Advantages of a Video that Combines Live-Action and Animation

One of the most common questions when making an explainer or informational marketing video is whether it should be a live-action or an animation film. While each option has it’s distinct benefits and drawbacks, there is a third option. A live-action and animation hybrid. But first, let’s go over the main differences between the two and how they can directly influence the success of a marketing strategy.

Live Action

Going this route is a great option when the brand has a tangible product, service, or an identifiable spokesperson. If you are selling a notebook, or electronic product, going with a live-action video might be a great option. Your audience will likely want to see the actual product in a video before they are comfortable investing in it.

If the marketing campaign is for a service like a restaurant or medical or consulting firm, live-action would play an important role in creating a personal relationship between the viewer and the service. When it comes to services, people generally want to see other people.

A downside of utilizing a live-action only campaign is when it is time to present an abstract idea or image. For example, it might be difficult to demonstrate how a delivery system works for complicated corporate infrastructure. Or perhaps it is a humorous video and you need a cat to fly over the moon. Good luck getting that live action footage. Luckily, that is where animation takes the spotlight.


In an animation video, the sky is the limit. If your brand offers cloud-based co-location services, it is much easier to illustrate how that works with a simplified diagram of how the information would go from the viewers’ computer to the servers on the other side of the country.

It is much easier to convey an abstract idea in an animation video, as the visual impact of an uncomfortable idea or situation is much easier to assimilate in a cartoon than a person on screen.

Depending on the length of the marketing strategy, animation also lends a higher level of consistency due to the ease by which the theme and color schemes can be replicated even after a longer duration of time. Cartoons do not age, after all.

Hybrid Offspring

Take all of the pro’s and con’s that a live-action only or an animation-only video has, and erase all the cons. Now you can:

  • Take full advantage of displaying a product or service with live-action shots so that viewers can see the actual product or people
  • Utilize simplified animation sketches to illustrate abstract concepts in a short amount of time
  • Digital video editing tools can blend animation and live action with green screens
  • Use key live-action images and evolve the brand with updated animation changes over the life of the company

By marrying the two distinct styles, a new type of video is born. One that takes the best of both worlds and blends them into a clear, concise brand message that will resonate with the targeted demographic.


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