Animation vs. cartoon videos – which one is best for your business?

To be honest, this isn’t something we’d ever wanted to answer. They’re different in their own unique ways, and that’s that!

But clearly, y’all aren’t satisfied with this simple explanation. *sigh* Oh well.

Today’s your lucky day! We’re going to examine cartoon vs. animation videos and tell you exactly when to use each.

But first, let’s answer the most basic question: how are they different?

Cartoon vs. animation – what’s the difference?

Do us a favor and imagine a pizza.

(This is relevant, we promise!)

Now, we’ll bet dollars to donuts that the pizza you imagined is wide, circular, and pretty thin. In other words, it’s a classic Neapolitan pizza, or maybe a New York-style pizza.

But there’s far more than one kind! You have deep-dish Chicago pizza, Japanese pizza, pizza strips, pizza pies, “reverse” pizza, even dessert pizza… you name it.

The basic premise is the same – but the individual styles are legion.

Animation and cartoons are like that.

Animation is simply a visual medium where images are manipulated to create an illusion of motion. And cartoons are the earliest form of animation in existence – visually simple, usually hand-drawn, often humorous and exaggerated.

Hand-drawn two-dimensional cartoons used to be the only form of animation around. Not anymore! Now we have:

  • 3D animation
  • motion graphics
  • stop-motion animation
  • Claymation
  • sand animation
  • typography animation
  • flip book animation
  • cut-out animation
  • whiteboard and cartoon animation

We’re getting tired just listing all these – phew!

With time, people have started referring to many different styles of animation as “cartoons.” As if things weren’t confusing enough!

For the purposes of this article, we’ll say “cartoons” when we mean any type of animation that incorporates cartoon-like visuals – humorous and exaggerated. And we’ll say “animation” to refer to any other style.

Now that we’ve established the difference between animation vs cartoon videos (kinda), let’s examine when – and how – you want to use each of them!

When should you use cartoon videos?

In today’s marketing landscape, cartoons have a very specific function.

They are attention grabbers. Troublemakers. Pattern interrupters. Idea smugglers. In other words, the main function of cartoon vs. animation videos is to barge into your viewers’ brains right past their mental barriers and deliver the message.

And then, thanks to the unusual appearance of cartoons, your message will remain firmly lodged inside your viewers’ minds for a long time!

With all this in mind, here are a few ways you can use cartoon videos to market your business:

  1. Enhance “boring” content. Cartoony visuals improve any topic, no matter how sleep-inducing. Your corporate training videos are the perfect candidate for goofy cartoon treatment. You want employees to internalize what the video teaches, right? Then there’s no better way to make them pay attention than with cartoons!
  2. Entertain (and nurture) leads and prospects. Cartoon visuals are engagement magnets – if you’re struggling with keeping people interested and engaged as they move through their customer journey, try delighting them with cartoons. Entertainment is an underrated tactic, and you’d be surprised how well it works!
  3. Differentiate your business. There are certain conventions about how a “credible” business should look and behave. Your competitors don’t have the guts to break them – what about you? Being different will make you stand out from the crowd and get noticed by potential customers. And then you’ll be able to attract them with something more substantial, like better service or more value!

Now, as amazing as cartoons are, they aren’t a cure-all for your marketing woes. So let’s examine when it’s worth using other styles of animation…

When should you use animation videos?

In our “animation vs. cartoon videos” debate, it’s hard not to cheer for cartoons. They look awesome, they have a deathgrip on your viewers’ attention, and they are super-effective at persuasion. What’s not to love?

Still, there are situations when cartoon videos won’t do the trick, and you’d be far better off using different animation styles. For example, if you want to:

  1. Resonate with people who dislike cartoons. Did you know there’s a sizable demographic who simply can’t identify with cartoon visuals? Well, now you do! Some people are biased in favor of live action video – or certain styles of animation that don’t have that “cartoony” feel. If you want them to take you and your business seriously, it would be best to stick to more “serious” types of animation.
  2. Convey more credibility. While cartoons are astonishingly effective at changing people’s minds, they don’t make the most credible impression. If your brand is extremely serious, you might want to stick to other kinds of animation videos instead. For example, motion graphics offers a viable, high-converting alternative to fanciful cartoon animation.
  3. Demonstrate proof alongside the story. Cartoons are perfect for storytelling – but if you need to back your point with facts and figures to appeal to potential customers, more formal animation styles will do a better job. Integrating data in something like whiteboard and cartoon animation, motion graphics, or 3D animation simply looks better than trying to do the same thing with cartoons!

For all these cases, serious-looking animation videos will do better than goofy cartoons. So you might want to ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish with my marketing video?” – and act accordingly.

We’d love to help you with that, by the way!

Let us settle this “cartoon vs. animation” debate for you!

If you want to create an animated video for your business, but you’re on the fence about which style to use, we can help.

After working on 2,000+ projects for dozens of clients, we’ve mastered lots of animation styles besides the good ol’ whiteboard and cartoon animation we’re famous for!

We’re talking about:

  • Motion graphics and cartoon animations
  • Virtual Reality Animation
  • Digital stop motion animation
  • 2D character animation

And more!

We can advise you on the exact animation style to use for your next marketing video – and we’ll work hard to bring your vision to life!

So let’s talk about your video idea. Just fill out the form below to book a free, no-strings-attached pow wow – or visit this page. And if you’d like to check out our animation samples, you can do it here. We look forward to helping your business with our awesome animation skills!