of which are really cool and use engaging animation. One animates type with no voiceover, the other illustrates visually the words being heard (in this case, and interview with John Lennon).

More recently, I posted a video called the Girl Effect. All animated type. No voiceover. Emotionally moving.

Earlier this month, Starbucks released an animated type spot that was a bit similar to the Girl Effect spot. It’s emotional and inspiring and promotes a good cause (voting).

Watch it here if you haven’t seen it already:

Now Ford has a new campaign for the F-150 that uses animated type in a style similar to what we’ve seen over the past six months or so. The animation adds a layer of content to the spots, does a see-say thing with the voiceover and animates in an engaging and playful way.

See one of the spots here:

What are we to think of this F-150 campaign? For that small group of us who are aware of the things that influenced it, it may seem like Ford is repurposing (for evil—sorry, I’m just saying it) some pretty cool stuff. Borrowing interest, as it were.

This is how fashion trends die and evolve. Some hot guy or girl wears something interesting. A few early adopters see it, buy in and follow along. Eventually some not-so-hot or not-so-hip folks become aware and join in. And just like that, the party’s over. No one “cool” would be caught dead wearing it.

It’s hard work, folks. And it makes me tired.


Ben said...

One might argue, as I'm about to, that you have it exactly wrong.

The Starbucks spot is the repurposed ripoff. It's totally Girl Effect without actually being brave or surprising. While I admire the promotion from an operational perspective, the spot leaves me totally cold. The writing is pretty noncommittal and vanilla and the animated type is basic without being interesting or stark.

The Ford spot (which has been running a ton during NFL games) strikes me as much cooler. It mixes the animated type with live-action footage and animated narrative components in a way that actually feels progressive and cool. Especially for the category.

Now I may prefer voting to monster-truck buying (and soft music to Dennis Leary), but I think the Ford spot (as a spot) is just much better.

You're right that the trend is about to be uncool. But lay at lest some of the blame at Sbux feet.

Keeping you honest, it’s hard work, folks. And it makes me tired.

Mark Hall said...

I agree that the Starbucks spot is in the same camp as the Ford spots in that it takes a cool idea and makes it uncool, primarily because of who is adopting the style.

And I must agree that the Ford spots do more with the treatment. Kudos to them! Kinda.

Ben said...

Oh, never mind then.