Choosing the best video medium to explain a business message or promote a product is a common debate in our industry.

Truth be told, both are highly competent to deliver emotions. Each can explain complex ideas, build excitement and create empathy in the audience. The real question is when to use which to promote your company and deliver a message to the audience you’re targeting.

The versatility of both mediums is indeed remarkable, however, both have their own pros and cons.

Let’s start with Live-action

If your goal is to portray your business as more of a human, a live-action video featuring real people is the perfect choice for you. Actual human faces expressing real human emotions are something you can’t achieve in animation. Furthermore, live-action can sometimes be faster to produce. After creating a plan for your video, a live-action film can be shot and edited within a few days (of course depending on length and complexity) but overall unlike animation, the style digital assets don’t have to be constructed from scratch.

On the other hand, live-action means that, once filming is done, it’s done. Re-hiring actors, locations and equipment makes reshooting a difficult, time-consuming, and most importantly costly task. Since we are on the financial aspect, it’s important to note that the budget for a live-action business can be generally higher, considering the need for actors, crews, sets, catering, locations and etc. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that animation is any cheaper if you’re after high-quality content.

What about animation?

The biggest strength of animation lies in its ability to express difficult ideas swiftly and easily. If your goal is to portray a complicated topic, animation can simply boil down your message to the most relevant points. There is a possibility to exhibit abstract ideas, present people from different continents or periods in history — basically, anything you desire with no limits to imagination.

Even with numerous advantages, animation still has got one weak side – it’s very time-consuming. Evidently, both mediums require time for the creation. But animation can often take longer to complete. It’s because of the way animation is created – it has to be built from scratch. The characters and the backgrounds have to be drawn; the storyboard needs to be designed and a lot of other intricate details have to be organized prior to the animating process.

However, even with the tedious nature of animation, it also enables creators to make changes to the video at any time during production, which is impossible with live-action footage (without additional costs and time).

What to do if both suit your business?

First, you have to answer a few questions before making the decision.

  • Who is going to watch your video? What are their preferences?
  • What are the objectives of your video content?
  • What is the complexity of your message?

Identifying the most crucial points of your project should help you make the final call. However, don’t forget that there is always a chance to get the best of both worlds by creating live-action footage with animated imagery.

Let’s conclude

It’s time to put an end to this discussion and agree that there is not a single winner, because there is no competition, to begin with. The simple answer is that you just have to know the right place, situation, and time to use them!