Stop Motion in Advertisements

Stop motion advertising is basically what the name suggests. It is using the animation technique of stop motion in order to advertise a product. All the same conventions will still be used in the stop motion video but will tend to revolve around the product or cause.

An example of stop motion used in an advert is the 2013 John Lewis Christmas advert. In this advert, the bear and hare are on a Christmas related adventure. The setting is a snow covered forest, meaning that a large amount of production was needed in making a set with such a wintery theme.

th A screenshot from the John Lewis ad, featuring the snowy setting.

Whilst making the animation, animators used lots of precisely drawn cut-outs of all the characters, including the bear and the hare, in order to create movement. This was done by moving and changing each cut-out and taking pictures of each movement. This would, after production, create the effect of the characters appearing to move seamlessly, although they are actually just a multitude of pictures being played very quickly.

The strengths of using stop motion animation in advertisements for a company or product are that, if done well, the animation could be memorable and people will automatically relate the animation to the product, creating good publicity and synergy. An example of where this is done well is the Reggae Reggae sauce ad, pictured below. In this production, stop motion is used to make dancing food. This is fun and is remembered by audiences, potentially increasing the likelihood that they will try Reggae Reggae sauce.

th-1 A screenshot from the Reggae Reggae sauce ad.

Another strength of stop motion animation in advertisement is that it can lead to the creation of a character that will be associated with the company. This could then create huge buzz for the company if the character is received well by audiences. An example where this is done well is the Underdog Insurance advert, in which a clay dog is explaining the perks of getting insurance with the company.

th-2 The use of a the dog character means that people may view the adverts and the company with a more light hearted tone, meaning that they may be more inclined to use the company as they will feel more warmly towards it.

There are also weaknesses to using stop motion animation in advertisements. It can be a very time consuming process. In comparison, it is fairly simple to employ an actor to say a few lines. Lots of precise production needs to go into making an animation look believable, seamless and with good continuity. This can also take a lot of money, and depending on the size of the company they may not have a huge budget to spend on the production of their television ads.

Another weakness is that it can also be quite difficult to make sure that the product being advertised is clearly known and visible within the ad. Too much emphasis can be placed upon making the animation as impressive and possible. This means that, if not handled correctly, too much emphasis can be put on the animation and not what is being advertised.


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