Writing an animation creative brief

Whether you’re working with an agency for the first time or have a long-term relationship, every project requires a concise animation creative brief. Investing time at this stage will pay off – you’ll get the most out of your animation project and avoid wasting time and budget.


How do I write a creative brief for an animation?

Start with the basics. Exploring these elements will help you focus. It will also make the briefing process smooth by adding clarity for the creative team. Tell us about your business or organisation so we can get a feel for what you do and the services or products you offer.

  • What is the core purpose of the animation? Is it training or education-related? Will it illustrate and describe a detailed procedure? Perhaps it’s to raise an organisation’s profile or form part of a broader marketing campaign. Maybe it’s to supplement an evaluation or annual report. Think about what you want viewers to take away after watching, how they should feel, and whether there are specific calls to action you want them to take.
  • Who is the target audience? It’s important to consider who will be watching this animation and their knowledge of the subject. A professional audience with in-depth knowledge will require a different approach from something aimed at the general public posted on social media; similarly, an educational animation aimed at primary school children will have a different tone from an annual report animation used at a conference. Will it need subtitles or multiple language voiceovers if global audiences are watching?
  • Where will your animation be used, and will it serve multiple purposes? For example, you may take parts and create bite-size clips or gifs for social media or use some of the illustrations in print. It’s good to know this before the creative process begins.
  • How long do you envisage your animation to last? The length will vary depending on the message and its purpose. We can advise you if you’re unsure, but generally speaking, we recommend a maximum of three minutes for an explainer animation. Education or training-based content may require longer, and in some cases, creating a series of short animations that work as a suite might be an option.
  • When is the deadline? The process of creating a three-minute animation usually takes four to six weeks, depending on the scale of the project, When you share your brief, include the date you need your finished project.

With the essential points covered, let’s look at some details that make up the creative elements.


Scripts

The script is the most important part of your animation. Even if it’s a work in progress and still needs some work, if you have a base script, it’s helpful to share it with us as part of your brief. Doing this can help us get an overall feel for the narrative. Don’t worry if you have an idea but no script; we’re always happy to offer script-writing services to help grow and develop the concept.


Voiceovers

Applying subtitles and using speech bubbles can effectively deliver information, but we tend to recommend using voiceovers for greater impact. If you decide to use a voiceover, tell us if it needs to represent a regional accent. Do you have a preference for age or gender? Do you need multiple voiceovers in different languages? These will impact the overall budget and the creative process.


Imagery

If you have an idea of the illustration style you’d like your animation to use – and conversely, what you don’t like, let us know. (You might want to look at some of the examples in our portfolio for inspiration).

How many characters will appear in your animation? Do they need to be specific, perhaps representing a particular demographic, culture, or diversity?

Will your animation be used to demonstrate a physical procedure? That’s a good choice—animations are effective at this. Provide us with as much information as possible about the procedure to help us understand it well enough to translate it into visual content for your audience. If you have still (static) images as examples, they can help, but if not, sometimes a Google image search can be helpful. If you have corporate brand guidelines—colours, fonts, and logos—don’t forget to share them.


Budget

How much will my animation cost? We’re often asked this question at the briefing stage, and many factors impact the cost. If you have a budget, let us know. If not, we will work through the details of the brief and provide you with a quotation. That’s why it’s essential to get the brief right so we can provide an accurate quotation. This will avoid awkward and potentially costly conversations later in the process.

So now that we’ve explained the animation creative brief process, you might be wondering what happens next. Read our blog, ‘How do we bring your animations to life?