the relationship between animated commercial and the habit of audience members



Since its inception, television as a medium of communication and information dissemination has gradually metamorphosed into a major component and vehicle for the transmission of advertising messages. This is owing to its advantages over other medium of communication; its ability to combine sight and sound into a unifying whole. This singular factor has enabled advertisers over years to formulate variant means of persuading its customers to patronize its goods and services.

In its bid to find and try out other ways of effectively propagating its persuasive messages, advertisers have tended to deviate from the status quo, that is, the conventional use of humans as models in advertising messages. One of this variant is the use of animations in television advertisements.

The oxford advanced learners dictionary of current English defines animations as ‘’the process of making films or movies, videos and computer games in which drawings or models of people •animals seem to move”. Wikipedia presents animation as “the rapid display of a sequence Still images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions to create an illusion of movement”. The lens is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be rated and demonstrated in several ways. The most common method of presenting animations is motion picture or video program although there are other methods. Animations literally mean breathe life into something. A transformation is involved; what was still now moves.

Advertising on the other hand refers to ”a notice, picture or film telling people about a product, job or service. On a broader scale, a renowned advertising practitioner has succinctly defined advertising thus:

Advertising is the printed, written, spoken or pictured presentation of a person, product, service or movement, openly sponsored by the advertiser and at his expense, for the purpose of influencing sales, use, votes or endorsements. (Okwechime 2009:3)

Animations when used to advertise on television, provides the developers of the advert content as well as the producers of the product or service advertised with a significant amount of flexibility which is necessary to achieve something creative enough to propel the viewer to action.

Animation being a form of visual communication is one of the most effective means of transmitting meaning. An ancient Chinese proverb says, ‘’one picture is worth a thousand words”. Motion pictures are remembered longer than verbal messages especially when they have a humorous tint. They convey meaning faster than words, making it possible to communicate quickly what would otherwise consume much time in verbal explanation. Motion pictures convey a feeling of reality and authenticity, and so may be believed more readily than words. They gain and hold the attention of viewers, and if the communication is interrupted the message may be readily picked up.

Animations have long been popular forms of visual communication. They are designed to simplify and crystallize ideas. They are vehicles for humor as they educate, entertain and exert influence on the public.

There is need for us to direct our focus on the origin of animations and how it found its way into the advertising scene. Animation is a graphic representation of drawings to show movement within those drawings. A series of drawings are linked together and usually photographed by a camera. The drawings have been slightly changed between individualized frames so when they are played back in rapid succession (24 frames per second) there appears to be seamless movement within the drawings. Pioneers of animation include Winsor McCay of the United States and Emile Cohl and Georges Melies of France. Some consider McCay’s Sinking of the Lusitania from 1918 as the first animated feature film.

Early animations, which started appearing before 1910, consisted of simple drawings photographed one at a time. It was extremely labor intensive as there were literally hundreds of drawings per minute of film. The development of celluloid around 1913 quickly made animation easier to manage. Instead of numerous drawings, the animator now could make a complex background and/or foreground and sandwich moving characters in between several other pieces of celluloid, which is transparent except for where drawings are painted on it. This made it unnecessary to repeatedly draw the background as it remained static and only the characters moved. It also created an illusion of depth, especially if foreground elements were placed in the frames.

Walt Disney took animation to a new level. He was the first animator to add sound to his movie cartoons with the premiere of Steamboat Willie in 1928. In 1937, he produced the first full length animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

With the introduction of computers, animation took on a whole new meaning. Many feature films of today had animation incorporated into them for special effects. A film like Star Wars by George Lucas would rely heavily on computer animation for many of its special effects. Toy Story, produced by Walt Disney Productions and Pixar Animation Studios, became the first full

length feature film animated entirely on computers when it was released in 1995.

Animation did not make an entrance into advertising until the 1920s when one minute advertising films began to appear in motion picture theatres. The animation was primitive, human and animal figures were cut out of paper and printed on a sheet, the joints of the figures were moved and photographed creating the illusion of movement. Some of the pioneer animation studios include Walt Disney studios and Fleischer studios. These were the producers of the first animated commercials which includes, ‘Tommy Tuckers Tooth” and ‘That Little Big Fellow”.

In spite of the early use of animations in advertisements, it did not experience wide use until recently. Indeed the advent of the computer went a long way in making the production of animations less laborious and also opened to the animator a wider range of choice. This factor is contributory to the recent influx of animated advertisements on television. The use of animations in television advertisements however might not after all be communicating what is intended (Belch, 2001).


Human models have overtime been prevalent in advertising messages but in recent times the advertising industry has witnessed a significant deviation from these conventional methods, towards the use of animations. This could be as a result of the reduced effectiveness of such advertisements portraying human models. Could it be that people are tired and bored of being exposed to similar adverts day in and out?

Also in recent times it has been discover that audience were no longer been influence by human model advertisement as a result of false advertising messages or propergada, hence the need for animation in advertisement. This is because people are positively influence by humur.

Hence, to what extent has the use of animation in advertisement influence the perception of the audience?


The following research questions will be answered in the later part of this study:

1.                  How does the use of animations in a commercial affect the viewership of such       commercial?

2.                   To what extent does animations increase the effectiveness of a television commercial?

3.                   What is the impact of animated commercials on the buying habits of audience members?

4.                  To what extent does animated commercials have more influence on audience than the       nonanimated commercials (live action).


The objective of this study include:

v  To find out how animation affect the viewership of television commercial.

v  To find out how animation increase effectiveness in television commercials.

v  To determine the impact of animated commercials on the buying habits of customers.

v  To determine whether animated commercials have more influence on audience than the unanimated commercials.


Owing to the novelty of animations in television commercials especially in the Nigerian scenario, this research was undertaken with the intent of furthering and adding up to knowledge in this branch of advertising and communications by measuring the effectiveness of animations in television commercials.

It will also provide relevant and handy information about the level of impact and effectiveness of animated commercials. This will be of immense importance to advertisers, analysts and other researchers interested in this field of advertising. This research will in its own way solve the problem of dearth of relevant materials in this branch of advertising.


This study will examine the relationship between animated commercials and the buying habits of audience members by measuring the effectiveness of such commercials. This study will focus on a particular transport service provider within Benin City; God is Good Motors and its customers to ascertain if its animated commercial was instrumental in the choice of God is Good motors over other transport service providers in the state.

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